Environmentalist Thought and Action

Lance Newman

in The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780195331035
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Environmentalist Thought and Action

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This article looks at the evolution of the concept of nature from a field for spiritual seeking into the broadening of Transcendentalism. The article also looks on the responses of major Transcendentalists towards that change. Despite having taken shape within Unitarianism, the Transcendentalist movement quickly developed into a comprehensive critique of capitalism that combined protoenvironmentalist attitudes with radical ideas about social reform. The article also talks about the involvement of major Transcendentalists in the movement. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who led the Transcendentalist turn to nature by resigning his ministry at Boston's Second Church in 1832. The Transcendentalist ideal of the green city, which partly inspired the Brook Farmers, may be the movement's least well-recognized legacy. It developed in direct response to the realities of urbanization in the Northeast.

Keywords: environmentalism; capitalism; urbanization; conservation; nature

Article.  5355 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies ; Literary Studies (19th Century)

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