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The Essential Works of Jonathan Edwards, 11 vols. (The Works of Jonathan Edwards | WJE)

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Jonathan Edwards has left an indellible impression on nearly 300 years of theological scholarship. This collection from Yale University Press totals over 7,000 pages—a valuable archive of Edwards’ treatises, sermons, letters, musings. With critical introductions by noted Edwards scholars, it provides the latest contemporary analysis, commentary, and reflection on Edwards life, thought, and literary sources. Gain new appreciation of the historical context of his works, the nature and purpose of his writings, and their initial critical reception.

  • Collects Edwards’ treatises, letters, sermons, and more
  • Contains introductions, appendixes, and indexes
  • Includes previously unpublished works
One measure of [Edwards’] greatness is Yale University Press’ critical edition of his works.

—Gerald R. McDermott, United Press International

The Works of Jonathan Edwards . . . is the premier scholarly editorial project in American intellectual history.

—Allen C. Guelzo, Christian Century

Excellent and welcome additions to the growing body of scholarship on a figure who is America’s foremost theologian to date and one who also stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin.

—W. Stacy Johnson, Interpretation

  • Title: The Essential Works of Jonathan Edwards
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Volumes: 11
  • Pages: 7,092

In the Logos edition, these digital volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 1: Freedom of the Will

  • Editor: Paul Ramsey
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 1957
  • Pages: xii, 494

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This inaugural volume in The Works of Jonathan Edwards is his major contribution to theology and stands as a leading document on Calvinist thought. Mr. Ramsey’s introduction provides a fresh analysis of Edwards’ theological position, includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in the philosophical context of today and in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.

Ever since his own day Jonathan Edwards has been a man more talked about than read. This distinguished edition, which Paul Ramsey has so admirably inaugurated, gives him a new chance, not only to be admired afresh but to be given a seat at the symposium table. No eighteenth-century American deserves such recall more fittingly.

American Literature

If the volumes to follow adhere to the standard set by Paul Ramsey in the first, Edwards will have achieved the monument he deserves.

New York Times

The publication of this handsome volume, the first in an important series, should be applauded by all students of American history, literature, philosophy, and theology.

Indiana Magazine of History

It is hard to find things to criticize in this splendid edition. . . . The editor, the committee, and the press are to be congratulated on this impressive first volume of the much-needed definitive and complete Edwards.

Union Seminary Quarterly

I cannot do other than stress admiration for the quality of both the introducing and editing of this book by Prof. Ramsey.

—Basil Hall, Theology

Paul Ramsey was Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 2: Religious Affections

  • Editor: John E. Smith
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 1959
  • Pages: viii, 526

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This volume contains Edwards’ most mature and persistent attempt to judge the validity of the religious development in eighteenth-century America known as the Great Awakening. In developing criteria for such judgment he attacked at the same time one of the fundamental questions facing all religion: how to distinguish genuine from spurious piety? The Awakening created much bitter controversy; on the one side stood the emotionalists and enthusiasts, and on the other the rationalists, for whom religion was essentially a matter of morality or good conduct and the acceptance of properly formulated doctrine. Edwards, with great analytical skill and enormous biblical learning, showed that both sides were in the wrong. He attacked both a “lifeless morality” as too pale as to be the essence of religion, and he rejected the excesses of a purely emotional religion more concerned for sensational effects than for the inner transformation of the self, which was, for him, the center of genuine Christianity.

Any modern empirical philosopher should welcome this sane, balanced, and acute study of the signs of a truly converted life. It is valuable to be reminded that not all the varieties of religious experience are experiences of true religion.

Journal of Theological Studies

Mr. Smith's introduction is an enlightening volume in itself and excellently shaped toward the understanding of the treatise it introduces. It may well stimulate inquiry as to the continuing relevance of Edwards' thought to the religious dilemma of modern times.

American Literature

This volume, like its predecessor, is magnificently produced and carefully edited. The editor . . . provides over eighty pages of an introduction which shows a profound and erudite analysis of Edwards’ treatment of the question, 'How shall the presence of the divine Spirit be discerned against the background of the Great Awakening in New England?', and contrives to give it a contemporary relevance.

