Unitarianism


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unitarianism Transcendentalism was a movement in philosophy, literature, and religion that emerged and was popular in the nineteenth century New England because of a need to redefine man and his place in the world in response to a new and changing society. The industrial revolution, universities, westward expansion, urbanization and immigration all made the life in a city like Boston full of novelty and turbulence. Transcendentalism was a reaction to an impoverishment of religion and mechanization of consciousness of eighteenth century rational doctrines that ceased to be satisfying. After the success of the American Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, an American man emerged confident and energetic. However, with the release of nervous energy, an American was forced to look at a different angle at his place in the world and society.

The world of the nineteenth century Boston was that of emergence of new currents of thought in response to the conservative atmosphere. The wealthy upper classes (the aristocracy) were conservative and suspicious of any innovations. They dominated the society and demanded conformity to their social ideals, being suspicious of any new structure of society. The irony was that by their reliance on tradition and old beliefs (such as Puritanism) they acknowledged the harmony with cosmic law. Old values and traditions would serve as a base to Transcendentalism, although a radical movement in itself.

In the nineteenth century America plunged into the Industrial Revolution. In the eighteenth century, goods were produced in home system operations. The remarkable development of capitalism in Boston became evident after the French and Indian war of 1812. Two of huge factories privately owned in Boston were Francis Lowell's Boston Manufacturing Company in Waltham and Merrimack Manufacturing Company in Lowell. As the role of women in society became more indiscriminate, young females dominated factory towns such as Lowell. They came from all over New England's farms and small towns, worked for a few years and then returned. Thus the mill populations were transient. With mechanization of textiles, new styles and fashions developed. Thus newness was becoming a virtue rather than peril.

Improvement of transportation made urbanization and westward expansion more rapid. Cumberland Turnpike was built in 1811. Erie Canal, finished in 1825, connected Hudson River with the Great Lakes. Baltimore and Ohio Steam Railroad of 1828 linked the country. The first successful steamboat, Clermont, was launched in 1807. Between 1789 and 1850 the total population of the country soared from 4 million to 23 million. The area of the country more than tripled in this period, reaching 3 million square miles, as more states were added. The trek from the Atlantic to the Pacific was completed in 1850 when California was admitted as the 31st state. Southeastern expansion was completed in 1819, when Spain gave up East Florida. Increase in population also brought about urbanization. In 1820, only 7.2% lived in cities larger than 2.5 thousand people, while by 1840 the number soared to 92.1%. Boston increased its population from 54 thousand to 120 thousand in this period. Frederick Jackson Turner captured the atmosphere precisely: "All was motion and change â Restlessness was universal."

However, people often could not endure this pace of growth. There was not enough time and money for planning and building of houses. This resulted in overcrowded houses, often with more than one family living in the same room, poor sewage and lighting. This lead to an increase in crime. Ethnic conflicts often resulted in fights between street gangs, as people of the same nationality tended to live close together and battled other ethnic groups. Immigration brought racial conflicts with it just as urbanization brought slums. However, these conditions proved to be a fertile ground for reform, which was one of the reasons for rise and popularity of Transcendentalism whose members occupied themselves with social reform.

Transcendentalism is a belief in a higher reality that could be perceived. The concept of transcendence was first developed by Plato. He believed in existence of absolute goodness, one beyond description. He stated that it could be perceived only through intuition rather than logic or rationality. Ralph Waldo Emerson would later use Plato's other theory that the world is an expression of spirit to develop his theory of correspondence. ... more

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Arianism




Arianism


A heresy which arose in the fourth century, and denied the Divinity of Jesus
Christ.

