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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Hamilton’

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 (http://www.jesociety.org/), 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.