Theology

A splendid piece of interpretation, exegetical and contemporary.

Church History

John E. Smith was Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Yale University.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 3: Original Sin

  • Editor: Clyde A. Holbrook
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 1970
  • Pages: xi, 448

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The controversy over human deprivation which raged throughout the eighteenth century was no mere intramural squabble among theologians but an important phase of the evolution in Western man’s estimate of his nature and potentialities. By the time Jonathan Edwards entered the lists to champion the hated doctrine of original sin, he saw himself as not only defending a particular dogma but also combating an increasingly dominant drift of opinion which had already engulfed much of Europe and was encroaching dangerously upon America.

John Taylor’s treatise was perhaps the boldest and most impressive assault on the doctrine which more than any other contradicted the Enlightenment view of man, and it haunted Edwards throughout all the pressing duties and personal hardships of the years just before and during his sojourn at Stockbridge. Ultimately, he was able to develop a thorough rebuttal of Taylor which focused on three major issues: the fact and nature of original sin, its cause and transmission, and God’s responsibility for man’s sinfulness.

First published in 1758, The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Defended went though at least thirteen separate editions and was included in all collected editions of Edwards’ works. The text of the first edition has now been brought into accord with the principles of the Yale edition, making full use of all relevant manuscript materials. Mr. Holbrook’s comprehensive introduction and annotations provide detailed information about the sources, development, and reception of the work.

Clyde A. Holbrook was William H. Danforth Professor of Religion at Oberlin College.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 4: The Great Awakening

  • Editor: C. C. Goen
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 1972
  • Pages: xii, 595

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Interpreting the Great Awakening of the eighteenth century was in large part the work of Jonathan Edwards—whose writings on the subject defined the revival tradition in America. Moving from sensitive descriptions of "the surprising work of God" in conversion to a consuming quest for the essence of true religion, and threading his way through mounting controversies over "errors in doctrine and disorders in practice," Edwards sought to locate an authentic core of evangelical experience, to define it in terms of biblical faith and psychological insight, and to defend it against both overheated zealous and rationalistic critics. The tracts that unfold his thoughts, presented here (with related correspondence) for the first time in accurate critical texts, document a movement so significant for the American character that it has been called "our national conversion."

In a carefully researched introduction, C. C. Goen identifies the "Arminian threat" to which the Northampton pastor responded at the onset of the Awakening, and traces Edwards’ understanding of vital religion as it developed in the ambiguous context of revivalism. Mr. Goen’s study also illuminates little-known aspects of A Faithful Narrative and describes the haphazard way in which that important work reached its eager audience.

C. C. Goen, author of Revivalism and Separatism in New England, 1740–1800, was Professor of Church History at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 7: The Life of David Brainerd

  • Editor: Norman Pettit
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 1985
  • Pages: x, 620

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Edwards’ Life of David Brainerd is a rare, almost forgotten document depicting life in pre-Revolutionary America during the period when religious enthusiasm swept the colonial frontier. From 1743 to 1747 Brainerd had been a missionary to the Indians. Riding alone, thousands of miles on horseback, he kept a journal of daily events that he continued until the week before he died, at the age of twenty-nine, in Edwards’ house.

Published in 1749, the Life of Brainerd became a spiritual classic in its own time. As the first popular biography to be published in America, it went through numerous editions and has been reprinted more frequently than has any other of Edwards’ works. But what has not until now been known is that Edwards made drastic alterations in the original text. He shaped the narrative events to fit his own needs, presenting Brainerd as an example of a man who by example and deed opposed the rationalist, Arminian stance. Because the Yale edition is the first to print that portion of Brainerd’s manuscript that survives, set in parallel columns with Edwards’ text, these alterations can readily be discerned.

This edition of The Life of David Brainerd, the first complete, fully annotated edition ever to be compiled, includes related correspondence as well as an endpaper map of Brainerd’s travels. The editor’s introduction describes the place of Brainerd’s diary in Edwards’ life and thought, and provides ample historical background.

This handsomely produced book calls for close attention by the serious Brainerd student. . . . [Pettit’s] meticulous research has opened up fields of thought and new information not found in popular editions of the Diary, including unpublished material and related correspondence.

