The Sublime Unselfing of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Sermons

Doctoral Dissertation


This dissertation suggests that Ralph Waldo Emerson’s sermons may be fruitfully read as Christian mystical texts in light of Bernard McGinn’s discussion of Western Christian mysticism. More specifically: Emerson’s sermons, read systematically with McGinn’s historical survey in mind, describe the preparation, pursuit, experience and expression of a mystical encounter with the Divine. By re-configuring McGinn’s historical snapshots into systematic searchlights, this dissertation explores and maps the mystical depths of Emerson’s sermons, combing them for elements of his mystical-theological anthropology, his mystical Christology, and his mystical homiletics. The fruit of our effort is revealed in what we will call the sublime unselfing of Emerson’s sermons.


Attribute NameValues
Author Justin Saxby
Contributor Laura Dassow Walls, Research Director
Contributor Cyril J. O'Regan, Research Director
Contributor Ann Astell, Committee Member
Contributor Kevin Grove, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Theology
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Banner Code

Defense Date
  • 2020-07-08

Submission Date 2020-07-19
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sublime, Transcendentalism, sermons, Bernard McGinn, mysticism

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
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