The Theology of Jonathan Edwards


Winner of the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award for Theology / Ethics

Scholars and laypersons alike regard Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) as North America's greatest theologian. The Theology of Jonathan Edwards is the most comprehensive survey of his theology yet produced and the first study to make full use of the recently-completed seventy-three-volume online edition of the Works of Jonathan Edwards. The book's forty-five chapters examine all major aspects of Edwards's thought ...

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The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

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Winner of the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award for Theology / Ethics

Scholars and laypersons alike regard Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) as North America's greatest theologian. The Theology of Jonathan Edwards is the most comprehensive survey of his theology yet produced and the first study to make full use of the recently-completed seventy-three-volume online edition of the Works of Jonathan Edwards. The book's forty-five chapters examine all major aspects of Edwards's thought and include in-depth discussions of the extensive secondary literature on Edwards as well as Edwards's own writings. Its opening chapters set out Edwards's historical and personal theological contexts. The next thirty chapters connect Edwards's theological loci in the temporally-ordered way in which he conceptualized the theological enterprise-beginning with the triune God in eternity with his angels to the history of redemption as an expression of God's inner reality ad extra, and then back to God in eschatological glory.

The authors analyze such themes as aesthetics, metaphysics, typology, history of redemption, revival, and true virtue. They also take up such rarely-explored topics as Edwards's missiology, treatment of heaven and angels, sacramental thought, public theology, and views of non-Christian religions. Running throughout the volume are what the authors identify as five basic theological constituents: trinitarian communication, creaturely participation, necessitarian dispositionalism, divine priority, and harmonious constitutionalism. Later chapters trace his influence on and connections with later theologies and philosophies in America and Europe. The result is a multi-layered analysis that treats Edwards as a theologian for the twenty-first-century global Christian community, and a bridge between the Christian West and East, Protestantism and Catholicism, conservatism and liberalism, and charismatic and non-charismatic churches.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An invitation to sample the profundity and versatility of America's greatest theologian--the sources from which he drew, the theologians from whom he diverged, and the creative theological solutions he proposed. There is never a 'last word,' of course, but at certain points in time indispensable resources appear. The Theology of Jonathan Edwards is one of them." --Church History

"A truly impressive work. It is remarkable to find a comprehensive and insightful guide to all of Edwards's theology in one place and in a volume that is a pleasure to read."
--George Marsden, author of Jonathan Edwards: A Life

"Comprehensive, learned, and accessible--unquestionably the best starting place for anyone wanting to grapple with the ideas of America's greatest theologian."
--Alister E. McGrath, Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education, King's College, London

"Scholarship on Jonathan Edwards has in recent years risen to a great flood. Yet despite heightened interest, there have been very few efforts to treat Edwards' formidable theology as a whole. With this book Michael McClymond and Gerald McDermott meet that pressing need and meet it very well. The book is clear, comprehensive, balanced, nuanced, and authoritative--in a word, a splendid volume about one of the truly great thinkers in all of American history."
--Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

"Jonathan Edwards is not just an American theologian but a man who has profoundly influenced thinking about doctrinal questions and revival practice all over the world. This volume offers a series of forty-five short chapters that together provide a comprehensive account of his convictions and legacy down to contemporary appreciation of his thought. Edwards emerges as one of the most creative theologians the universal church has ever produced."
--David Bebbington, Professor of History, University of Stirling

"With interest in Jonathan Edwards at an unprecedented high around the world, The Theology of Jonathan Edwards is a truly useful and unmatched digest of his times, thought, and influence. Edwards is one of the most-written about religious figures of the eighteenth-century, and with such a mountain of literature to navigate, this volume provides the single best entry point into Edwards' writings and ideas for the specialist and general reader alike."
--Kenneth P. Minkema, Executive Editor and Director of the Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale University

"Draws on the recently completed 73-volume edition of the writings of the American theologian (1703-58)."--The Chronicle Review

"Informative and illuminating...this volume is absolutely necessary for any future scholarly work on Edwards...Essential."--CHOICE

