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Jonathan Edwards and the Enlightenment: Knowing the Presence of God Paperback – September 7, 2005
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In this learned and lively contribution to Edwards scholarship, Josh Moody seeks to account for the 'spark' in Edwards' career and to flesh out the 'organizing principle' of Edwards' ministry… This book goes a long way toward explaining why so many thinkers in our time continue to find the Edwards corpus so appealing. (Douglas A. Sweeney, Chair of Church History and the History of Christian Thought Department, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
This in-depth study succeeds in showing how the theology of Jonathan Edwards was much more a response to the Enlightenment than a product of the Enlightenment. The importance of Edwards' refusal to drive a wedge between the Christian Gospel, spiritual experience, and rational reflection is well brought out by Moody and interestingly related to our own contemporary situation in which the so-called Enlightenment project is widely held to have broken down. (Brian Hebblethwaite, Life Fellow of Queens' College, University of Cambridge)
Fascinating and provocative… This work adds significantly to our understanding of Jonathan Edwards and the Enlightenment. By situating his subject in current discourse on post-modernism, the author presents an Edwards as relevant to the 21st century as he was to his own times. The writing, moreover, is lucid and accessible. A must read for anyone interested in a usable Edwards for our time. (Harry S. Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History, Yale University)
In spite of the universally acknowledged brilliance of his philosophical writings, Jonathan Edwards has never been incorporated into the canon of modern philosophy. One of the reasons for this is the difficulty of situating Edwards' work within larger philosophical currents. In this study, Moody does an excellent job of beginning to redress the neglect, by both locating Edwards' thought and identifying his particular contribution to the philosophical tradition. (Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University)
Josh Moody offers a stimulating new understanding of Jonathan Edwards's relationship to the Enlightenment. He shows how Edwards engaged the Enlightenment's emphasis on reason, and creatively reinterpreted it in the light of revelation. Edwards still has much to offer the contemporary world where reason is once again under attack. (David M. Thompson, Reader in Modern Church History, University of Cambridge)
Moody writes lucidly, making this volume an enjoyable read...another strength is the author's ability to use both the published works of Edwards and the many unpublished manuscripts available at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and Yale University. Moody...leaves the reader with an appreciation of the abiding importance of Edwards for the contemporary church. (Michael McClenahan, Yale University The Journal Of Religion)
This book is a fine work that needs to be read by Edwards scholars and theologians who are interested in the potential that a redeemed form of modern thinking presents us today. Key to the book's strength is the way that Moody canvasses the literature on numerous topics in Edwards scholarship...all within a short span of pages....I highly recommend this work. (Southwestern Journal Of Theology)
Jonathan Edwards continues to attract the attention of excellent scholars who wish to sharpen their skills by scaling the heights of his Everest-like mind. Josh Moody, a Cambridge trained pastor-theologian who is the senior pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut, has written a fine work tackling a question that has intrigued scholars for some time: What is the relationship between Jonathan Edwards and the Enlightenment?...This book is a fine work that needs to be read by Edwardds scholars and theologians who are interested in the potential that a redeemed for of modern thinking presents us today....I highly recommend this work. (Robert W. Caldwell, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)
A stimulating portrait of Jonathan Edwards that presents him standing squarely within the context of the Enlightenment and carefully traces his critical and creative response to it. …a challenging, important contribution to the ever-expanding corpus of studies on Edwards. Summing Up: RECOMMENDED. (CHOICE)
An insightful, scholarly reflection, which blends reason, God-dependence, Reformed epistemology, and a 'warmed heart.' (E David Cook, A. F. Holmes Professor of Faith and Learning, Wheaton College and Fellow, Green College, Oxford)
About the Author
Dr. Josh Moody is Senior Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut and received his Ph.D. in historical theology from Cambridge University.