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A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2008 / Paperback
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Widely acclaimed for his award-winning comprehensive study of the extraordinary 18th-century pastor, preacher, philosopher, and college president, Marsden now offers not an abridgment but an accessible new retelling of the Edwards story designed for students, small groups, and general readers. An illuminating view of history, theology, and everyday life and interactions in the American colonies. 160 pages, softcover from Eerdmans.
In brief and insightful fashion, George Marsden presents a new narrative about Edward's life, thereby rescuing him from the high realms of history and revealing him more completely through his everyday life and interactions.
George M. Marsden is the Francis A. McAnaney Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Notre Dame. Among his many other books is the full-length biography Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale 2003), which received nine awards, including the Bancroft Prize in history and the Grawemeyer Award in religion.
Jonathan Edwards is one of the most extraordinary figures in American history. Arguably the most brilliant theologian ever born on American soil, Edwards (17031758) was also a pastor, a renowned preacher, a missionary to the Native Americans, a biographer, a college president, a philosopher, a loving husband, and the father of eleven children.
George M. Marsden---widely acclaimed for his magisterial large study of Edwards---has now written a new, shorter biography of this many-sided, remarkable man. A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards is not an abridgment of Marsdens earlier award-winning study but is instead a completely new narrative based on his extensive research. The result is a concise, fresh retelling of the Edwards story, rich in scholarship yet compelling and readable for a much wider audience, including students.
Known best for his famous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Jonathan Edwards is often viewed as a proponent of fire, brimstone, and the wrath of God. As Marsden shows, however, the focus of Edwardss preaching was not Gods wrath but rather his overwhelming and all-encompassing love. Marsden also rescues Edwards from the high realms of intellectual history, revealing him more comprehensively through the lens of his everyday life and interactions. Further, Marsden shows how Edwards provides a window on the fascinating and often dangerous world of the American colonies in the decades before the American Revolution.
Marsden here gives us an Edwards who illumines both American history and Christian theology, an Edwards that will appeal to readers with little or no training in either field. This short life will contribute significantly to the widespread and growing interest in Jonathan Edwards.
The Library of Religious Biography is a series of original biographies on important religious figures throughout American and British history.
The authors are well-known historians, each a recognized authority in the period of religious history in which his or her subject lived and worked. Grounded in solid research of both published and archival sources, these volumes link the lives of their subjects not always thought of as religious persons---to the broader cultural contexts and religious issues that surrounded them. Each volume includes a bibliographical essay and an index to serve the needs of students, teachers, and researchers.
Marked by careful scholarship yet free of footnotes and academic jargon, the books in this series are well-written narratives meant to be read and enjoyed as well as studied.
In 1741, Jonathan Edwards delivered what would become the most famous sermon in American history, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." Noted historian Marsden has written a slim but solid biography of Edwards (1703-58). This work is not an abridgement of his monumental 2003 biography of Edwards, but instead offers an original account intended for a general audience. Though Edwards is best known for his fiery "Sinners" sermon, Marsden shows the evangelist struggled with skeptical doubts before joining the clergy only to then emphasize God's grace and love over retribution throughout his preaching career. Edwards often gets relegated to works of religious history, but Marsden shows the preacher's central place in the nation's colonial history and to the Revolution he did not live to see. As one of the foremost revivalists of his time, Edwards was a "towering figure among the founding fathers of the first American revolution, the spiritual revolution of the awakening." At times Marsden's work veers into the overly evangelistic itself, especially in the concluding chapter on what we can learn from Edwards. However, his work provides an accessible and informed account for scholars and laypeople alike. (Sept.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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