Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards:

Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards: "The High Exercises of Divine Love"

by Ryan J. Martin


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This volume argues that the notion of “affections” discussed by Jonathan Edwards (and Christian theologians before him) means something very different from what contemporary English speakers now call “emotions.” and that Edwards's notions of affections came almost entirely from traditional Christian theology in general and the Reformed tradition in particular.
Ryan J. Martin demonstrates that Christian theologians for centuries emphasized affection for God, associated affections with the will, and distinguished affections from passions; generally explaining affections and passions to be inclinations and aversions of the soul. This was Edwards's own view, and he held it throughout his entire ministry. Martin further argues that Edwards's view came not as a result of his reading of John Locke, or the pressures of the Great Awakening (as many Edwardsean scholars argue), but from his own biblical interpretation and theological education. By analysing patristic, medieval and post-medieval thought and the journey of Edwards's psychology, Martin shows how, on their own terms, pre-modern Christians historically defined and described human psychology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780567682246
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 11/15/2018
Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Ryan J. Martin is Pastor of First Baptist Church of Granite Falls, MN, USA.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments x

Note on Text xii

The Yale University Press Edition of The Works of Jonathan Edwards xiii

List of Abbreviations xiv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Lost In Translation: The Problem of Edwards, Affections, And Emotions 3

The Problem of Jonathan Edwards and Affections 4

Emotions and Other Definitions 16

The Problem of Jonathan Edwards and Emotions 23

Chapter 2 Human Affections In Patristic And Medieval Theology 29

Patristic Thought 31

Medieval Thought 46

Chapter 3 Human Affections In Post-Medieval Thought 59

Reformation Figures 59

The Puritan Tradition and Early Enlightenment Moral Philosophy 66

Conclusion 88

Chapter 4 Young Jonathan Edwards's Education In Affections 91

Edwards's Educational Background 92

Jonathan Edwards and John Locke 96

Chapter 5 Jonathan Edwards's Early Psychology 111

"The Mind" 112

Personal Writings 118

Early Sermons and Revival Writings 137

A Faithful Narrative 146

Charity and Its Fruits 148

Conclusion 159

Chapter 6 Enthusiasm, Passions, And The Great Awakening Disputes Over The Role Of Affections In Religion 161

Historical Background 162

Charles Chauncy on the Place of Affections in Religion 164

Jonathan Edwards on the Affectionate Part of Man 171

Conclusion 194

Chapter 7 Affections And Christian Apology: The Later Psychology Of Jonathan Edwards 197

Historical Survey 198

Affections in the Later Years 201

Conclusion 229

Chapter 8 Toward A Theology Of Affections 233

Bibliography 239

Yale Works of Jonathan Edwards 239

Other Works by Jonathan Edwards 240

Other Primary Sources 241

Biography 246

Secondary Sources: Books and Dissertations 246

Secondary Sources: Journal Articles and Essays 255

Index 259

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