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Amos Bronson Alcott

Geburtstag: 29. November 1799
Todesdatum: 4. März 1888

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Amos Bronson Alcott war ein US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Pädagoge, der zur philosophisch-literarischen Bewegung des Transzendentalismus in Neu-England gehörte.Amos Bronson Alcott setzte die Idee des Transzendentalismus in die pädagogische Praxis um. Grundlage war die undogmatische und humanistisch orientierte Lehre der Unitarier. Die Schüler sollten geistig und körperlich gleichermaßen gefordert und gefördert und zu selbstbestimmtem Handeln befähigt werden. Ziel war es auch, nach dem Abstreifen des englischen Kolonialstatus ein amerikanisches Selbstbewusstsein zu erwecken. An seiner Schule in Boston unterrichtete auch Margaret Fuller, die spätere Sozialreformerin und Frauenrechtlerin.

1842 gründete Alcott mit anderen Transzendentalisten die sozialutopische Siedlung Fruitlands. Mitstreiter waren Elizabeth P. Peabody, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau und William Ellery Channing. Sein Projekt scheiterte jedoch ein Jahr später, genau wie einige Jahre danach die Kommune Brook Farm von George Ripley.

Amos Bronson Alcott ist der Vater der Schriftstellerin Louisa May Alcott.

Im Alter von 88 Jahren starb Amos Bronson Alcott am 4. März 1888 in Concord, Massachusetts. Seine Tochter starb nur zwei Tage nach ihm an einer Quecksilbervergiftung.

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„Believe, youth, despite all temptations, the oracle of deity in your own bosom.“

— Amos Bronson Alcott
Context: Believe, youth, despite all temptations, the oracle of deity in your own bosom. ’T is the breath of God’s revelations,—the respiration of the Holy Ghost in your breast. Be faithful, not infidel, to its intuitions,—quench never its spirit,—dwell ever in its omniscience. So shall your soul be filled with light, and God be an indwelling fact,—a presence in the depths of your being. I. SPIRIT, 6. Oracle

„It is refreshing, amidst the inane common-places bandied in pulpits and parlors, to hear a hopeful word from an earnest, upright soul.“

— Amos Bronson Alcott
Context: There is a magic in free speaking, especially on sacred themes, most potent and resistless. It is refreshing, amidst the inane common-places bandied in pulpits and parlors, to hear a hopeful word from an earnest, upright soul. Men rally around it as to the lattice in summer heats, to inhale the breeze that flows cool and refreshing from the mountains, and invigorates their languid frames. Once heard, they feel a buoyant sense of health and hopefulness, and wonder that they should have lain sick, supine so long, when a word has power to raise them from their couch, and restore them to soundness. And once spoken, it shall never be forgotten; it charms, exalts; it visits them in dreams, and haunts them during all their wakeful hours. Great, indeed, is the delight of speech; sweet the sound of one’s bosom thought, as it returns laden with the fragrance of a brother’s approval. XVIII. SPEECH

„Enduring fame is ever posthumous. The orbs of virtue and genius seldom culminate during their terrestrial periods.“

— Amos Bronson Alcott
Context: Enduring fame is ever posthumous. The orbs of virtue and genius seldom culminate during their terrestrial periods. Slow is the growth of great names, slow the procession of excellence into arts, institutions, life. Ages alone reflect their fulness of lustre. The great not only unseal, but create the organs by which they are to be seen. Neither Socrates nor Jesus is yet visible to the world. LX. FAME

„Ever present, potent, vigilant, in the breast of man, there is that which never became a party in his guilt“

— Amos Bronson Alcott
Context: Ever present, potent, vigilant, in the breast of man, there is that which never became a party in his guilt, never consented to a wrong deed, nor performed one, but holds itself above all sin, impeccable, immaculate, immutable, the deity of the heart, the conscience of the soul, the oracle and interpreter, the judge and executor of the divine law. XVI. CONSCIENCE

„The seraphs descend from heaven, in the solitudes of meditation, in the stillness of prayer.“

— Amos Bronson Alcott
Context: Solitude is Wisdom’s school. Attend then the lessons of your own soul; become a pupil of the wise God within you, for by his tuitions alone shall you grow into the knowledge and stature of the deities. The seraphs descend from heaven, in the solitudes of meditation, in the stillness of prayer. I. SPIRIT, 10. Solitude

„The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.“

— Amos Bronson Alcott
Context: The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-trust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciples. A noble artist, he has visions of excellence and revelations of beauty, which he has neither impersonated in character, nor embodied in words. His life and teachings are but studies for yet nobler ideals. LXXX. TEACHER

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