- Edwards, Jonathan
- (1703–58)Theologian.Edwards was educated at the University of Yale where he underwent a religious conversion. He was ordained to the Congregational ministry and in 1724 he became the pastor of the Congregational Church of Northampton, Massachusetts. A devout Calvinist, he was an exceptionally powerful preacher and was a leader of the religious revival known as the ‘Great Awakening’. He later became a close friend of George whitefield who led an even more extensive revival in the 1740s. Edwards described the Great Awakening in his Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Works of God published in 1737. As a result of various controversies within his church, he moved to Stockbridge on the frontier where he wrote dissertations on original sin, true virtue and free will. In this last, he defended calvin’s doctrine of election and, influenced by locke, he argued that the notion of freedom was ‘unphilosophical, contradictory and absurd’. His commitment and dedication were undisputed and his influence has been widespread in the Churches of America. His teachings were continued by a group of disciples who evolved a ‘New England Theology’ which dominated Congregational schools in the nineteenth century.E.H. Davidson, Jonathan Edwards: The Narrative of a Puritan Mind (1968);P.J. Tracy, Jonathan Edwards Pastor: Religion and Society in 18th-Century Northampton (1980);L.W. Jenson, American Theologian (1988).
Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.