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Coordinates of Anglo-American Romanticism: Wesley, Edwards, Carlyle, & Emerson
by Richard E Brantley
Binding: Hardcover, illustrated edition edition, 207 pages
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Weight: 1.03 pound
Dimension: H: 0.86 x L: 9.28 x W: 6.44 inches
ISBN 10: 0813011698
ISBN 13: 9780813011691
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Book Description:
Constructing a transatlantic arc of literature, Brantley explores how John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards provide an empirical as well as evangelical framework for interpreting their spiritual descendants, Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He finds that the four Anglo American writers share a simultaneously rational and sensationalist reliance on experience as the avenue to knowledge. Wesley (1703 91), founder of British Methodism, and Edwards (1703 58), leader of the American Great Awakening, speak literally to experience in general, including empirical observation, scientific method and apprehension of God in nature and the Spirit. Their shared methodology, harking back to the epistemology of John Locke, aligns nature with grace and heralds the 'empirical evangelical' vision shared by Carlyle (1795 1881), the Sage of Chelsea, and Emerson (1803 82), the Sage of Concord. All four balance religious myths and morality with scientific reverence for fact. Brantley's earlier prize winning work, 'Locke, Wesley, and the Method of English Romanticism', explored the influence of Wesley's philosophical theology on British Romanticism. While reaffiriming the optimism of Romantic literature, Brantley here offers another, broader case study in the sociology of ideas. He demonstrates that the creative tension between empiricism and evangelicalism the sparks that fly from coordinates on the arc illuminates a noble, yet neglected, Anglo American sensibility.

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