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2016 Graduate Student Paper Competition Winner

Jonathan-Edwards-banner_680x195Emily Dolan Gierer photo

We are pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Jonathan Edwards graduate student paper competition.

We received papers this year from graduate students all over the world. The competition was stiff. But the winner of this year’s prize is Emily Dolan Gierer, a Master of Divinity student at Yale Divinity School.

Gierer’s paper is entitled, “Monstrous Confessions: Seventeenth-Century Women and the Dangers of Divine Revelation.”

Her paper is based on a study of the public confessions of faith recorded by Pastor Thomas Shepard (1605-1649) for his Puritan parishioners in Cambridge, Massachusetts between 1638 and 1645. Gierer argues in her paper that the 51 confessions Shepard recorded during this period “evidence a group of people who were cautiously intentional in their word choices, particularly in the case of the female confessors. For many of the women in Cambridge, their faith confession was the first and only experience of speaking in public that would ever be offered to them. Despite their lack of public speaking experience, they had to speak confidently, yet modestly, of their religious experiences in a community that generally considered it unbiblical for a woman to speak in church. By examining the fifty-one public confessions of faith, and particularly the twenty-two given by women,” Gierer highlights “the rhetorical tactics these women used to protect themselves from accusations of immodesty and even heresy. Relying heavily on references to scripture and sermons in their accounts, the women of Cambridge carefully situated the authority for their religious experiences” in a manner that comported with the patriarchal culture of early New England, setting the stage on which the women of Northampton would participate in its much more public membership debate a century later.

Gierer will receive a check for $500 and publication of her essay soon in Jonathan Edwards Studies.

Congratulations, Emily, on a job well done!

Ron Story on Jonathan Edwards and Climate Change

Dr. Ronald Story of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (emeritus) is becoming a leading light in the field of Edwards studies. In the past few years alone, he has published two books on what he calls the “other” Edwards, the Edwards of love, social justice, and concern for those in need. (See our booknotes on these volumes: Jonathan Edwards and the Gospel of Love and The Other Jonathan Edwards). Now, Story is using Edwards, along with Pope Francis I, to promote creation care in our twenty-first century world. Here is a recent lecture Story gave in Amherst on the subject–rather timely in the wake of the climate summit held in Paris.

Filmed at the Amherst Historical Society on September 25, 2015. Video and editing by George Naughton. Click here for the manuscript.

Inaugural Issue of Edwardseana

The Jonathan Edwards Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School has posted the inaugural issue of Edwardseana. This is the first of what we hope will be an annual newsletter that will highlight important events and publications that relate to the Center’s mission and work.

Edwards the Exegete – 30% Discount

The Jonathan Edwards Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is pleased to announce a discount on Edwards the Exegete, Doug Sweeney’s recent monograph on the biblical interpretation of Jonathan Edwards from Oxford University Press. Oxford has permitted the Center to offer their 30% discount to the readers of the Center’s blog. You may order here using the promotion code AAFLYG6 to save 30% at check out.