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Sunday, 4 January 2015

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)'s father was a Unitarian minister, and Emerson initially followed his footsteps, attending Harvard Divinity School.

Boston's Second Church invited Emerson to serve as its junior pastor and he was ordained on January 11, 1829. His initial salary was $1,200 a year, increasing to $1,400 in July.

In time Emerson developed a belief system that espoused a non-traditional appreciation of nature called Transcendentalism. He first wrote about this view in an essay called Nature in 1836.

On July 15, 1838  Emerson delivered the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacted with outrage.


Ralph Waldo Emerson died on April 27, 1882 from the effects of a cold contracted while attending the funeral of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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