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Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) was an essayist, a public lecturer, and the central figure of New England transcendentalism. His most widely read works include “The Divinity School Address,” “The American Scholar,” “Self-Reliance,” and the small book Nature. Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, he graduated from Harvard College at the age of 19. He took up the study of divinity and was a Unitarian minister for three years, but his increasingly unorthodox religious views and his doubts about church doctrine led him to renounce all forms of organized religion. After leaving the pulpit, Emerson moved to Concord, Massachusetts, and built a successful career as a writer and public lecturer. His importance for green ethics lies primarily in his book Nature and in the spiritual dimension ...

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