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Jonathan Edwards: A Life
Yale University Press / 2003 / Paperback
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Jonathan Edwards led a rich intellectual and spiritual life that went far beyond the more well known fire-and-brimestone sermons he delivered in colonial America. In this biography, Edwards' life is carefully detailed from observing God's handiwork from his childhood through his adolescent struggles with faith. Marsden, a highly regarded American church historian, discusses Edwards' powerful preaching in the revivals that dominated the Connecticut Valley in the First Great Awakening and beyond and evaluates Edwards' successful mission to the Indians.
Garnering an amazing amount of notariety, Jomathan Edwards: A Life was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in the biography category for books published in 2003; winner of the 2001-2003 Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize sponsored by the Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies; winner of the 2004 Bancroft Prize sponsored by Columbia University; winner of the 2004 Merle Curti Award in intellectual history given by the Organization of American Historians; won the 2004 John C. Pollock Award for Christian Biography sponsored by the Beeson Divinity School and Samford University; co-winner of the 2004 Eugene Genovese Best Book in American History Prize sponsored by the Historical Society; selected as one of the Best Books of 2003 by Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post Book World, Christian Century, Books & Culture, Beliefnet, Publishers Weekly, and Christian Science Monitor; featured in Preaching magazine as "one of the top ten books every preacher should read"; selected as an outstanding book by University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries; winner of the 2005 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion; short-listed by The English-Speaking Union for the Ambassador Book Awards; won the 2004 Christianity Today Magazine Book Award in the History/Biography category.; and won the Philip Schaff Prize sponsored by the American Society of Church History.
George M. Marsden is Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.
Jonathan Edwards (17031758) is a towering figure in American history. A controversial theologian and the author of the famous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, he ignited the momentous Great Awakening of the eighteenth century.
In this definitive and long-awaited biography, Jonathan Edwards emerges as both a great American and a brilliant Christian. George Marsden evokes the world of colonial New England in which Edwards was reareda frontier civilization at the center of a conflict between Native Americans, French Catholics, and English Protestants. Drawing on newly available sources, Marsden demonstrates how these cultural and religious battles shaped Edwards’s life and thought. Marsden reveals Edwards as a complex thinker and human being who struggled to reconcile his Puritan heritage with the secular, modern world emerging out of the Enlightenment. In this, Edwards’s life anticipated the deep contradictions of our American culture.
Meticulously researched and beautifully composed, this biography offers a compelling portrait of an eminent American.
George M. Marsden is Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He has written numerous books, including The Soul of the American University and The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship.
Jonathan Edwards, a towering figure in the history of American theology, was both a great American and a brilliant Christian. This definitive biography draws on newly available sources to reveal how the internationally famous preacher was shaped by cultural and religious battles of his time and how he struggled to reconcile his Puritan heritage with the secular world emerging out of the Enlightenment.
"This is the finest biography of Edwards that I have read. It will be the standard benchmark for Edwards scholarship for generations to come."—Harry Stout, Yale University
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