The Oxford Handbook of Jonathan Edwards by Douglas A. Sweeney (Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University)
The Oxford Handbook of Jonathan Edwards offers a state-of-the-art summary of scholarship on Edwards by a diverse, international, and interdisciplinary group of Edwards scholars, many of whom serve as global leaders in the burgeoning world of research and writing on 'America's theologian'. As an early modern clerical polymath, Edwards is of interest to historians, theologians, and literary scholars. He is also an interlocutor for contemporary clergy and philosophical theologians. All such readers-and many more-will find here an authoritative overview of Edwards' life, ministry, and writings, as well as a representative sampling of cutting-edge scholarship on Edwards from across several disciplines. The volume falls into four sections, which reflect the diversity of Edwards studies today. The first section turns to the historical Edwards and grounds him in his period and the relevant contexts that shaped his life and work. The second section balances the historical reconstruction of Edwards as a theological and philosophical thinker with explorations of his usefulness for constructive theology and the church today. In part three, the focus shifts to the different ways and contexts in which Edwards attempted to realize his ideas and ideals in his personal life, scholarship, and ministry, but also to the ways in which these historical realities stood in tension with, limited, or resisted his aspirations. The final section looks at Edwards' widening renown and influence as well as diverse appropriations. This Handbook serves as an authoritative guide for readers overwhelmed by the enormity of the multi-lingual world of Edwards studies. It will bring readers up to speed on the most important work being done and then serve them as a benchmark in the field of Edwards scholarship for decades to come.