Nathaniel Taylor, New Haven Theology, and the Legacy of Jonathan Edwards

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Nathaniel Taylor was arguably the most influential and the most frequently misrepresented American theologian of his generation. While he claimed to be an Edwardsian Calvinist, very few people believed him. This book attempts to understand how Taylor and his associates could have counted themselves Edwardsians. In the process, it explores what it meant to be an Edwardsian minister and intellectual in the 19th century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This deeply researched book succeeds in repositioning Nathaniel William Taylor within the trajectory of Edwardsian theology and will surely become the starting point for anyone interested in its subject."—William & Mary Quarterly

"Theologically sophisticated and historically nuanced, this study offers to rescue Taylor from caricature and the historiographical periphery."—Religious Studies Review

"A remarkable amount of material is condensed, arranged, and argued in a brief compass, with a hundred pages devoted to notes that will provide numerous directions readers and scholars wishing to trace Edwards' disappearing influence a valuable contribution to the development of a tradition-history of American Protestant Theology."— Calvin Theological Journal

"A sure guide to the theology of New England."— The Journal of American History

"Sweeney focuses on Taylor's theology, which he knows inside-out and which he lays out in an articulate fashion...Taylor had a set of brains to marvel at, and Sweeney is at his best in explicating his vision. Sweeney also emphasizes, rightly, that Taylor thought of himself as carrying on the tradition of Edwards, and demonstrates at length not just the quality of Taylor's ideas but the way in which Taylor tried to think the tradition out of some of the troubles it had gotten itself into in its 75-year commentary on Edwards."—Books & Culture

"In his thoroughly researched and well-honed study, Douglas A. Sweeney offers a breathtaking and convincing revisionist approach to Taylor, New England Theology, and the fortunes of the Edwardsian tradition."—Westminster Theological Journal

"An intelligent and engaging book. Though written mostly for those with strong theological interests. Sweeney presents enough of the personal context to sustain a narrative."— Theology Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195154283
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/5/2002
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Trinity Evanglical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois
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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Pt. I Enculturation
1 Birth of a Theologian: The Early Life of Nathaniel Taylor 15
2 Coming of Age among the Edwardsians: Taylor's Religious Horizons 21
3 Taylor at the Reins of the "One-Hoss Shay": New Haven and the Edwardsian Theological Culture 46
Pt. II Recontextualization
4 "He Can If He Won't": The New Haven Doctrine of Original Sin 69
5 "The Comprehensive Theme of Revealed Theology": Taylor and the Moral Government of God 91
6 "To Make Himself a Holy Heart": Taylor and the Work of Regeneration 112
Pt. III Implications
7 The Decline and Fall of the Edwardsian Culture: Taylorites, Tylerites, and the Disintegration of New England Calvinism 129
8 Taylor's Edwardsian Legacy: New Haven and the Religious Culture of Evangelical America 144
Notes 155
Index 251
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