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A Jonathan Edwards Reader (Yale Nota Bene) Paperback – March 11, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jonathan Edwards remains unequaled among North American theologians. These selections exemplify his special traits: eloquence, knowledge of the human heart, and metaphysical passion for complex beauty in nature, God, and Being-in-general."

"Selections ... representative of both the public and the private Edwards ... give readers a nuanced introduction to Edwards and his time as well as an accessible entree to the whole body of his work."

"The most comprehensive one-volume Edwards anthology ever assembled."

"Selections . . . representative of both the public and the private Edwards . . . give readers a nuanced introduction to Edwards and his time as well as an accessible entree to the whole body of his work."

About the Author

Jonathan Edwards was a Colonial New England minister

Harry S. Stout is Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History at Yale University and the author of "The New England Soul," His awards include an N.E.H. Research Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Kenneth P. Minkema (PhD, University of Connecticut) is the executive editor of "The Works of Jonathan Edwards" and of the Jonathan Edwards Center and Online Archive at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Series: Yale Nota Bene
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Revised ed. edition (March 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300098383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300098389
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book contains excellent choices from the writings of Jonathan Edwards, the first great philosopher in the American colonies, including some of his earliest writings, mostly just philosophical or biological musings. It reflects some interesting developments in the maturation of his thinking. It also has letters to friends, colleagues, and family members. Some of his most well-known sermons are alongside some representative samples of his sermons. Unfortunately, there is room for only excerpts from his longer works, such as The Religious Affections, but that can't be helped in an affordable popular anthology. If you want all of his works, but the complete works from the same publisher. If you just want a representative sample of some of the best works of this great theologian and philosopher, get this.
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Format: Paperback
This was the required primary text reading for a class on Edwards. When it was all said and done, I was very disappointed. There is a wide selection of Edwards' works in this volume--sermons, letters, essays and treatises. It was helpful to be able to read parts from so many of these works. Edwards' writings can be quite varied, and this volume really allows the reader to see the difference in his writings.

But......

The editorial process on each work is rough. Admittedly, several of the works are quite lengthy in their full text, and you would just need to buy the two volume version of Edwards' works (and a magnifying glass) if you wanted the full texts. However, some of these texts are cut so short that you don't really get a feel for Edwards' real argument. I'm specifically thinking about his treatise on Original Sin, where you only get some of his natural arguments, and little (if any) of his biblical and theological arguments. The same could be said about the treatise on Free Will. This is unfortunate, as it makes Edwards look to be more of a philosopher and less of a theologian. Edwards was clearly both.

The editors had no choice but to chop Edwards' works into small pieces for this volume. However, it would have been nice to see the multifaceted nature of his arguments, instead of being left with a few odd ramblings.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a permanent fixture on my night stand. After the Bible itself, Edwards offers the best source of spiritual support for the reformed-theology oriented believer. (At the very least, he's right up there with Calvin.) He was not only a compelling minister, but a world-class thinker, and the depth of his thought is only recently beginning to be appreciated. (An outstanding source on Edwards as a thinker is "The Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards," by Stephen H. Daniel. (Indiana University Press, 1994.) In his academic works, Edwards frequently mentions Locke, and it's easy to conclude that he is just another modern philosopher, albeit with a reformed-theological bias. Nothing is further from the truth. An in-depth reading of Edwards reveals a subtlety of thought which anticipates that of Heidegger. Many volumes could be written on t his subject alone. Like Heidegger, Edwards was interested in understanding what it means to be human, and sought his answers in human lived experience, rather than in a rarified conceptual model far removed from the world of everyday human being. It is here that we begin to appreciate the magnitude of his genius, since his ontology cuts across the mind-will dualism which has bedeviled Western philosophy at least since Descartes. In any case, it's rare indeed to find a writer who speaks with equal fluency to the heart as well as the head. In this respect, Edwards has few peers, and even fewer superiors (if any). An anthology like this can scarcely do justice to the breadth and depth of Edwards' thought, but it's an excellent place to begin. And too, at a time, like the present, when evangelical Christianity is long overdue for a second reformation, Christian ministers and theologians could do worse than take their cue from Edwards.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The JE Reader, compiled by the faculty at Yale who direct the Jonathan Edwards Center there, provides the best introduction to the thought of this intellectual giant, considered by many to be not only America's greatest theologian but also its greatest philosopher. The wide selection of texts are drawn from his major theological and philosophical works, but also include his most famous sermons, personal writings and letters. For those familiar only with his "Sinners" sermon (a classic of the genre and of rhetoric in general, which is why it makes all the anthologies, and is required reading in English philology and American Studies programs around the world), the volume reveals the breadth and depth of Edwards' thought, which was driven not by the fires of hell but by his vision of the beauty of God.
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