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Jonathan Edwards Studies
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
     ISSN (Print) 2159-6875
     Published by Yale University Homepage  [8 journals]
  • Preface

    • Authors: Joel Burnell
      Abstract: This special issue, Volume 4, No. 2 (2014) of the Jonathan Edwards Studies Online Journal, include papers that were among those presented in June 2011 at the International Jonathan Edwards Conference, held in Wroclaw, Poland at the Evangelical School of Theology (EST). The Conference, organized by the Jonathan Edwards Center Poland gathered scholars from four continents and eight countries, representing 15 universities and 6 international Jonathan Edwards Centers.
      Issue No: Vol. 4
       
  • DIVINE KNOWLEDGE AT HARVARD AND YALE: FROM WILLIAM AMES TO JONATHAN
           EDWARDS

    • Authors: Philip J Fisk
      Abstract: This essay makes the case that a significant shift occurred in the conception of the doctrine of divine knowledge and freedom, in the line from William Ames (1576-1633), traced through Van Mastricht, Heereboord, and Morton, to Edwards, marked by a neglect, intentional or otherwise, of technical terms used by post-Reformation scholastic authors. The study begins with the exchange of arguments in Ames’s Scholastic reply to the Remonstrant Nicolaus Grevinchovius (1615) and the latter’s Theological treatise (1615). The essay also examines a manuscript copy of Charles Morton’s “Pneumaticks,” and claims that the evidence from the flyleaf shows that this student notebook came into the possession of Elisha Williams, Edwards’s tutor at Wethersfield. Moreover, evidence shows that the text is a translation of Heereboord’s “Pneumatics” and that a few crucial passages have been mistranslated, evidencing the shift that occurred in the understanding and use of technical terms. The essay will then examine the use and development by Van Mastricht and Edwards, in the latter’s Freedom of Will, of the well-known formula of Boethius (480-524) regarding the unchanging ever-presentness of God, as well as Edwards’s (1743) “Controversies” Notebook (WJE Online Vol. 27), on “Predestination.”  Finally, select Harvard and Yale commencement broadside theses and quaestiones show the influence of Ames and that technical distinctions on structured conceptual planes of divine knowledge were being made in the schools, which are necessary to understanding the Reformed doctrine of divine freedom. It appears that Edwards, however, rested his published arguments on Boethius’s single conceptual plane of divine knowledge rather than appropriating a post-Reformation development of a twofold conceptual scheme.
      Issue No: Vol. 4
       
  • STUDYING THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN PROTESTANTISM THROUGH JONATHAN EDWARDS:
           VERSIONS OF “AMERICA’S THEOLOGICAN” AT MID-CENTURY

    • Authors: Jan Stievermann
      Abstract: Primarily geared toward a European audience, this essay seeks to create an awareness of the significant potential of Edwards’s national and international reception histories as an interpretative lens for studying the diverse traditions and trajectories of American Protestantism. As an example, the essay revisits the beginnings of what is often called the “Edwards Renaissance” from the 1930s to the 1950s to demonstrate how much we can learn about these important decades in the religious and cultural history of the United States by examining closely the different appropriations of Edwards. The focus is on three major interpretative communities essential to the theological recovery of Edwards: the movement of neoorthodoxy, represented by H. Richard Niebuhr, the popular mainstream of the neoevangelical movement as embodied by Billy Graham, and the kind of “neoconfessional” evangelicalism advocated by John H. Gerstner.
      Issue No: Vol. 4
       
  • A RETRIEVAL OF JONATHAN EDWARDS’S CONCEPT OF FREE WILL: THE
           RELEVANCE FOR NEUROSCIENCE

    • Authors: Willem van Vlastuin
      Abstract: The tendency in modern neuroscience is to deny free will, due to a deterministic understanding of reality. The consequence of the denial of free will is also the denial of responsibility, morality and accountability. Jonathan Edwards understood reality also in a deterministic way, but he defended free will. This makes his concept very interesting for the current debate. In the essay about the “Retrieval of Edwards' Concept of Free Will.” the relevance for today is investigated as an interdisciplinary attempt between theology, philosophy and neuroscience.
      Issue No: Vol. 4
       
  • A COGNITIVE APPROACH TO THE HERMENEUTICS OF JONATHAN EDWARDS’S
           SERMONS

    • Authors: Michał Choiński
      Abstract: The author of the article employs cognitive poetics to investigate the language of Jonathan Edwards's sermons. The cognitive methodology seems particularly useful in the analysis of Edwards's preaching rhetoric because on the one hand,  it puts emphasis on various stylistic mechanisms employed in the sermon, and, on the other hand, it stresses the role of context, thus helping in understanding the process of their reception. The author presents cognitive analyses of two sermons by Edwards: Future Punishment of the Wicked and Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God - in case of the former text, the imagery of the sermon is the focus of the study, in case of the latter, the emphasis is placed on the deictic shift mechanism.
      Issue No: Vol. 4
       
  • “SINGLY, PARTICULARLY, CLOSELY”: EDWARDS AS MENTOR

    • Authors: Rhys Bezzant
      Abstract: Appreciation of Jonathan Edwards's labours as a pastor has grown in recent years with the publication of many formerly unknown sermons. It is the intention of this paper to show the ways in which some of his own significant mentoring relationships contributed to his achievements in pastoral ministry. By examining Puritan assumptions of faith transmission, early biographies of Edwards, and his letters, we open a window into the world of ministry training and educational philosophy, which guided his intentional investment in the next generation of clerical leadership. Developments in the art and rationale of letter writing serve as a focus to understand Edwards’s own epistolary output, and function as a way of locating the distinctives of nascent evangelicalism. The paper concludes with reflection on Biblical themes in Edwards’s ministry, which encourage contemporary mentoring ministry.
      Issue No: Vol. 4
       
  • JONATHAN EDWARDS MEETS DIETRICH BONHOEFFER: TRUE RELIGION OR NON-RELIGIOUS
           CHRISTIANITY?

    • Authors: Joel Burnell
      Abstract: It seems that Jonathan Edwards and Dietrich Bonhoeffer are on opposite ends of the religious spectrum. But is that really the case? This article explores how Edwards’ Religious Affections might fare when subjected to a Bonhoefferian critique of religion, and compares his views on true religion to Bonhoeffer’s proposal for non-religious Christianity. Do they complement or contradict each other? A discussion of Edwards’ views on true religion and Bonhoeffer’s seminal ideas on the future of non-religious Christianity leads to examining three crucial areas of comparison: public vis-à-vis ecclesial theology; regeneration vis-à-vis “God’s righteousness and kingdom on earth”; and “Holy practice” vis-à-vis “prayer and doing justice among human beings”. Despite obvious differences in their historical time, traditions, and terminology, Edwards’ and Bonhoeffer’s respective views and practice of following Jesus, summarized for convenience under the phrases “true religion” and “non-religious Christianity, share much in common.
      Issue No: Vol. 4
       
 
 
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