Cover image for Apocalyptic writings
Title:
Apocalyptic writings
Author:
Edwards, Jonathan, 1703-1758.
Uniform Title:
Notes on the apocalypse
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, 1977.
Physical Description:
x, 501 pages ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Contents:
Notes on the apocalypse.--An humble attempt.
ISBN:
9780300019452
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

This edition presents the first text of Jonathan Edwards' private commentary on the book of Revelation. Written over a period of thirty-five years, Edwards' notebook reveals his lifelong fascination with apocalyptic speculation (including its bizarre aspects) and his persistent conviction concerning the usefulness of the visions in the life of the Christian church.
In this volume is also published the first complete edition (since the eighteenth century) of the Humble Attempt (1748)--the call for united prayer that was Edwards' response to the decline in religious fervor after the Great Awakening. In his Introduction and commentary, Stephen J. Stein examines the development of Edwards' apocalyptic interests in the light of the situation in the eighteenth century, showing also how Edwards' private judgments on the book of Revelation affected his personal and theological activity. Together the texts and the Introduction illuminate a hitherto inadequately explored facet of Edwards' religious thought.
With this volume, the Yale edition of the Works of Jonathan Edwards inaugurates the publication of Edwards' major manuscripts. Here, and in subsequent volumes, the massive body of Edwards' manuscripts materials (including letter, sermons, and Miscellanies) will be made available for the first time.
Stephen J. Stein is associate professor of religious studies at Indiana University.


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)