Ralph Waldo EmersonWorkDuring the early 1830s Emerson began an active career as writer and lecturer. In 1836 he published anonymously his essay Nature,based on his early lectures. It is in that piece that he first set forth the main principles of transcendentalism, expressing a firm belief in the mystical unity of nature. He attracted wide attention with “The American Scholar,” his Phi Beta Kappa oration at Harvard in 1837, in which he called for independence from European cultural leadership. In his lecture at the Harvard divinity school in 1838, his admonition that one could find redemption only in one's own soul was taken to mean that he repudiated Christianity. This caused such indignation that he was not invited to Harvard again until 1866, when the college granted him an honorary degree.In 1840 Emerson joined with others in publishing The Dial,a magazine intended to promulgate transcendental thought. One of the younger contributors to The Dialwas Henry David Thoreau,
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