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News Alert: On July 11, 2012, Jonathan Edwards Arrives in Heidelberg, Germany

These are very exciting times in Heidelberg, Germany; Jonathan Edwards now has a German accent …

The official inauguration of the Jonathan Edwards Center Germany is on July 11, 2012. See the announcement here.

A few of the highlights:

1. Kenneth P. Minkema (Yale Divinity School) and Jan Stievermann (Universität Heidelberg)

Presentation: “What is the Jonathan Edwards Center?”

When: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:45-7:15pm

Location: Heidelberg Center for American Studies (Atrium)

2. Peter J. Thuesen, Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Keynote address: “Jonathan Edwards and the Transatlantic World of Books”

When: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 7:15-8:15pm

Location: Heidelberg Center for American Studies (Atrium)

3. Symposium: “New Avenues in Jonathan Edwards Studies and Eighteenth-Century Religious History”

When: Thursday, July 12, 2012

Location: Heidelberg Center for American Studies (Stucco)

— Hermann Wellenreuther (Universität Göttingen): Keynote lecture — “Is Religion Affected by Atlantic Transfers in the Early Modern Period?” (9:30-10:30am)

— Andreas Beck (Evangelische Theologische Fakulteit, Leuven): “Jonathan Edwards and Reformed Orthodoxy on Free Will and Determinism” (11:00-12:00pm)

— *Lunch Break* (12:00-14:00pm)

— Sarah Rivett (Princeton University): “Savage Sounds: Indigenous Words and Missionary Linguistics in New Light Theology” (14:00-15:00pm)

— Reiner Smolinski (Georgia State University): “Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards and the Challenge of Philosophical Materialism” (15:30-16:30pm)

— Round Table: “New Projects and Archives in Eighteenth-Century Religious History” (17:00-18:00pm)

For more information on these exciting developments, please visit  Jonathan Edwards Center Germany.

Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale Launches New Online Journal

After publication of more than two dozen print volumes of writings by 18th century theologian, preacher, and philosopher Jonathan Edwards, followed by a massive digitization project that has made some 100,000 pages of Edwards’s writings accessible via the Internet, the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale has turned the page with the launch of a new online journal, Jonathan Edwards Studies.

Creation of the online journal, freely accessible to the public, continues the Center’s efforts to make the writings of eighteenth century theologian and preacher Jonathan Edwards more accessible, not only in the U.S. but internationally as well.

The Center’s expansion internationally has gained significant momentum in the past several years, in large measure through partnerships and affiliated centers established in a number of overseas locations, including Australia, Benelux, Brazil, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and South Africa.

The new publication is interdisciplinary and professionally refereed by an international editorial board, and editors welcome submissions from graduate students, young scholars, clergy, seminarians and other Edwards enthusiasts. The editors are Kenneth P. Minkema, executive editor of the Works of Jonathan Edwards and director of the Jonathan Edwards Center, and Adriaan C. Neele, associate editor of the Works of Jonathan Edwards and director of the Jonathan Edwards Center.

In a message of welcome in the inaugural issue, released Sept. 6, editors of the journal said, “This is the first modern professional periodical of its kind, devoted to considerations of the background, influences, life, times, thought, and legacy of one of the most significant thinkers in Christian history, arguably America’s most important protestant theologian, and one of the most significant figures in modern religious history—Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758).”

The journal, to be published in the spring and fall, will enhance the Center’s ability to fulfill its goal of supporting and encouraging “all facets of Edwards’s fascinating body of work, including historic trajectories, early modern context, his life and thought, and global legacies.”

The journal will consider submissions in four categories: articles (6,000-8,000 words), features (up to 2,000 words), historical documents (primary source materials, up to 50 pages), and book reviews (350-1,000 words).

Submissions will be sent for review to scholars and authors who are specialists in the field of Edwards Studies or generalists in their disciplines. If a manuscript is accepted for publication, the editorial staff will then edit it to conform to JES’s house style.

“I am particularly excited by this new online journal,” said Minkema, “because it is the first of its kind devoted to all things Edwards, and it is the desire of the JEC to make this journal a venue for all sorts of new and exciting work on his life, times, and legacy.”

The Journal is being published at minimal cost, by using the freely available open-source journal publishing software “Open Journal Systems,” developed through a partnership including several Canadian universities and the Stanford University School of Education.

According to Neele, the entire publishing process can be done online with OJS. Said Neele, “Open Journal Systems (OJS) is a journal management and publishing software that assists with every stage of the refereed publishing process, from online submissions of articles through to online publication, and comprehensive indexing of content.”

The inaugural issue features articles on Jonathan Edwards and the absence of free choice and on sexual politics in Eighteenth-Century Pelham, MA; an historical document entitled “A Quaker Response to Distinguishing Marks”; and a feature on Jonathan Edwards and the tithe.

The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale, based at Yale Divinity School, was established in 2003 in anticipation of the completion of the 26-volume Yale edition of The Works of Jonathan Edwards. With Yale University Press’s completion of those volumes in 2008, the Jonathan Edwards Center carried the work of the Edwards project forward with creation of a 73-volume, comprehensive, fully searchable, critical, annotated online edition, WJE Online, including some 100,000 pages of Edwards sermons, notebooks, letters, and treatises. An ongoing project is the transcription of original Edwards manuscripts at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale.

