Henry David Thoreau
By: Tim Flinders
"Only that day dawns to which we are awake."--Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) embodies classic features of the American spirit: nonconformity, the impulse to seek spiritual renewal in nature, and the will to stand firm by his convictions. Famous for his retreat to Walden Pond and "The Duty of Civil Disobedience" after spending a night in jail, Thoreau was a profoundly religious man while remaining unaffiliated with any organized church. He experienced mystical ecstasies in his youth; he followed an almost monastic discipline of contemplation; he explored Hinduism and Eastern religion which he integrated with his deep immersion in nature and his highly refined social conscience.
This anthology draws on Thoreau's voluminous journals, correspondence, and essays, including Walden and other key works providing readers new and old with the extraordinary depth and remarkable relevance of his spiritual thought.
Educator and writer Tim Flinders is author of Sacred Surround: The Thought and Spirituality of Thomas Berry and has edited John Muir: Spiritual Writings in the present series. He lectures on contemplative spirituality at the Sophia Center, Holy Names University in Oakland, CA, and is a research fellow at the Spirituality and Health Institute, Santa Clara University.