Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spiritual but not Religious

Philosophy Is Not A Luxury

It is not uncommon today to find certain segments of society in America and even more so in Europe who would describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. After The Enlightenment in Europe, science and reason began to increasingly dominant the modern mind leaving religion and spirituality on the defensive throughout the Western World. Some defenders of faith argued that this trend would lead to a decent into evil, others developed powerful metaphysical arguments to prove the existence of that which could not be seen, still others tried to find “alternative” ways of thinking that could create a marriage of science and spirit.

Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James are two of the leading figures who attempted to carve out a place for spirituality in America in between scientific materialism and religious orthodoxy. The ideas of these two thinkers led to the creation of what can be see as an…

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