—Arthur Bennett, Churchman

A classic narrative of religious experience. . . . Pettit’s excellent introductory essay provides a vivid account of Brainerd’s relationship to the Awakening, his expulsion from Yale, and his labors as a missionary to the Indians.

—James H. Moorhead, Religious Studies Review

Another potent reminder of the wide-ranging interests of this eighteenth century Calvinist theologian. . . . Much of this material has never been published before, so it will no doubt add significantly to a more accurate portrait of Edwards and promote additional studies of religious and philosophical thought in eighteenth century New England.

—Helen Westra, Calvin Theological Journal

A welcome opportunity to reassess the spiritual state of British America and the work of one of its major participants and commentators. . . . For all interested in [British America] and in [its] preoccupations, this volume is essential reading.

—Colin Brooks, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Pettit evinces an immense historical understanding not only of what is recoverable of Brainerd’s personal history, but also of the historical context of his time at Yale, the circumstances (and the personalities) involved in his expulsion, the evangelists outside the College who played their own role in this expulsion, the ministers who played a part in convincing him to become a missionary, and the international context of missionary activity at the time.

—Teresa Toulouse, Resources for American Literary Study

Norman Pettit is Emeritus Professor of English at Boston University.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 8: Ethical Writings

  • Editor: Paul Ramsey
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: ix, 791

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This volume contains two major works of Jonathan Edwards: an unpublished text of a series of sermons he preached in 1738, known as Charity and Its Fruits, and his Two Dissertations: I. Concerning the End for Which God Created the World and II. On the Nature of True Virtue, published posthumously in 1765. Together these writings set out the principles of Edwards’ ethical reflections.

The text of the sermon series is drawn from three sources. The primary text is an early nineteenth-century transcription of Edwards’ sermon booklets now in the Andover-Newton Theological School’s collection. Passages published in Tyron Edwards’ 1852 edition, and partial transcriptions by Joseph Bellamy found in three fragments among his papers, have been used where the Andover copy is incomplete. The Bellamy fragments are reproduced in their entirety in a critical appendix, along with examples showing the editor’s use of the three sources in construing this definitive text for the Yale edition.

End of Creation and True Virtue, intended by Edwards to be read together, are shown here to be closely related to Edwards’ other writings. Paul Ramsey’s introduction points out that Edwards returned again and again to these topics in his Miscellanies, where he identifies penultimate versions of both treatises and traces the development of Edwards’ ideas. Thus the reader is able to follow Edwards’ most profound reflections about God and the moral dimensions of his creations.

This is one of the most wide-ranging theological and philosophical volumes projected in the Yale edition. The Editor’s introduction gives a systematic analysis of the theological ethics to be found in these writings and of Edwards’ esteem for the splendor of common morality. Appendices exploring the “moral sense” school, “infused” virtue in Edwards and Calvin, and Edwards’ belief in the never ending increase of holiness and happiness in heaven complete the volume.

"Ramsey’s own contributions, including an extensive introduction and several appendices, are themselves of book length, with lucid discussions of textual issues, highly insightful interpretive comments on the main themes of Edwards’ moral thought, and an army of footnotes. . . . The volume as a whole is a substantial and distinguished contribution to the literature. . . . Students both of ethics and of Edwards will long be deeply grateful to Ramsey for this fine volume; and those who agree with Perry Miller that nobody better than Edwards generalized his experience into 'the meaning of America' will be glad to learn that in Ramsey’s hands Jonathan Edwards still has a lot to teach.

—Robert Song, Studies in Christian Ethics

One is grateful for Ramsey’s edition. His interpretations will enter the discussions that continue about Edwards’ work. His careful editing will be consulted by readers who use the cheaper reprints of nineteenth-century editions. His work on Edwards marks an unusual scholarly career; rarely has an American theologian combined voluminous systematic and polemical publications in his own voice with such disinterested and intricate scholarly endeavors as this volume and his earlier one . . . manifest.

