• Red Book: Read pages 212-214
• On a sheet of paper, scatter 10 ideas that
stand out about transcendental thought
• A group of new ideas in literature, religion,
culture, and philosophy
• Emerged in New England in the early to
middle 19th century (1800s)
• Sometimes called American
transcendentalism to distinguish it from
other uses of the word transcendental
• began as a protest against the general
state of culture and society, and in
particular, the state of intellectualism at
Harvard and the doctrine of the Unitarian
church taught at Harvard Divinity School
• Resistance to the formalities of
society…especially religion.
Core Beliefs
• Minimize wealth and consumption
• Maximize spirituality, health and “quality
Core Beliefs
• Ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the
physical and empirical
• Only realized through the individual's
intuition, rather than through the doctrines
of established religions
• Very much anti-establishment, simple,
• Trust oneself first.
Names to Know
• Prominent transcendentalists include
– Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The champion of
individualism,” “Leader of the transcendental
movement, author (Nature)
– Henry David Thoreau: American author and
poet (Walden, Civil Disobedience, Simple
Living, etc.)
– Elizabeth Peabody (1800s): first kindergarten
teacher in English language, believed in
imaginative play as a basis for development.
Wisdom from Morrie
• “The culture we have does not make
people feel good about themselves, and
you have to be strong enough to say if the
culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it, create
your own.”
page 42 Tuesdays with Morrie
• How would the following perspectives view
this quote by Morrie Schwartz?
– Feminist
– Naturalist
– Transcendentalist
– Civil Rights activist
• Pages 216-222
• Write 5 facts about Emerson
• From Nature: Record examples that reflect
transcendental thought
• Read page 222 (aphorisms). Pick your
favorites. Pick your favorite Morrie
aphorisms. Explain and share!
Pages 233-244
Write 5 facts about Thoreau
Read any two sections of your choice
From XXXX: Record examples that reflect
transcendental thought