“A German Professor Dropped into the American Forests”

Michael J. McClymond

in After Jonathan Edwards

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199756292
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950379 | DOI:
“A German Professor Dropped into the American Forests”

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This chapter argues that Edwards’s intellectual influence in the three nations of Britain, France, and Germany is primarily focused on three areas of discussion: (1) metaphysical and philosophical ideas, (2) doctrinal Calvinism (including debates over Edwards’s “fatalism”), and (3) religious affections and/or revival history. Professional historians in Britain and continental Europe turn to Edwards as an explanatory key for understanding American religion and culture. Contemporary Calvinists—though a minority even within global Evangelicalism—employ Edwards’s ideas and arguments for intellectual challenge, debate, and refreshment. Edwards’s role as a kind of patron saint of Protestant revival is still much in evidence,. In light of the global growth of Pentecostalism and other revivalistic forms of Protestantism, it is this third aspect of Edwards’s thought that may have the greatest staying power outside of the circle of professional scholars and theologians.

Keywords: Europe; Great Britain; revival history; doctrinal Calvinism; fatalism; global Evangelicalism; Pentecostalism; Protestantism; France; Germany

Chapter.  7319 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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