A Comparative Study of Emerson’s Idealism and Aankara’s Advaita Vedanta

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Dr. Prem Bahadur Khadka


The aim of this paper is to define Emerson’s idealism and spiritualism. An attempt is made to explore the affinity between Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta and Emerson’s Idealism. Primarily, the present study strives to understand the concept of spiritualism in general and what it means to Emerson in particular. His spiritualism and its relation with non-dualism are examined. The 19th century American society experienced drastic changes in the fields of art, literature, philosophy and religion. It was the age for the growth of novel ideas and skeptic ideologies. These fresh movements electrified artistic and philosophical perspectives of New England. This phenomenon is called American renaissance. This new revolution changed the attitude of the young intellectuals; they started a new philosophical movement called transcendentalism that rejected the established religious doctrines and traditions. These young intellectuals strove to liberate the society from the clutches of scepticism and materialism. The transcendentalists redefined spiritualism based on Emerson’s doctrine of soul. This paper discusses Emerson’s spiritualism, the doctrine of Over-soul and its relation with Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta.

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