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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ah, Italy as the Transcendentalists saw it!

Looking for a lovely vacation next March? Why not tour Italy with a group of Unitarian Universalists and learn more about the Transcendentalists while you're there? The Rev. Jenny Rankin, one of the ministers at the First Parish in Concord, Mass. (where I once worked as high school youth programs director), is leading a ten-day expedition March 19 through 29, 2009. "Our itinerary includes Rome, Pienza and Florence, and is packed with visits to important classical sites such as the Pantheon, the Forum, the Vatican, Margaret Fuller's and Emerson's apartments in Rome, as well as visiting Theodore Parker's gravesite and the Brancacci Chapel in Florence." Ah! I've always wanted to see Italy in the spring. Maybe when Philo Jr is older.

There are still spots available on the tour. Learn more at the First Parish website.

Copyright © 2008 by Philocrites | Posted 30 July 2008 at 5:10 PM

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July 30, 2008 06:29 PM | Permalink for this comment

For the rest of us who might find $4200 a little steep:
you could get pizza fedexed to you from Emerson, NJ and check out Theodore Parker from your congregation's library :)


July 31, 2008 02:47 AM | Permalink for this comment

As a Unitaian based in Italy, I feel well-placed to throw in my penny's worth.

TBH I'm not sure who the Trancendetalists are (I'll Wiki in a moment) but I'm disappointed to see a lack of Unitarian-consciousness in the itinerary: why miss Ravenna? Here there is not only a 1500 year Arian cathedral but also crypt, and the Arians of course are our distant (but quite distinct) ancestors. Check out my post:

It's not rude, I promise!


July 31, 2008 05:41 AM | Permalink for this comment

Being a Transcendentalist-oriented rather than Unitarian-oriented visit to Italy, the places are well chosen (well, perhaps the Vatican is not a very Transcendentalist place). If the visit was Unitarian-focused, I would add to Unitalian's Ravena also Socinus's birthplace in the beautiful Siena, and an excursion to the Venice region, where the first Anti-trinitarian synod was held in the city of Vicenza in 1546.


July 31, 2008 08:20 AM | Permalink for this comment

Maybe the Vatican is on the itinerary to honor Orestes Brownson (1803-1876), the Universalist-turned-Unitarian-turned-Transcendentalist who scandalized Boston society by converting to Catholicism in 1844.

Then again, I'd visit the Vatican no matter what the theme of my Italian vacation was. ;)

h sofia:

July 31, 2008 02:24 PM | Permalink for this comment

Wow; that sounds like a great trip. $4200 does sound steep (when I traveled to Italy pre-Euro and pre-9/11, I spent $450 on my RT plane ticket and about $400 for everything else over a 10 day period), but times have changed, and Italy is probably not as cheap as it used to be. And I bet the travelers get their own rooms.

I didn't have any idea that there was anything in Italy to do with the Transcendentalists, so that's exciting. I think I'll have to take Martin's ideas into serious consideration.


July 31, 2008 02:33 PM | Permalink for this comment

It's worth noting that the good people of Concord aren't exactly budget travelers.


August 1, 2008 02:18 AM | Permalink for this comment

I wondered why I had never heard of transcendentalists - it appears to be a mainly American thing.

I wonder if it explains some of the differences between our churches (if there are any - I mean my London congregation is led by an American minister and seems pretty transcendental... and I've never worshipped in more rural parts).

On the other hand, Edgar Allan Poe was appparently not a fan, so I will reserve my judgement!

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