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The Theology of Jonathan Edwards$
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Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199791606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.001.0001

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Overture to a Symphony

Overture to a Symphony

(p.3) 1 Overture to a Symphony
The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Michael J. McClymond

Gerald R. McDermott

Oxford University Press

Edwards's theology is like a symphony with many parts. The problem with existing interpretations is that they capture one or another part of the symphony yet fail to construe the sound and flow of the whole. This chapter outlines five constituents of the whole: Trinitarian communication, creaturely participation, necessitarian dispositionalism, the divine priority in all of reality, and harmonious constitutionalism. The chapter also describes Edwards's intellectual style as venturesome, unfettered, self‐critical, and developmental. He used a method of investigation and discovery by writing, subsuming insights into ever‐expanding and more general categories, and connecting ideas that might ordinarily be thought of as disconnected. The result was an unusual combination of traditionality and originality. The last section of the chapter provides snapshots of the themes that run throughout this analysis of the Edwards corpus—from spirituality to world religions.

Keywords:   Trinitarian communication, participation, necessity, dispositionalism, divine priority

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