"An engaging analysis of Edwards' thought filled with valuable historical observations and careful explanation of Edwards' theology. It would be hard to imagine a better introduction written for both specialist and non-specialist interested in Edwards' spirituality and profound insights on Scripture than McCylmond and McDermott's outstanding contribution."--The Banner of Truth

"This is indeed a definitive and comprehensive compendium of Edwards's theology...The excellent tandem of McClymond and McDermott has produced a standard and indispensable reading...I finish writing writing this review with the sweet and happy music still ringing in my ears."--Evangelical Studies Bulletin

"McDermott and McClymond have done a great service for scholars and laypeople interested in Edwards by writing forty-five chapters in which they have provided syntheses of various aspects to Edwards's life, thought, and legacy." --Exploring the Study of Religious History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199791606
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/16/2011
  • Pages: 784
  • Sales rank: 1,031,193
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 2.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. McClymond is Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University.

Gerald R. McDermott is Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion at Roanoke College.

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Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction: Historical, Cultural, and Social Contexts
Chapter One: Overture to a Symphony
Chapter Two: Jonathan Edwards: A Theological Life
Chapter Three: Edwards's Intellectual Context
Chapter Four: Edwards's Spirituality
Chapter Five: The Question of Development: Did Edwards Change?
Part Two: Topics in Edwards's Theology
Section One: Methods and Strategies
Chapter Six: Beauty and Aesthetics
Chapter Seven: Metaphysics
Chapter Eight: Typology: Scripture, Nature, and All of Reality
Chapter Nine: Revelation: Scripture, Tradition, and Reason
Chapter Ten: Apologetics
Chapter Eleven: Biblical Exegesis
Chapter Twelve: The Concept of a History of Redemption
Section Two: The Triune God, the Angels, and Heaven
Chapter Thirteen: God as Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit
Chapter Fourteen: The End of God in Creation
Chapter Fifteen: Providence and History
Chapter Sixteen: The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
Chapter Seventeen: The Role of the Holy Spirit
Chapter Eighteen: The Angels in the Plan of Salvation
Chapter Nineteen: Heaven is a World of Love
Section Three: Theological Anthropology and Divine Grace
Chapter Twenty: The Affections and the Human Person
Chapter Twenty-one: Edward's Calvinism and Theology of the Covenants
Chapter Twenty-two: Free Will and Original Sin
Chapter Twenty-three: Salvation, Grace, and Faith: An Overview
Chapter Twenty-four: Conversion: A Divine and Supernatural Light
Chapter Twenty-five: Justification and Sanctification
Chapter Twenty-six: The Theme of Divinization
Chapter Twenty-seven: The Theology of Revivals
Section Four: Church, Ethics, Eschatology, and Society
Chapter Twenty-eight: The Church
Chapter Twenty-nine: Edwards On (and In) the Ministry
Chapter Thirty: The Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord's Supper
Chapter Thirty-one: The Voice of the Great God: A Theology of Preaching
Chapter Thirty-two: Public Theology, Society, and America
Chapter Thirty-three: True Virtue, Christian Love, and Ethical Theory
Chapter Thirty-four: Edwards On (and In) Missions
Chapter Thirty-five: Eschatology
Chapter Thirty-six: Christianity and Other Religions
Part Three: Legacies and Affinities: Edwards's Disciples and Interpreters
Chapter Thirty-seven: Selective Readings: Edwards and the New Divinity
Chapter Thirty-eight: Mixed Reactions: Princeton and Andover Seminaries, and Nineteenth-Century American Culture
Chapter Thirty-nine: New Beginnings: The Twentieth Century Recovery of Edwards's Theology
Chapter Forty: Interpretations, I: Edwards and Modern Philosophy
Chapter Forty-one: Interpretations, II: Edwards and the Reformed Tradition
Chapter Forty-two: Interpretations, III: Edwards and the Revival Tradition
Chapter Forty-three: Interpretations, IV: Edwards and the Catholic and Orthodox Traditions
Chapter Forty-four: Interpretations, V: Edwards and Contemporary Theology
Chapter Forty-five: Conclusion: Edwards as a Theological Bridge

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