In addition to housing the editorial and administrative components of the letterpress and digital projects—and, now, the online journal—the Center offices also serve as a resource center for research, education, and publication.

For more information about this new journal, see here.

Sweeney’s Booknotes: Jonathan Edwards and Scotland

Kelly Van Andel, Adriaan C. Neele, and Kenneth P. Minkema, eds., Jonathan Edwards and Scotland (Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press, 2011).

This is a fine volume of essays, written mainly by junior scholars. Although its title suggests that it focuses closely on Edwards’ Scottish connections, several of its essays tie Edwards to people in other places such as England, Wales, the Netherlands, Native America, even Königsberg. A few indulge too much in transhistorical speculation regarding “affinities” between Edwards and others who lived in different contexts (who neither knew Edwards and his works nor were known or read by him). But most provide keen insight into the ways in which Edwards was actually read and used in early modern Scottish history.

This book began at a conference convened at the University of Glasgow in March 2009, which was organized by the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale Divinity School. It is the first published volume to look exclusively (or nearly so) at Edwards in modern Scotland. Its contributors work in history, theology, philosophy, and literature.

Kelly Van Andel, who was finishing her dissertation in Glasgow at the time of the conference itself, now teaches at the University of New Mexico. Neele and Minkema, of course, direct the Edwards Center at Yale.

Although its price ($120) will keep this volume out of the reach of most students, I recommend it to everyone interested in the legacy of Edwards in the place where he was more widely read than anywhere else but America.

Here is a look at its table of contents:

Editors’ Introduction

Chapter One—Wilson H. Kimnach, “‘Unfearing Minds’: A Transatlantic Brotherhood of Preachers”

Chapter Two—Adriaan C. Neele, “Exchanges in Scotland, the Netherlands, and America: The Reception of the Theoretico-practica theologia and A History of the Work of Redemption

Chapter Three—David Ceri Jones, “‘Sure the time here now is like New England’: What Happened When the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists Read Jonathan Edwards?”

Chapter Four—Chris Chun, “The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards: Eighteenth-Century Catalysts for Revivals among Presbyterians and Baptists in Scotland”

Chapter Five—Nicholas T. Batzig, “Edwards, McLaurin, and the Transatlantic Concert”

Chapter Six—Kelly Van Andel, “The Geography of Sinfulness: Mapping Subjectivity on the Mission Frontier”

Chapter Seven—Richard A. S. Hall, “Edwards and Hume on Causation”

Chapter Eight—H. G. Callaway, “Witherspoon, Edwards, and ‘Christian Magnanimity’”

Chapter Nine—Natalia Marandiuc, “Human Will, Divine Grace, and Virtue: Jonathan Edwards Tangos with Immanuel Kant”

Chapter Ten—Susan Miller, “Beauty Is Truth, Truth Beauty: Jonathan Edwards and John Keats”

Chapter Eleven—Kyle Strobel, “Jonathan Edwards’ Reformed Doctrine of the Beatific Vision”

–By Douglas Sweeney, Director of the JEC at TEDS

JEC at TEDS Hosting a Colloquium on Jonathan Edwards’ Global Legacies (Jan 6, 2012)

“The New England theology remains the most significant and enduring Christian theological school of thought to have originated in the United States. Yet today little is known about it beyond the circle of those with a professional interest in the scholarship associated with this movement. Even in this select group, one seldom finds anything like a complete understanding of the different phases of its life or the works of its main proponents. There has been scholarly work on the movement post mortem, but for much of the twentieth century that interest amounted to little more than a trickle of scholarly articles and several (important) monographs. It is only in the last quarter century that significant scholarly interest in these theologians has been rekindled. A clutch of important studies, and a collection of some of the most important writings from the movement have seen the light of day in this period, signalling a renewal of serious intellectual interest in the theologians of this movement.”

These words are taken from the introduction of a forthcoming book edited by Oliver D. Crisp and Douglas A. Sweeney, After Jonathan Edwards: The Courses of the New England Theology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). This volume offers a reassessment of the New England Theology in light of the work of Jonathan Edwards. In this volume scholars whose work has made important theological and philosophical contributions to our understanding of the thought and work of Edwards are brought together with scholars of New England theology and early American history to produce a cross-disciplinary symposium dealing with the ways in which New England Theology flourished, how themes in Edwards’ thought were taken up and changed by representatives of the school, and how it has had a lasting influence on the shape of American Christianity.

Based on this new book, the Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS is presenting a panel discussion on “After Jonathan Edwards: The Courses of the New England Theology.” This JEC event will be part of the New Directions in Edwards Studies series.

The colloquium will include:

1. Moderator: Douglas A. Sweeney, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

2. Introductions: Oliver D. Crisp, Fuller Theological Seminary

3. “Jonathan Edwards and His Educational Legacy” by Kenneth P. Minkema, Yale University

4. “Edwards in the Second Great Awakening: The New Divinity Contributions of Edward Dorr Griffin and Asahel Nettleton” by David W. Kling, University of Miami

5. “An Edwardsean Lost and Found: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards in Asia” by Anri Morimoto, International Christian University (Tokyo)

6. Initial response: Ava Chamberlain, Wright State University

7. Discussion with the audience

This event will be taking place on the campus of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on Friday, Jan 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm (location TBA).