The Writings of Jonathan Edwards: Theme, Motif and Style

Overview

Puritan culture in many respects militated against artistic expression. Yet, like nature, art persisted, managing to gain a foothold in whatever crevices Puritan culture provided. Jonathan Edwards's artistry, evident in his deliberate experiments in the management of language, grew out of his duty as a minister to communicate his sermons effectively.

Emphasizing recurrent theological and artistic implications, The Writings of Jonathan Edwards focuses on the progressive ...

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Overview

Puritan culture in many respects militated against artistic expression. Yet, like nature, art persisted, managing to gain a foothold in whatever crevices Puritan culture provided. Jonathan Edwards's artistry, evident in his deliberate experiments in the management of language, grew out of his duty as a minister to communicate his sermons effectively.

Emphasizing recurrent theological and artistic implications, The Writings of Jonathan Edwards focuses on the progressive interiorization of Edwards's primary concerns. Underlying this development was Edwards's desire to resolve the question of whether he was one of God’s elect, and his search for genuine selfhood or identity resulted in autobiographical dimensions in many of his public writings. In his quest for true identity, Edwards aligned himself with Puritan orthodoxy, and his regard for tradition is a consistent theme in his work from his earliest notes to his last treatises. Within Puritan tradition Edwards perceived a collective self, a divinely ordained continuity and integrity immune to the vicissitudes of time.

Scheick’s study will appeal to scholars and students of American literature, history, and culture as well as to those with a special interest in the relation between art and theology. As an explication of Edwards's writings and of the development of his thought, the study will make Edwards more easily accessible to students of American literature.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585440924
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1975
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM J. SCHEICK is associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Will and the Word: The Poetry of Edward Taylor, and his essays have appeared in several scholarly journals in the field of American literature.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Chapter 1 Nature and the Mind: Early Writings 3
Chapter 2 Reason and Intuition: Early Sermons 17
Chapter 3 Parents and Children: Works of the Postrevival Period 40
Chapter 4 Affections and the Self: Writings during the Great Awakening 67
Chapter 5 Virtue and Identity: Last Works 112
Chapter 6 Pastor and Prophet: Conclusion 140
Works Cited 151
Index 155
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