“The Transcendentalists: An Original Relation to the Universe” by John Halstead
This essay was originally published at Neo-Paganism.com.
“In my Pantheon, Pan still reigns in his pristine glory, with his ruddy face, his flowing beard, and his shaggy body, his pipe and his crook, his nymph Echo, and his chosen daughter Iambe; for the great god Pan is not dead, as was rumored. No god ever dies. Perhaps of all the gods of New England and of ancient Greece, I am most constant at his shrine.”
— Henry David Thoreau
Nature Religion in the United States begins with the Transcendentalists in mid-19th century New England, most notably with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Both Emerson and Thoreau were early conservationists, promoting the preservation of threatened forests.
Emerson is best known as a champion of individualism and a critic of the religious traditionalism of his day. Emerson’s 1836 essay…
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