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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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Christianity and Other Religions

Christianity and Other Religions

(p.580) 36 Christianity and Other Religions
The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Michael J. McClymond

Gerald R. McDermott

Oxford University Press

Until very recently, the vast majority of readers and even scholars of Jonathan Edwards have assumed that he had little or no interest in religions beyond Judaism and Christianity, and certainly no knowledge of the great traditions beyond Palestine. Recent research, however, has shown that, from the very beginning of his career, Edwards showed interest in other religions, and that he seemed to become more and more intrigued the older he got. This chapter suggests one major stimulus to Edwards's fascination with the religions (deism), and then outlines three approaches he took to them. One goes back to Adam and the sons of Noah (the prisca theologia), one is based on Edwards's conviction that God speaks through all of nature and history (typology), and the third stems from his thinking about whether non-Christians can be saved (his dispositional soteriology).

Keywords:   world religions, prisca theologia, typology, soteriology, disposition, deism

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