Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening

Thomas S. Kidd

in The Oxford Handbook of Early American Literature

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195187274
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
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This article focuses on the Great Awakening and the important role Jonathan Edwards had to play. Edwards defended Calvinist Christianity and the religion of the new birth with a logical brilliance few have ever matched, and he should be viewed as an exceptionally capable advocate for a religious movement that transformed American Christianity from the mid-eighteenth century. Edwards saw conversion as a believer's experience of rising out of spiritual deadness and embracing the joy of being chosen by God for salvation. This article further discusses the involvement of Jonathan Edwards and how he played a mediating role in the contest between moderate and radical evangelicals. In his Freedom of the Will Edwards argued that predestination remained consistent with praise and blame. This article concludes with an elaborate analysis of Jonathan Edwards' works such as Distinguishing Marks and Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion.

Keywords: Great Awakening; Calvinist Christianity; American Christianity; spiritual deadness; radical evangelicals; Jonathan Edwards

Article.  9137 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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