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Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

Oliver D. Crisp

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755295
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979486 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755295.001.0001
Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) is widely regarded as a philosopher and theologian of the first rank, sometimes even as “America's Theologian.” This study offers a major revisionist account of his views on the relationship between God and creation, and a fresh analysis of other central issues in Edwardsian philosophical theology, such as the divine nature and attributes, the doctrine of the Trinity, and eschatology. A number of recent Edwards scholars have argued that he reconceived the doctrine of God and creation along dispositional lines—God and the world being dispositions, not substances with attributes. By contrast, this work argues that Edwards was very much a Reformed theologian standing in the tradition of scholastic and Puritan theology. He did not think of his work as a break with this tradition. Instead, he sought to revision Calvinistic theology for an early modern audience using ideas culled from philosophers like Locke, Malebranche, Newton, and the Cambridge Platonists. Ironically, he ended up with a much more exotic picture of the God-world relation than many other Reformed divines. This included his commitment to continuous creationism, occasionalism, an idiosyncratic doctrine of the Trinity that is inconsistent with divine simplicity, panentheism, and a doctrine of theosis. The upshot of this is an interpretation of Edwards's thought that does justice to his theological conservatism while also explaining how he ended up embracing novel, even unusual metaphysical views.

Keywords: Jonathan Edwards; philosophical theology; reformed theology; metaphysics; god; creation; occasionalism; continuous creation; panentheism; divine simplicity; Trinity; theosis

Book.  280 pages. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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Ontology in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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The Divine Nature in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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Divine Freedom in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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Divine Aseity in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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Divine Excellency in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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The Trinity in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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Panentheism in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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Consummation in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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Conclusion in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

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