Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Some of our books

From our reprint series ...

Edwards On The Will
Allen C.Guelzo
Regular price: $30.00Sale price: $28.00

Jonathan Edwards towered over his contemporaries-a man over six feet tall and a figure of theological stature-but the reasons for his power have been a matter of dispute. Edwards on the Will offers a persuasive explanation. In 1753, after seven years of personal trials, which included dismissal from his Northampton church, Edwards submitted a treatise, Freedom of the Will, to Boston publishers. Its impact on Puritan society was profound. He had refused to be trapped either by a new Arminian scheme that seemed to make God impotent or by a Hobbesian natural determinism that made morality an illusion. He both reasserted the primacy of God's will and sought to reconcile freedom with necessity. In the process he shifted the focus from the community of duty to the freedom of the individual. 

Edwards died of smallpox in 1758 soon after becoming president of Princeton; as one obituary said, he was "a most rational . . . and exemplary Christian." Thereafter, for a century or more, all discussion of free will and on the church as an enclave of the pure in an impure society had to begin with Edwards. His disciples, the "New Divinity" men-principally Samuel Hopkins of Great Barrington and Joseph Bellamy of Bethlehem, Connecticut-set out to defend his thought. Ezra Stiles, president of Yale, tried to keep his influence off the Yale Corporation, but Edwards's ideas spread beyond New Haven and sparked the religious revivals of the next decades. In the end, old Calvinism returned to Yale in the form of Nathaniel William Taylor, the Boston Unitarians captures Harvard, and Edwards's troublesome ghost was laid to rest. The debate on human freedom versus necessity continued, but theologians no longer controlled it. In Edwards on the Will, Guelzo presents with clarity and force the story of these fascinating maneuverings for the soul of New England and of the emerging nation.

"Allen Guelzo writes with grace, charm, and even wit about a weighty subject that others have found forbidding. His scholarship is broad and his expositions lucid."
Daniel Walker Howe, University of California at Los Angeles

"Edwards on the Will is an important contribution to the study of Jonathan Edwards's thought. Where earlier scholars have been largely preoccupied with Edwards's 'modernity' or with measuring the social effect of Edwards in the context of the American Revolution, Allen Guelzo demonstrates his intellectual 'legacy' not only to the generation of the Revolution but also beyond. This work will stand as the definitive treatment of the legacy of Edwards's classic treatise on Freedom of the Will."
Harry Stout, Yale University

"This book elevates the study of eighteenth-century New England theology to a new level of sophistication and insight. With a precise, fresh, and lively literary style, Guelzo makes old controversies come alive for a twentieth-century reader. This is intellectual history at its best-learned, animated, and compelling. It is one of the finest studies of theology in America ever written."
E. Brooks Holifield, Emory University

"By tracing the development of one central point of Edwards's doctrine, Guelzo allows us to see the unfolding of the entire history of the Edwardsean school, and, by implication, of American theology, in the period between 1750-1830. This book is a major work of scholarship-thorough, enlightening, intellectually uncompromising."
Philip F. Gura, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

The JE experience at Yale

Summer Course June 9 - 13, 2008 The World of Jonathan Edwards


The staff of the Jonathan Edwards Center will present a week-long summer course at the Yale Divinity School examining the life, thought, and legacies of Jonathan Edwards, one of the great theologians in the Christian tradition and one of the most significant figures in American religious history.

The classroom portion of the course will feature lectures and discussions of common readings. There will be ample time allowed for questions and dialogue. Common readings will include selections from printed collections of Edwards’s writings and secondary sources. Also, the course will be integrated with the use of materials located in The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online.

Special features of the course will be a viewing of Edwards’s manuscripts at Yale’s Beinecke Library, and a day-long tour of sites in the Connecticut River Valley relating to Edwards and the Great Awakening. These sites include East Windsor (Edwards’s birthplace) and Enfield, Connecticut (where he preached Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God), and Northampton and Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the towns where he ministered for most of his career.

Instructors: Kenneth P. Minkema, Adriaan C. Neele, Yale University
Caleb J.D. Maskell, Princeton University


Monday, 9-11:30
The Post-Reformation Era, Puritanism, and the Young Edwards
JE Reader, “Spider Letter,” “Of Being,” “Beauty of the World,” “The Mind,” “Diary,” “Resolutions,” “Apostrophe to Sarah Pierpont”
Online: A Biographical Sketch, edwards.yale.edu/about-edwards/biography

Tuesday, 9-11:30
Edwards the Theologian
JE Reader, “A History of the Work of Redemption,” “Sinners in the hands of an angry God,” “Freedom of the Will,” “Original Sin,” “Nature of True Virtue”
Online: Edwards as Theologian, edwards.yale.edu/about-edwards/theologian

Wednesday, 9-11:30
The Great Awakening
JE Reader, “Faithful Narrative,” “Religious Affections,” “Personal Narrative”
Stephen Stein, ed., Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Edwards, essays by Kimnach and Stout
Online: JEC Exhibit, “Billy Graham Preaches ‘Sinners,’” edwards.yale.edu/graham.

Edwards’s Manuscripts at Beinecke Library

Thursday, 9-11:30
Edwards’s American and Global Legacies
Douglas Sweeney and Allen Guelzo, eds., The New England Theology: From Edwards to Edwards Amasa Park (divide readings among class)
Online: Edwards’s Legacies, edwards.yale.edu/about-edwards/legacy

Friday, 8-4
A Tour of Edwards and Great Awakening Sites

REGISTER NOW http://www.yale.edu/sdqsummerterm/

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reviews of the Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Edwards

The Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Edwards, Stephen J. Stein ( ed.), Cambridge University Press, 2007 ( ISBN 978-0-521-61805-2), xix+ 342 pp., pb $ 27.99

Mary Coleman of Hartford Seminary writes:

"Stephen J. Stein has done an excellent job of gathering sixteen outstanding essays related to the life and work of Jonathan Edwards. This collection is a very helpful introduction to the current state of scholarship regarding Edwards as well as serving as a wide-ranging review of the developments in that tradition. The individual essays contributed by the three generations of scholars represented in this book go a long way toward orienting any student of Jonathan Edwards to the complexity of the issues involved in any consideration of Edwards's impact on American religious life. The book is a part of the most helpful, many volumed, Cambridge University Companion series."

review in Reviews in Religion & Theology Volume 15 Issue 2 Page 250-251, March 2008

Writing as a history teacher John Fea (Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania) says (History Teacher, Nov 2007, Volume 41, Issue 1), ' Stephen J Stein has gathered an impressive group of scholars ... to provide an excellent overview of Edwards's life and thought. Stein's collection will quickly become the standard introduction to this influential eighteenth-century figure. It should find a place on the bookshelf of anyone who teaches early American history.'

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