Rewalking Thoreau and asia: 'Light from the east' for 'a very yankee sort of oriental'

Philosophy East and West 57 (1):14-39 (2007)
Abstract
: Thoreau's engagement with and perspectives on the Orient are considered here. Within Thoreau's Hindu appropriations, the 'practical' importance for Thoreau of yogic practices is reemphasized. Thoreau's often-cited Buddhist links are questioned. Instead, it is Thoreau's explicit use of Confucian and Persian Sufi materials that deserve reemphasis, as do, in retrospect, some striking thematic convergences with Taoism. Thoreau's 'Light from the East' focuses on ethical and mystical techniques, infused with lessons from Nature for 'a very Yankee sort of Oriental.'
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