Cover image for The great awakening: A faithful narrative. The distinguishing marks. Some thoughts concerning The revival, letters relating to The revival.
Title:
The great awakening: A faithful narrative. The distinguishing marks. Some thoughts concerning The revival, letters relating to The revival.
Author:
Edwards, Jonathan, 1703-1758.
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, 1972.
Physical Description:
ix, 595 pages ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780300014372
Format :
Book

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Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library BX7117 .E3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

Interpreting the Great Awakening of the eighteenth century was in large part the work of Jonathan Edwards; whose writings on the subject defined the revival tradition in America. Moving from sensitive descriptions of "the Surprising work of God" in conversion to a consuming quest for the essence of true religion, and threading his way through mounting controversies over "errors in doctrine and disorders in practice," Edwards sought to locate an authentic core of evangelical experience, to define it in terms of biblical faith and psychological insight, and to defend it against both overheated zealous and rationalistic critics. The tracts that unfold his thoughts, presented here (with related correspondence ) for the first time in accurate critical texts, document a movement so significant for the American character that it has been called "our national conversion."
In a carefully researched introduction, C.C. Goen identifies the "Arminian threat" to which the Northampton pastor responded at the onset of the Awakening, and traces Edwards' understanding of vital religion as it developed in the ambiguous context of revivalism. Mr. Goen's study also illuminates little-known aspects of A Faithful Narrative and describes the haphazard way in which that important work reached its eager audience.
C.C. Goen, author of Revivalism and Separatism in New England, 1740-1800 (1962) , is professor of church history at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.


Author Notes

In 1716 Edwards was admitted to Yale at the remarkable age of thirteen. After he graduated in 1722, he spent four years there pursuing theological interests, teaching, and completing his master's degree. In 1727 ,Edwards complied with his grandfather's request and traveled to Northhampton, Massachusetts to be his assistant in his church.

A committed scholar of John Calvin and the early Puritan theologians, as well as of the writings of John Locke and Isaac Newton, Edwards pursued a theology founded on two seemingly contradictory themes---a desire to return to the Calvinist tradition, as well as a desire to include the insights of contemporary Enlightenment philosophy. While Edwards's theological formulations were not completely developed until the 1750s, his lifetime pursuit of these ideas profoundly influenced the Puritan period of religious revival known as the Great Awakening. Though Edwards's provocative theology and sermons occasionally invoked fire and brimstone, as in the famous Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1741), his sermons generally moved parishioners to faith through the employment of positive imagery, as in God Glorified in Man's Dependence (1731).

In spite of his successes during the Great Awakening, Edwards was ultimately involved in a controversy that led to his dismissal at the Northhampton parish in 1750. Viewed as too progressive by a faction of the church known as the Old Lights, Edwards stepped down after delivering his famous Farewell Sermon (1750), in which he declared that God would ultimately determine whether Edwards had been right or wrong

(Bowker Author Biography)


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