Jonathan Edwards and the Enlightenment: Knowing the Presence of God


Jonathan Edwards and the Enlightenment: Knowing the Presence of God

Dr. Josh Moody

In this learned and lively contribution to Edwards scholarship, Josh Moody seeks to account for the ‘spark’ in Edwards’ career and to flesh out the ‘organizing principle’ of Edwards’ ministry… This book goes a long way toward explaining why so many thinkers in our time continue to find the Edwards corpus so appealing. (Douglas A. Sweeney, Chair of Church History and the History of Christian Thought Department, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

This in-depth study succeeds in showing how the theology of Jonathan Edwards was much more a response to the Enlightenment than a product of the Enlightenment. The importance of Edwards’ refusal to drive a wedge between the Christian Gospel, spiritual experience, and rational reflection is well brought out by Moody and interestingly related to our own contemporary situation in which the so-called Enlightenment project is widely held to have broken down. (Brian Hebblethwaite, Life Fellow of Queens’ College, University of Cambridge)

Fascinating and provocative… This work adds significantly to our understanding of Jonathan Edwards and the Enlightenment. By situating his subject in current discourse on post-modernism, the author presents an Edwards as relevant to the 21st century as he was to his own times. The writing, moreover, is lucid and accessible. A must read for anyone interested in a usable Edwards for our time. (Harry S. Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History, Yale University)

In spite of the universally acknowledged brilliance of his philosophical writings, Jonathan Edwards has never been incorporated into the canon of modern philosophy. One of the reasons for this is the difficulty of situating Edwards’ work within larger philosophical currents. In this study, Moody does an excellent job of beginning to redress the neglect, by both locating Edwards’ thought and identifying his particular contribution to the philosophical tradition. (Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University)