Sweeney’s Booknotes: A Tribute to Sang Hyun Lee

Don Schweitzer, Jonathan Edwards as Contemporary: Essays in Honor of Sang Hyun Lee (New York: Peter Lang, 2010).

This book is a marvelous tribute to the life of Sang Hyun Lee, the Kyung-Chik Han Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Seminary (since 1980). Over the course of a long career, Lee has produced important scholarship in Asian-American theology and the thought of Jonathan Edwards. It is the latter kind of scholarship that is honored in this volume. And inasmuch as Lee has written mainly on Edwards’ understanding of God and God’s relationship to the world that He created, the contributors to this Festschrift also major on these themes. Several chapters feature Edwards’ view of God and of the Trinity. Several others discuss his vision of God at work in the world. My own chapter offers new research on his doctrine of justification. Others treat his preaching and his presidency of Princeton. Many extend important debates within the field of Edwards studies, all of which are shaped by Lee’s important monograph, The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Princeton University Press, 1988): Did Edwards affirm divine simplicity? Did he maintain an Augustinian understanding of the Trinity, or employ a social model more in tune with modern times? Did he teach panentheism? To what extent was he an occasionalist? All of these questions and more receive profound, detailed analysis.

A bibliography of Lee’s scholarly work on Jonathan Edwards is appended to the Festschrift. Here is a list of the main chapters and contributors:

“Edwards’ Occasionalism,” by Stephen H. Daniel

“The Medieval and Scholastic Dimensions of Edwards’ Philosophy of Nature,” by Avihu Zakai

“The End for Which God Created Jonathan Edwards,” by Anri Morimoto

“Jonathan Edwards’ Understanding of Divine Infinity,” by Don Schweitzer

“Hearing the Symphony: A Critique of Some Critics of Sang Lee’s and Amy Pauw’s Accounts of Jonathan Edwards’ View of God,” by Michael J. McClymond

“The Human Self and the Divine Trinity,” by Paul Helm

“Jonathan Edwards’ Panentheism,” by Oliver Crisp

“Trinitarian Action in the Incarnation,” by Seng-Kong Tan

“Jonathan Edwards and Justification: The Rest of the Story,” by Douglas A. Sweeney

“Jonathan Edwards’ Ecclesiology,” by Amy Plantinga Pauw

“Revelation as Divine Communication through Reason, Scripture and Tradition,” by Gerald R. McDermott

“Frightful Inspiration, Sweet Elevation: The Application of Homiletics by Jonathan Edwards, Jonathan Mayhew, and Their Successors of the Late Eighteenth Century,” by Wilson H. Kimnach

“Jonathan Edwards and Princeton,” by Stephen D. Crocco

“Jonathan Edwards Studies during the Career of Sang Hyun Lee,” by Kenneth P. Minkema and Harry S. Stout

“How I Stole from Jonathan Edwards,” by Robert W. Jenson

This book is highly recommended. Graduate students will use it to acclimate themselves to Lee’s scholarship and its influence today. Specialists will use it to track the most recent developments in debates regarding Edwards’ doctrine of God and its entailments.

–By Douglas Sweeney, Director of the JEC at TEDS