Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - An Address Summary & Analysis

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An Address Summary and Analysis

In this polemic, Emerson delivers what amounts to a shot across the bow of established religions—especially the varied forms of Christianity—by accusing them of having become a mere imitation of their fiery inheritance. Emerson, himself a preacher, says Christianity has allowed the soul to become separated from the pulpit to its detriment and to the devaluation of Christian values. The church has permitted this by presenting the teachings of Christ and other prophets as something external, to be imposed upon men, instead of respecting the fact those teachings merely reflect the universal values in all men.

Emerson decries the "vulgar tone of preaching" he sees in the church, and the fact churchgoers are constantly assailed by miracles and cowed by fears instead of being encouraged and supported in making their own personal connection with a...

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This section contains 217 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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