Edwards's Spirituality

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:
Edwards's Spirituality

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Edwards's spirituality may be described in terms of three distinct themes: discipline, enjoyment, and consummation. His “Diary” and “Resolutions” reveal that Edwards insisted on rigorous practices and careful self-examination, ultimately looking to mortify sinful desires. The spiritual life was a disciplined life. At the same time, discipline in no way limited enjoyment or happiness. On the contrary, a holy life that is combined with the experience of beauty is a happy life. Such happiness consists in “holy affections,” the thesis of his famous Religious Affections. Edwards further insisted that a disciplined and happy spirituality looked beyond this life to an eventual consummation in heaven, a “holy and happy society” consisting of the Trinity, angels, and saints. In this heavenly state, the saints will forever advance into a closer relationship with God and with one another.

Keywords: spirituality; discipline; happiness; enjoyment; mortification; religious affections; heaven eschatology; community; “Diary,” “Resolutions”

Chapter.  7531 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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