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Posts Tagged ‘JESociety’

Sweeney’s Booknotes: A Treatise on Jonathan Edwards, Continuous Creation and Christology

Mark Hamilton, A Treatise on Jonathan Edwards, Continuous Creation and Christology, A Series of Treatises on Jonathan Edwards, vol. 1 (n.p.: JESociety Press, 2017).

hamiltoncover-web1This is the first book in a series “given exclusively to the select publication of cutting-edge research” on Jonathan Edwards’ life and thought (unpaginated front matter) by the JESociety (, an organization we discussed last summer in our annual magazine, Edwardseana.

Its author, Mark Hamilton, is a Ph.D. candidate at the Free University of Amsterdam, as well as a regular participant in events here at the Center. He is a co-editor of Idealism and Christian Theology (Bloomsbury, 2016), and the author of several articles and other publications treating Edwards and his philosophical sources.

In this short essay (about a hundred pages in length), he addresses a rather controversial cluster of Edwards’ doctrines regarding God, creation, and Christology. Taking to task those who claim that Edwards’ handling of these doctrines verges on the incoherent and/or places Edwards beyond the pale of classical Christian orthodoxy, Hamilton contends “for the coherence of both Edwards’ doctrine of continuous creation as well as what [he refers] to as Edwards’ Continuous Christology” (pp. 10-11), rehabilitating Edwards’ reputation as a resource for constructive but traditional Christian thinkers.

As I have noted in an endorsement that is printed in the book, “this is the best attempt to date to systematize the nexus of comments found mainly in Edwards’ notebooks on the relationship of ontology, etiology, and Christology. It represents an advance on the account of Hamilton’s brilliant teacher, Oliver D. Crisp, one on which analytical minds will noodle for many years to come. I recommend it strongly, and find its arguments for what Hamilton calls Edwards’ ‘immaterial realism’ compelling.”

This book is aimed mainly at philosophical theologians, but its author is one to watch by anyone interested in Edwards and his place in Christian intellectual history.

“The Miscellanies Project”: A Call for Contributors




The Jonathan Edwards Society is extending a call for contributors to The Miscellanies Project and Reader. Deadline for topic submission is Dec 1, 2017. Details about the project and signup are available at



Journal Issue #3 Fall 2017

Enjoy this year’s issue of Edwardseana Journal. The third edition of Edwardseana features two Books of the Year, written by Philip Fisk and Douglas Winiarski, a feature article about the JESociety, and more. Learn more in this third installment.

Sweeney’s Booknotes: Bright Shadows of Divine Things

Robert L. Boss, Bright Shadows of Divine Things: The Devotional World of Jonathan Edwards (n.p.: JESociety Press, 2017).

Boss_coverRob Boss, Director of the JESociety, is the most thoughtful and creative independent Edwards scholar at work today. All of his books are privately published and usually fall below the radar screens of mainstream academics. Nonetheless, Boss has built a large network of followers with his passion for Edwards’ writings and his knack for social media.

This most recent, little book, nicely illustrated throughout, offers extended rumination on Edwards’ natural typology (i.e. his investigation of the natural world for emblems of the divine). It is pitched as a devotional aimed at other serious Christians as well as seekers who are lovers of the beauty of the world. It uses Edwards’ famous notebook, “Images of Divine Things,” as a deep well of insight into the “nature” of reality, a nature that was made by God, Boss contends with Edwards, to reflect God’s glory and point sensitive souls to Scripture, which interprets its worldly sights and sounds in comprehensible ways.

As Boss explains his book’s message in a brief epilogue, “The Book of Nature is full of correspondences and similitudes that echo and illustrate the Book of Scripture. . . . Behind every bush and under every rock and within every tree, creature, and event is a voice of Wisdom crying out to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see.” He then quotes from Edwards’ “Images of Divine Things” accordingly:

If we look on these shadows of divine things [in nature] as the voice of God, purposely, by them, teaching us these and those spiritual and divine things, . . . how agreeably and clearly it will tend to convey instruction to our minds, and to impress things on the mind, and to affect the mind. By that we may as it were hear God speaking to us. Wherever we are and whatever we are about, we may see divine things excellently represented and held forth, and it will abundantly tend to confirm the Scriptures, for there is an excellent agreement between these things and the Holy Scriptures. (p. 116)

This foretaste of the meal Boss has readied for hungry readers is enough to give you the flavor of the feast on offer. Spiritually-minded nature lovers will eat it up.