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} 203 Introduction 1. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-­ Reliance,” 30. 2. Edward Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, 117–­18. 3. Dall, Margaret and Her Friends, 86. 4. Henry James, The Bostonians, 1:27. 5. “In this Transcendental tendency, we see the evidence that it [Protestantism] has run or very nearly run its natural course, and in Transcendentalism reaches its termina‑ tion, exhausts itself, and can go no farther; for there is no farther. Beyond Transcenden‑ talism, in the same direction, there is no place. Transcendentalism is the last stage this side of nowhere; and when reached, we must hold up, or fly off into boundless vacuity.” Brownson, “Protestantism Ends in Transcendentalism,” 6:134. 6. Mott and Robinson, “Transcendentalism,” 224. 7. Taylor, A Secular Age, 302. 8. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism, 91. 9. Loving, Walt Whitman, 185–­88. 10. LeMenager, Living Oil, 12. LeMenager’s book is itself a remarkable example of such productive “entanglements,” weaving strands of biochemistry, geology, literary theory, sociology, and cultural criticism into an account of the intense reliance of contemporary American culture in all its forms on “living oil.” I also acknowledge and salute the pio‑ neering interdisciplinary work of David Michael Hertz in his Angels of Reality: Emersonian Unfoldings in Wright, Stevens, and Ives. 11. See Ronda, Reading the Old Man: John Brown in American Culture. Chapter 1. Transcendentalism and the Secular Turn 1. Perry Miller, “Introduction,” Transcendentalists, 8. 2. In his blog “The Immanent Frame,” Jose Casanova offers useful definitions of “sec‑ ular,” “secularization,” and “secularism,” with the caution that distinguishing among the terms is intended to clarify different phenomena “without any attempt to reify them as separate realities.” Casanova, “Secular, Secularizations, Secularisms.” For an astute analysis of the foundational secularism of contemporary literary studies, see Kaufmann, “The Religious, the Secular,” as well as the response by Fessenden, “‘The Secular.’” For a different take on secularism that more strictly limits its impact to the political realm, see Bilgrami, Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment, 3–­57. 3. Alternatively, we could see transcendentalism as moving toward a different defini‑ tion of “religious,” in line with the way Leo Damrosch has recently described the religious Notes 204 { Notes to Chapter One sensibility of William Blake as one that “addresses the fundamental dilemmas of human existence—our place in the universe, our dread of mortality, our yearning for some ulti‑ mate source of meaning.” Damrosch, Eternity’s Sunrise, 2. 4. Alcott, “Doctrine and Discipline,” 170. 5. Gregory, Unintended Reformation; Pfau, Minding the Modern; Taylor, A Secular Age. 6. Older but still useful surveys include Ahlstrom, Religious History of the American People, and Hudson, Religion in America. More recent overviews include Hatch, Democratization of American Christianity, and Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith. 7. May, The Enlightenment in America. 8. Diderot to Sophie Volland, in Diderot’s Letters, 189. 9. Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, 1:396. 10. See Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, 1:403. 11. Hurth, Between Faith and Unbelief, 53. Gospel “harmonies” were efforts to take the biblical accounts of the life of Jesus and make a single narrative out of them. These works were especially popular among Protestant readers, whether evangelical, orthodox Cal‑ vinist, or liberal, all of whom stressed the historicity of the first four books of the New Testament. One such text available to English-­ language readers was Samuel Clark, The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New with Annotations and Parallel Scriptures: To Which is Annex’d the Harmony of the Gospels (1690). 12. Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, “Third Essay: What Do Ascetic Ideals Mean?” sec. 27, 143. 13. Weber, Protestant Ethic, 181. 14. Harris, The End of Faith; Dawkins, The God Delusion; Hitchens, God Is not Great. 15. Bruce, God Is Dead, 3. 16. Pecora, Secularization and Cultural Criticism, 5–­6. 17. Casanova, Public Religions, 28. 18. This is the perspective offered by Thomas Luckmann in The Invisible Religion. 19. In his introduction to The Secular Revolution, Christian Smith argues that the claim that secularism evolved out of religion and is inextricable from it is too strongly empha‑ sized in scholarship on the secular. In contrast, he and the contributors to his edited vol‑ ume stress the social circumstances of power struggles between those who represent the institutions and beliefs of religion and their opponents in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-­ century United States. 20. Löwith, Meaning in History, 1. 21. Blumenberg, Legitimacy of the Modern Age, 65; Pecora, Secularization and Cultural Criticism , 61. 22. Berger, Sacred Canopy, 121. 23...


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