DOCTRINE

First among the doctrinal disputes which troubled Christians after Constantine
had recognized the Church in A.D. 313, and the parent of many more during some
three centuries, Arianism occupies a large place in ecclesiastical history. It
is not a modern form of unbelief, and therefore will appear strange in modern
eyes. But we shall better grasp its meaning if we term it an Eastern attempt to
rationalize the creed by stripping it of mystery so far as the relation of
Christ to God was concerned. In the New Testament and in Church teaching Jesus
of Nazareth appears as the Son of God. This name He took to Himself (Matt., xi,
27; John, x, 36), while the Fourth Gospel declares Him to be the Word (Logos),
Who in the beginning was with God and was God, by Whom all things were made. A
similar doctrine is laid down by St. Paul, in his undoubtedly genuine Epistles
to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians. It is reiterated in the Letters
of Ignatius, and accounts for Pliny's observation that Christians in their
assemblies chanted a hymn to Christ as God. But the question how the Son was
related to the Father (Himself acknowledged on all hands to be the one Supreme
Deity), gave rise, between the years A. D. 60 and 200, to number of Theosophic
systems, called generally Gnosticism, and having for their authors Basilides,
Valentinus, Tatian, and other Greek speculators. Though all of these visited
Rome, they had no following in the West, which remained free from controversies
of an abstract nature, and was faithful to the creed of its baptism.
Intellectual centers were chiefly Alexandria and Antioch, Egyptian or Syrian,
and speculation was carried on in Greek. The Roman Church held steadfastly by
tradition. Under these circumstances, when Gnostic schools had passed away with
their "conjugations" of Divine powers, and "emanations" from the Supreme
unknowable God (the "Deep" and the "Silence") all speculation was thrown into
the form of an inquiry touching the "likeness" of the Son to His Father and
"sameness" of His Essence. Catholics had always maintained that Christ was truly
the Son, and truly God. They worshipped Him with divine honors; they would never
consent to separate Him, in idea or reality, from the Father, Whose Word, Reason,
Mind, He was, and in Whose Heart He abode from eternity. But the technical terms
of doctrine were not fully defined; and even in Greek words like essence (ousia),
substance (hypostasis), nature (physics), person (hyposopon) bore a variety of
meanings drawn from the pre-Christian sects of philosophers, which could not but
entail misunderstandings until they were cleared up. The adaptation of a
vocabulary employed by Plato and Aristotle to Christian truth was a matter of
time; it could not be done in a day; and when accomplished for the Greek it had
to be undertaken for the Latin, which did not lend itself readily to necessary
yet subtle distinctions. That disputes should spring up even among the orthodox
who all held one faith, was inevitable. And of these wranglings the rationalist
would take advantage in order to substitute for the ancient creed his own
inventions. The drift of all he advanced was this: to deny that in any true
sense God could have a Son; as Mohammed tersely said afterwards, "God neither
begets, nor is He begotten" (Koran, cxii). We have learned to call that denial
Unitarianism. It was the ultimate scope of Arian opposition to what Christians
had always believed. But the Arian, though he did not come straight down from
the Gnostic, pursued a line of argument and taught a view which the speculations
of the Gnostic had made familiar. He described the Son as a second, or inferior
God, standing midway between the First Cause and creatures; as Himself made out
of nothing, yet as making all things else; as existing before the worlds of the
ages; and as arrayed in all divine perfections except the one which was their
stay and foundation. God alone was without beginning, unoriginate; the Son was
originated, and once had not existed. For all that has origin must begin to be.

Such is the genuine doctrine of Arius. Using Greek terms, it denies that the Son
is of one essence, nature, or substance with God; He is not consubstantial
(homoousios) with the Father, and therefore not like Him, or equal in dignity,
or co-eternal, or within the real sphere of Deity. The Logos which ... more

unitarianism

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  • Tim St. Amour Tim St. Amour Tim St. Amour Mrs. McKenny English 10 Honors May 15, 2000 Transcendentalism and Ralph Waldo Emerson So what is Transcendentalism anyway and how have mens thoughts and outlooks been able make it what it is remembered as? I. Ralph Waldo Emerson A. Emersons Life 1. Childhood 2. Adulthood B. Emersons thoughts and views 1. Thoughts on resolutions 2. Views of people 3. Feelings about the universe and soul II. Transcendentalism A. History 1. When it occurred a. what was going on around the time of t...
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