In the midst of the American Renaissance

September 27, 2007

The phrase “American Renaissance” was coined in 1878 by a New York clergyman, but gained academic respectability after Mathiessen’s American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman. Like Tracy’s “Great Awakening,” the American Renaissance has been considered, reconsidered, torn down and rebuilt continuously until today.

The conservative Christian(I) stance paired with regular-old Enlightenment skepticism(II) against Myth as polytheism or godhead fallacy 1770-1820.

(I) Christopher Irving, Catechism of Mythology (New York: F. and R. Lockwood, 1822)
(I) Robert Mayo, A New System of Mythology(Philadelphia, 1815-1819) heavily in debt to Banier, Mythology and Fables of the Ancients, Explain’d from History (London, A. Miller, 1739)
(I) William Sheldon, History of the Heathen Gods (Boston, Isaiah Thomas, Jr. 1809)
(II) George B. English, The Grounds of Christianity Examined (Boston, 1831)
(II) Abner Kneeland, National Hymns for those who are slave to no Sect (Boston, 1832)
(II) see: Holbach, The System of Nature, Robinson transl., 1835
(II) Robert Ingersoll, The Gods and other Lectures, (Peoria, 1874)

The Font of Interpretation: works beyond reason, the old world unadulerated

see: Bruno Bauer, F. C. Baur, Bayles’s Ouerves Diverses, Lowth, Bochart, Chateaubriand’s Genius of Christianity, Constant, De Wette, Eichhorn, Strauss, Herder, Klaproth,

Periodicals – Boston(?)

American Monthly Magazine, 1836
Biblical Repository, 1839
Boston Daily Advertiser, 1836-1841
Boston Quarterly Review, 1838-42
Boston Semi-Weekly Courier, 1840-41
Brownson’s Quarterly Review, 1844-59
Christian Examiner, 1831-46
Christian World, 1844-46
The Dial, 1840-44
The Liberator, 1840-1860
The Liberty Bell, 1842-1846
Monthly Miscellany of Religion and Letters, 1841-1842
National Standard, 1871
New Englander, 1844-1845
North American Review, 1831-36
Scriptural Interpreter, 1831-36 [As a test I should get all of these and make a new index]
Sunday School Teacher and Children’s Fund, 1836-37
Western Messenger, 1840-41

Individuals and Biographies

Theodore Parker,
Grodzins, Dean. Biography (2002) 
Weiss, John, Life and Correspondence [GOOGLE BOOKS Vol. 1 & Vol. 2,
American Unitarian Association, Centenary Edition of the Writings Of ParkerThomas Taylor,
Thomas Taylor, the Platonist, ed. K. Raine and G.M. Harper (1969)

20th century academic perspectives (in chronological order)

F. O. Matthiessen, American Renaissance, (New York and London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1941)
Perry Miller, The Transcendentalists, (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1950)
Jerry Wayne Brown, The Rise of Biblical Criticism in America, (Conn: Wesleyan Univ. Press, 1969)
Robert D. Richardson, Myth and Literature in the American Renaissance, (Bloomington and London: Indiana Univ. Press, 1978)

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