Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections and the Puritan Analysis of True Piety, Spiritual Sensation and Heart Religion

Author: Walton, Brad
Year:2002
Pages:276
ISBN:0-7734-7236-3
978-0-7734-7236-5
Price:199.95
This study focuses on Jonathan Edwards’s Treatise Concerning Religious Affections and shows that rather than discontinuity, Edwards’s religion of the heart reflects a conservative extension of traditional Puritan thought into the time of the Great Awakening. It opposes the main-stream scholarly views of Edwards, argue that, however unique as a fully synthesized and exhaustive work, the Religious Affections is constructed almost entirely from elements deriving from 16th and 17th century Puritanism.

Reviews

“This anthology will be of great value to students of the history of Anglican spirituality and to those of other Christian traditions wanting to understand its development since the sixteenth century….is as representative a coverage of the written tradition of Anglican spirituality as one can have in one volume.” – Toronto School of Theology

“. . . both instructive and important for understanding the sources and significance of Edwards’s famous Treatise. . . . this study offers substantial intellectual-historical perspective on Edwards’s theological program. . . and a significant corrective, in Edwards-scholarship, respecting Edwards’s psychology of conversion.” – William K. B. Stoever

“Walton’s impressive manuscript opens up what is virtually a new perspective on the Treatise – and not only of the Treatise, but also of seventeenth-century Puritanism. . . . While Walton thus somewhat deflates Edwards’ claims to originality, he does not lessen Edwards’ importance. On the contrary, he demonstrates Edwards’ creativity in adapting a complex and not always consistent theological tradition to a new situation. In a wonderfully readable style and with clear descriptions of the prominent themes of Puritan devotional literature, Walton’s book thus offers a fresh appreciation of the foundations of American theology.. . . focuses on an important topic, makes excellent use of a wealth of resources, displays an impressive breadth of perspective, and is characterized by a clear and attractive writing style.” – Dr. Alan L. Hayes

"Dr. Walton makes a distinctive contribution to the field of study relating to Jonathan Edwards's influences. This monumental work serves as a marker indicating a major shift in thought regarding Edwards's use of nature, imagery, and emotion in his preaching and writing ... Providing a healthy balance of primary and secondary sources, Dr. Walton gives academic studies on Jonathan Edwards a new starting point by examining the influences that led to Edwards's impact on both the awakenings and Puritan scholarship." - Faith & Mission

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface; Introduction
1. Religious Affections in Recent and Contemporary Scholarship: Edwards as Atypical Puritan Psychologist; Edwards and Lockean Empiricism; Atypical Theorist of Conversion; Puritanism as Underexamined source for Religious Affections
2. Religious Affections and its 17th Century Background: Structure and Content of Religious Affections ; Earlier traditions; John Bradford; Richard Greenham; Daniel Dyke; Richard Rogers; Lawrence Chadderton and John Dod; William Perkins; William Ames; Richard Sibbes; John Preston; Thomas Goodwin; Thomas Shepard; Thomas Brooks; John Owen; Richard Baxter; John Flavel; John Smith; signs vs. Steps, and the Role of Terror in the Conversion
3. The Language and Psychology of the Heart in Religious Affections and in Edwards’s Predecessors: Edwards and his Opponents; Aristotelian-Thomistic Psychology; Edwards’s analysis of Religious Psychology; Role of Intellect; summary of Heart-Language and its Connotations; Traditional Heart-Language before Puritanism (Middle Eastern and biblical sources; Greek Physiology; Augustine; Monastic and Medieval Traditions; Renaissance and Reformation; New-Scholastic); Heart Religion in pre-Edwardsean Puritanism; Religious Affections and Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding
Conclusions; Bibliography; Index