Archive for the 'American Studies' Category

Sources for Intellectual History.doc

May 13, 2008

Sources for Intellectual History.doc [Incomplete]


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)

Building my own historiographical account of Perry Miller historiography

September 12, 2006

Why am I interested in Miller?I am interested because I am interested in ‘unity,’ or those times when humans let down their guard long enough to enter into cosmos and bring back into their mind ideas inspired by oneness occasionally felt. This sounds pretty hokey, so I can try to fix it up by saying I am interested in the emergence of the free will, or better in historiography and ways in which America as a country or a culture can trace ideas itself back to Classical culture. I am interested in intellectual history, how ideas effect time.  At this point in my life I am no longer interested in economic and cultural determinism which has provided me with nothing but misery in the last decade.  I want to know people and I want to believe in their ability to act according their own volition. 

In his day, Miller defended Puritans from narrow readings of economic determinists, and showed how (at least some Puritan preachers of) the Seventeenth Century were interested in humanism traceable to Hellenic times. Miller may be read today by a complete fool such as myself to discover the Puritans belief in a world created by God as a unity. Perhaps I am still ‘wet behind the ears’ enough to revel in the idea that (1) the universe was created by a mysterious force and (2) since the world was created good and beautiful, depraved man is the source of all disharmony (well this still irks me a bit, but I go roll with it a bit.) Man does seems to destroy the earth, and although the earth may never be destroy, just changed, I am interested in recovering certain traditions which have been lost in the last few generations with the amplification of the echo of free will.

It all adds up to the enormous questions about the freedom of thought, and our place in the world as the living; how life is simultaneously simple and difficult, …

Post of sources to be worked with.

Anxieties of Influence: Perry Miller and Sacvan Bercovitch
Arne Delfs
The New England Quarterly > Vol. 70, No. 4 (Dec., 1997), pp. 601-615Delfs above reads Harlans below as a source for the potential conflict between Bercovitch and Miller.A People Blinded from Birth: American History According to Sacvan Bercovitch
David Harlan
The Journal of American History > Vol. 78, No. 3 (Dec., 1991), pp. 949-971One of Bercovitch’s early essay potentially opposing Miller.

New England Epic: Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana
Sacvan Bercovitch
ELH > Vol. 33, No. 3 (Sep., 1966), pp. 337-350 Older Perry Miller historiographical essays (these articles printed and filed):The Myth of Perry Miller
Francis T. Butts
The American Historical Review > Vol. 87, No. 3 (Jun., 1982), pp. 665-694

Perry Miller and Philosophical History
David A. Hollinger
History and Theory > Vol. 7, No. 2 (1968), pp. 189-202

Perry Miller remebered in 1982 American Quarterly (to read)

August 1, 2006

James Hoope, ‘Art as History: Perry Miller’s New England Mind,’ American Quarterly, 34:I(1982) 3-25

While I might give a thousand reasons why I prefer to inundate myself with the data I do, near the top of the list must lie a love of beauty. I have recently turned to so-called outdated history seeking and finding beauty in its prose. I could analyze the motive behind this new found desire for clean, plain writing to discover certain autobiographical facts, not the least being my own inability to form sentences or see typographical mistakes. Why do I not know how to write? Worse thoughts arrives when I consider my own inability to write as part of a larger phenomenon where written word has met its destruction. I now seek to build up my ability to formulate a…

Daniel W. Howe, ‘Descendents of Perry Miller,’ American Quarterly, 34:I(1982),94. This is a review essay of Sacvan Bercovitch’s The American Jeremiad and David Levin’s Cotton Mather.

More Bercovitch: “Typology in Puritan New England: The William-Cotton Controversy Reassessed,” American Quarterly, 19(1967)