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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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Edwards's Intellectual Context

Edwards's Intellectual Context

(p.40) 3 Edwards's Intellectual Context
The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Michael J. McClymond

Gerald R. McDermott

Oxford University Press

This chapter clarifies Edwards's intellectual context by debunking three false dichotomies often associated with the eighteenth century: faith versus reason, Catholic scholasticism versus Protestant biblicism, and British empiricism versus Continental rationalism. Contrary to such simplistic characterizations, Edwards's rapidly changing context was punctuated by the exchange and competition of ideas in the fields of religion, literature, and politics. The chapter further outlines the vast spectrum of heterodoxy, emphasizing the significant influence of Socinianism, Arianism, Deism, and Arminianism. Although living and writing in Colonial America, Edwards was not isolated from or unaware of the contemporary religious and intellectual trends.

Keywords:   philosophy, Enlightenment, seventeenth century, eighteenth century, Socinianism, Arianism, Deism, Arminianism, empiricism, rationalism

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