Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Michael McClymond reviews Avihu Zakai's Jonathan Edwards's Philosophy of History here in PDF and here in HTML. The book is also featured by the publisher here. The reviewer is a well-regarded scholar and the review is, for want of a better expression, robust.

Here are a few lines from the review:

'Jonathan Edwards's Philosophy of History is a disappointing book that offers little beyond the existing studies of its topic in book chapters, articles, and dissertations. It is most convincing where least original and least convincing where most original as, especially, in its assertion of Edwards's theologia gloriae. In repudiating what he calls "a particularistic center in history" (p. 254), Zakai dissolves the particularities of Edwards's perspective. Redemptive history loses its sense of drama and becomes predictable. Edwards's intellectual biography receives scant attention. This reader would have liked to know how the euphoria of the Great Awakening and the later disappointments molded Edwards's thinking on hope and history. Edwards was, if nothing else, a complex thinker, and yet the complexity of his thought is not in evidence here. Jonathan Edwards's philosophy of history is still in need of a book-length monograph.'


Anonymous caleb maskell said...

McClymond's review is pretty crushing. While there is no doubt that Zakai's book is problematic on many levels, I have to say that I was glad that he took a crack at the issue.

7:31 pm  
Blogger Michael McClenahan said...

I wonder has anyone read the German thesis that McClymond cites. Have to admit (post-Phd and all) I had never heard of it! And don't recall ever seeing it cited.

How does one go about getting a copy of a German Phd thesis?

Any ideas?

9:02 pm  
Blogger Michael McClenahan said...

And if it is useful shouldn't it be translated and published in the language of JE ?

9:03 pm  
Blogger Bill Schweitzer said...


The links to McClymond's review seem not to be working, and the JSTOR full-text link is restricted by Chicago. I was forced therefore to (!) find the hardcopy journal downstairs. Incidently, I am currently writing a chapter on JE's view of the revelatory content of history as part of my project of JE's doctrine of revelation.

4:44 pm  

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