Jonathan Edwards and his ‘biblical Aesthetic’ in the light of his exegetical traditionMark W. Elliott
Lecture Theatre 1
Rendall Building, Bedford Street South
Liverpool L69 7ZQ
- Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale
Framed on one side by theological investigations by the likes of Sang Hyun Lee, Oliver Crisp, and Gerald McDermott, and on the other a more ‘cultural history’ angle proceeding from Perry Miller through Harry Stout and George Marsden, a certain turn towards Edwards exegesis in the last two decades has had the advantage of being able to relate both Edwards’ historical context and his theological approach, since his exegesis bears the marks of a strong influence of the philosophy of European biblical humanism. The volume Jonathan Edwards and the Bible by Robert Brown in 2002 (Indiana University Press, 2002) marked a trail that would be taken advantage of by a newer generation of those primarily, although not restrictively, focused on Edwardsian exegesis and hermeneutics (e.g. Sweeney, Barshinger. The work by Amy Plantinga Pauw is possibly the best example of an attempt to show the relationship of biblical theology to that of Dogmatics in Edwards.) Whatever the extent of Edwards' debt to the exegesis of Grotius to Cotton Mather, the Scriptural aesthetic—both the bible’s idea of beauty and the beauty of the bible’s form -- may be a key consideration for any evaluation.
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