The Affections and the Human Person

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:
The Affections and the Human Person

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Edwards's lifelong obsession with the nature of true religion invariably involved what he called the “affections,” which he defined as the strong inclinations that determine nearly everything that a person feels, thinks, and does. Many scholars have wrongly assumed that for Edwards affections were the same as emotions. But he rejected the threefold distinction of mind, will, and emotions, and declared that the will and affections are not two faculties but different expressions of the inclination that already has intellectual judgment contained within it. Furthermore, he insisted that godly affections are all rooted in the basic affection of love. Edwards was ambivalent on the role of the imagination in religious experience, but was surprisingly open to biological and psychological factors in the operation of the affections.

Keywords: affections; mind; will; emotions; faculty psychology; imagination; person

Chapter.  4107 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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