Chapter

Edwards's Intellectual Context

Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

in The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199791606
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.003.0003
Edwards's Intellectual Context

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This chapter clarifies Edwards's intellectual context by debunking three false dichotomies often associated with the eighteenth century: faith versus reason, Catholic scholasticism versus Protestant biblicism, and British empiricism versus Continental rationalism. Contrary to such simplistic characterizations, Edwards's rapidly changing context was punctuated by the exchange and competition of ideas in the fields of religion, literature, and politics. The chapter further outlines the vast spectrum of heterodoxy, emphasizing the significant influence of Socinianism, Arianism, Deism, and Arminianism. Although living and writing in Colonial America, Edwards was not isolated from or unaware of the contemporary religious and intellectual trends.

Keywords: philosophy; Enlightenment; seventeenth century; eighteenth century; Socinianism; Arianism; Deism; Arminianism; empiricism; rationalism

Chapter.  8335 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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