—James M. Gustafson, Journal of Religion

. . . Ramsey provides an extensive introduction in which he argues, among other things, that the sermons on Christian charity are usefully read in conjunction with A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections and that the relationship between the two dissertations is sufficiently important that to read the one without the other will often be to misread Edwards’ ethical work. Every serious student of Edwards’ work, particularly his ethical work, will want to own this volume.

—Paul Lauritzen, Religious Studies Review

Prefaced by a[n] . . . illuminating introduction. . . . This volume will contribute to the renaissance in interest that Edwards deserves.

—Stanley J. Grenz, Christian Century

Paul Ramsey was Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 9: A History of the Work of Redemption

  • Editor: John F. Wilson
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: ix, 594

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In 1739 Jonathan Edwards preached a series of thirty sermons in his church at Northampton, Massachusetts—sermons based on one scriptural passage: Isaiah 51:8. Apparently Edwards later intended to develop this discourse into a major treatise construing God’s redemption of the world as the most basic doctrine of theology. Unfortunately, he died before he could undertake this project. The sermon series, however, was later transcribed and then published in Edinburgh in 1774. There were numerous editions in Britain and the United States, and it was enormously influential in popular evangelical circles of the nineteenth century. This edition presents a modern, authoritative text that firmly establishes the place of Work of Redemption in the literary and historical tradition of puritan New England.

The text is based upon a new transcription of the original preaching booklets in which Edwards wrote out his sermons. In this sense, it restores an earlier and more authentic, if less polished, version of the work than the one that was edited and issued after Edwards’ death. As a critical edition it presents Edwards’ Redemption Discourse for the modern reader with appropriate annotations and references.

This volume includes a substantial introduction that places the composition of the sermons in the context of the period and discusses the reception and influence of the many editions of the published version. The introduction also interprets the place of this particular work in Edwards’ thought more generally, de-emphasizing the historical interests he has been alleged to have shown in it and emphasizing instead the ambitious theological program which it represented. Accordingly, this volume presents this major treatise in a fresh light and suggests new lines of inter-connection with other elements of his work.

In reading the discourses we not only learn of [Edwards’] theology of redemption, but also his use of Scripture, the structure of his sermons, and his concern for virtue. Like all the books in this fine series, this new edition of The Work of Redemption is an outstanding contribution to studies in Puritan theology, homiletics and history.

—Bill J. Leonard, Review and Expositor

John F. Wilson has joined a distinguished company of editors with this transcription of a series. . . . Once readers enter the Edwardean labyrinth, they will find wonders on every page.

Christian Century

Unlike previous publications, the sermons are here preserved in their original unedited form; for the first time, readers have secondary access to the booklets Edwards carried into the pulpit, photographs of which are included in the volume. . . . Like previous volumes in Yale’s Edwards’ Works, this volume earns its rightful place as the standard scholarly source for students of Edwards and eighteenth-century religious history.

—John R. Fitzmier, Religious Studies Review

John F. Wilson is Emeritus Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion at Princeton University.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 11: Typological Writings

  • Editor: Wallace E. Anderson, Mason I. Lowance, Jr., and David Watters
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: xvi, 349

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This volume presents for the first time a comprehensive, readable, and annotated text of the key typological notebooks of Jonathan Edwards: "Images of Divine Things," "Types Notebook," and Miscellany 1069, "Types of the Messiah." These three works illustrate the way the eminent eighteenth-century theologian developed his theory of typological exegesis, a theory that helped him to understand the relationship between the Old and New Testaments and to comprehend the correspondence between the natural and the spiritual worlds.

Edwards' theories of typology have long fascinated scholars from a variety of fields and have dominated literary studies of his work. These documents illuminate Edwards' epistemology and show clearly his involvement in contemporary philosophical and exegetical trends. Introductions to the documents place Edwards' typology within the context of his period, describe his typological practices, clarify some of the complex problems posed by his ambiguous use of the types throughout his career, and discuss his philosophical defenses of typologizing against the claims of materialists, deists, and rationalists.

The reader will appreciate the painstaking efforts at thoroughness and accuracy in regard both to the manuscripts and to the theological and historical context of Edwards' argument. . . . This volume shows the development of [his] thought and his articulation of a systematic defense of what he saw as the intimate relationship between Scripture, history, and nature.

