Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Whitman, Walt

  • Steven B. HerrmannEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9011

Walt Whitman is widely known as the father of American poetry, a radical abolitionist, sexual liberator, poet of the common people and democracy, and he has a remarkably positive perception of a strong creative global religion, which he called Spiritual Democracy. Many today probably share his criticisms of conventional religion and are seeking positive alternatives. Whitman’s shamanistic vision is an experiential contrast to the world’s major religions. This contribution is important, because it anticipates modernity. Whitman viewed his visions of democracy as equal to, not greater than, anyone else’s, since equality for him forms the basis of the religious democracy that he has faith in and hopes will help to develop the spirituality of the future. Whitman’s visions of Spiritual Democracy include therefore all religions. One of the ways he accomplished this was through his access to shamanism, which is deeply archaic, thus deep in the collective soul, and powerful. At the age of...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Herrmann, S. (2009). William Everson: The shaman’s call. New York: Eloquent Books.Google Scholar
  2. Herrmann, S. (2010). Walt Whitman: Shamanism, spiritual democracy, and the world soul. Durham: Eloquent Books.Google Scholar
  3. Whitman, W. (1982). Walt Whitman: Complete poetry and collected prose. New York: Library of America.Google Scholar
  4. Whitman, W. (1984). Notebooks and unpublished prose manuscripts. In E. F. Grier (Ed.), The collected writings of Walt Whitman (Vol. 6). New York: NYU Press.Google Scholar
  5. Whitman, W. (1992). Leaves of grass. New York: Library of America/Vintage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OaklandUSA