Jonathan Edwards's Philosophy of History: The Reenchantment of the World in the Age of Enlightenment

Overview

"This book places important themes from the theology of Jonathan Edwards in the context of the Enlightenment. An intellectual history, it makes a bold case that Edwards was not primarily a provincial social figure nor an American literary figure, but a European philosophical figure whose context was the great international movement of modern thought."—Mark Valeri, Union Theological Seminary, Virginia

"What most impresses me about this erudite and well-researched book is the deep contextualization of Edwards's ...

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Jonathan Edwards's Philosophy of History: The Reenchantment of the World in the Age of Enlightenment

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Overview

"This book places important themes from the theology of Jonathan Edwards in the context of the Enlightenment. An intellectual history, it makes a bold case that Edwards was not primarily a provincial social figure nor an American literary figure, but a European philosophical figure whose context was the great international movement of modern thought."—Mark Valeri, Union Theological Seminary, Virginia

"What most impresses me about this erudite and well-researched book is the deep contextualization of Edwards's philosophy of history within the intellectual world of the Enlightenment. This is a very learned piece of scholarship, and several features set this study apart from other major accounts of Edwards."—Stephen J. Stein, Chancellor's Professor, Indiana University

"A signal contribution in the ongoing rehabilitation of colonial America's greatest mind."—David W. Kling, American Historical Review

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Editorial Reviews

The Weekly Standard
Perhaps the most remarkable contributor to [the] recent explosion of interest in Edwards is the Israeli historian Avihu Zakai.
— Gerald McDermott
The Weekly Standard - Gerald McDermott
Perhaps the most remarkable contributor to [the] recent explosion of interest in Edwards is the Israeli historian Avihu Zakai.
From the Publisher
"Perhaps the most remarkable contributor to [the] recent explosion of interest in Edwards is the Israeli historian Avihu Zakai."—Gerald McDermott, The Weekly Standard
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691144306
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/6/2009
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Avihu Zakai is Professor of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of "Exile and Kingdom Theocracy" in Massachusetts", and "Europe and the New World".
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations xi
Preface xiii
Introduction
The American Augustine 1

EDWARDS'S LIFE OF THE MIND
One: A Short Intellectual Biography 29
Early Life ,Education, and Works 30
Early Career and Studies 35
Northampton Pastorate 37
The Great Awakening 41
Life and Works at Stockbridge 45

THE SOUL
Two: Young Man Edwards: Religious Conversion and Theologia Gloriae 51
Constructing the Self: Edwards's Conversion Moment 53
Conversion as an Existential Religious Experience 58
Edwards's Experience of Conversion 60
The Morphology of Edwards's Conversion 66
Conversion and the Development of Edwards's Theological and Philosophical Thought 74

SPACE
Three: Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning: Edwards and the Reenchantment of the World 85
The Scientific Revolution's Disenchantment of the World 92
Atomic Doctrine 96
The Mechanization of Nature and the World 101
The Laws of Nature 103
God and the World 108
The Nature of the Created Order 113
The Poverty of the Mechanistic Interpretation 116
Edwards and the Reenchantment of the World 118
Disenchantment of the World, Eighteenth-Century Imagination, and the Protestant Evangelical Awakening 120

TIME
Four: The Ideological Origins of Edwards's Philosophy of History 131
The Disenchantment of the World and the Reenchantment of the Soul 133
Constructing the Order of Time 138
Homogeneous Time, Empty Time, and "Redeeming the Time" 143
History, Ideology, and Redemption 150
Edwards's Poetics of History 155
Ecclesiastical History as a Mode of Christian Historical Thought 163
The Protestant and Puritan Ideology of History 168
Edwards as an Ecclesiastical Historian 174

Five: God's Great Design in History: The Formation of Edwards's Redemptive Mode of Historical Thought 182
The Quest for God's Absolute Sovereignty in the Order of Time 187
The Formation of the Redemptive Mode of Historical Thought: The Early Miscellanies 191
The Work of Redemption and the Work of Conversion 197
God's Great Design in History 200
Conversion, Revival, and Redemption—The "Little Revival," 1734-735 205
The Work of Redemption and God's Self-Glorification 210
The Work of Redemption as the "Great End and Drift of all Gods Works" 213

Six: Edwards's Philosophy of History: The History of the Work of Redemption 221
Sacred History and Historia Humana 226
The History of the Work of Redemption 234
The Redemptive Mode of Historical Thought 239
Revival as the Manifestation of Divine Agency in the Order of History 247
The Theological and Teleological Structure Inherent in the Redemptive Process 255

Seven: "Chariots of Salvation": The Apocalypse and Eschatology of the Great Awakening 272
Rhetoric and History in the Great Awakening 276
The Eschatology of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God 280
"The Glory of the Approaching Happy State of the Church": The Distinguishing Marks 289
The "Glorious Work of God" which "Shall Renew the World of Mankind": Some Thoughts Concerning the Revival 294

ETHICS
Eight: Edwards and the Enlightenment Debate on Moral Philosophy 307
The Enlightenment Disenchantment of the World of Ethics and Morals 312
Edwards and the British School of Moral Sense 319
Epilogue: Edwards and American Protestant Tradition 325
Index 337

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