—Christopher J. Viscardi, S.J., Theological Studies

Wallace E. Anderson was Associate Professor of Philosophy at The Ohio State University and Editor of Jonathan Edwards' Scientific and Philosophical Writings, the sixth volume in The Works of Jonathan Edwards.

Mason I. Lowance, Jr., is Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

David H. Watters is Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 15: Notes on Scripture

  • Editor: Stephen J. Stein
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: xiv, 674

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This is the first complete edition of the private biblical notebook that Jonathan Edwards compiled over a period of nearly thirty-five years. Edwards’ "Notes on Scripture" confirms the centrality of the Bible in his thought and provides more balance to earlier depictions of his writings that emphasized the scientific and philosophical while overlooking the biblical dimension. In this critical edition the entries appear in the order in which Edwards wrote them, beginning with a short commentary on Genesis 2:10–14 that he penned in 1724, and ending with his last entry, Number 507 on the Book of Solomon's Song, written two years before his death.

This volume provides direct access to one of America’s most influential religious thinkers. Edwards’ entries range across the entire scriptural canon and reveal his creativity in the interpretation of particular biblical texts and his fascination with typology. The notebook also documents Edwards’ engagement with the intellectual currents of his day, in particular his response to the challenge associated with the Enlightenment critique of biblical revelation. Stephen J. Stein’s introduction situates Edwards as an exegete in the larger tradition of biblical commentary and in the intellectual world of eighteenth-century Western thought.

Edwards scholars should be grateful for this outstanding contribution to an already legendary series.

—Thomas Templeton Taylor, Church History

. . . this is the most representative selection of Edwards’ sermons in print.

—Gerald R. McDermott, Religious Studies Review

Stephen J. Stein is Chancellors’ Professor of Religious Studies and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 21: Writings on the Trinity, Grace, and Faith

  • Editor: Sang Hyun Lee
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • 582
  • Pages: xii, 566

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In this collection of writings drawn from Jonathan Edwards’ essays and topical notebooks, the great American theologian deals with key Christian doctrines including the Trinity, grace, and faith. The volume includes long-established pieces in the Edwards canon, newly reedited from the original manuscripts, as well as documents that have never before been published and that in some cases reveal new aspects of his theology.

[Editor] Sang Hyun Lee . . . has placed us all in his debt, not only by ably editing this volume, but also by providing a most thorough and insightful introduction.

—Iain S. Maclean, Anglican Theological Review

Sang Hyun Lee is Kyung-Chik Han Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 24, Part 1&2: The "Blank Bible"

  • Editor: Stephen J. Stein
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: xiii, 1,435

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In 1730, Jonathan Edwards acquired a book-like, leather-bound manuscript containing an interleaved printed edition of the King James Version of the Bible. Over the next three decades, Edwards proceeded to write in the manuscript more than five thousand notes and entries relating to biblical texts (though paradoxically he called the manuscript his “Blank Bible”). Only a fraction of the entries has ever been published. This volume presents a complete edition of the “Blank Bible” accompanied by an informative introduction, multiple appendices, and an extensive index.

This volume, perhaps the most unusual in Edwards’ oeuvre, brings to light more clearly than ever before the full scope of his creative investment in biblical studies.

Stephen J. Stein is Emeritus Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the editor of two previous volumes in The Works of Jonathan Edwards: Apocalyptic Writings and Notes on Scripture.

Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) is considered one of America’s greatest theologians. While attending Yale College, he encountered the same Calvinism that had influenced his own upbringing.

The First Great Awakening began in Edwards’ church three years later, which prompted Edwards to study conversion and revival within the context of Calvinism. During the revival, Edwards preached his most famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” and penned many of his most popular works, including The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, and The Life of David Brainerd.

When the revival subsided, the church of Northampton became increasingly suspect of Edwards’ strict requirements for participation in the sacraments. Edwards left Northampton in 1750 to become a minister at a missions church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. In 1757, Edwards reluctantly became president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University), where he hoped to complete two major works—one that expanded his treatise on the history of redemption, and the other on the harmony of the Old and New Testaments. His writing ambitions were interrupted by his death in 1758, when he died of complications stemming from a smallpox inoculation.

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