These volumes offer wonderfully rich resources for in-depth study of Jonathan Edwards’s thought. Scholars will find them to offer essential guidance and valuable commentary on Edwards’s wide-ranging theological reflections.
George Marsden, Author of Jonathan Edwards: A Life
“The Miscellanies Project” is a remarkable step forward in Edwards scholarship and indicates ways that historiography and digital technology can bear surprising and fruitful results. The creativity of this project matches that of Edwards’s own mind, which is often best seen in the panoply of topics he dealt with in his “Miscellanies.” This second volume of the project utilizes the work of predominantly up-and-coming Edwards scholars to provide readers with a rich array of Edwards’s complex thought. They show very clearly that Edwards was both an explorative dogmatician, but one who was firmly steeped in the Christian tradition. Some of my favorite chapters in this volume dealt with Edwards and the natural law, the happiness of God, the conversion of infants, the nature of war, and the theology of the new earth. All of the essays, however, show the shocking range of Edwards’s intellectual interests and we now get the benefit of seeing those connected together in great detail.
Ian Clary, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, Colorado Christian University
Edwards’s spiritual sensitivity was poetic and his poetic sensibility was spiritual though he has been never credited poet per se. Not unlike his Master, however, he discerned God’s presence in the birds of the sky and the lilies of the field. Reformers from Luther and Calvin onwards have received and passed on the voice of the Gospel through oral proclamation. Edwards’s mind, however, was visual, a rare virtue in Protestantism. Edwards’s ultimately visual imagination inspired scholars of the early 21th century to visualize the words and the concepts of his texts by discerning a network of correspondences and thereby creating beautiful digital cosmos to impress the mind of the postmodern viewer. With this second volume to The Jonathan Edwards Miscellaneous Companions, Robert L. Boss, founder of The Jonathan Edwards Society, and his daughter Sarah B. Boss, a new generation of laborers in the vineyard of Edwards studies have collected and edited a superb collection of essays to the benefit and pleasure of the devoted congregation of Edwards scholars.
Tibor Fabiny, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center Hungary, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary
The “Miscellanies” manuscripts are a treasure trove of Jonathan Edwards’s unpublished private thoughts that later became a basis for many of his later published works. This volume provides cutting-edge essays that delve deeply into the thinking of one who many consider to be America’s greatest theologian. This collection, however, does more than just that. It connects Edwards’s vast and far-reaching reflections by means of a new technology called the “Visual Edwards.” Just as Gutenberg’s printing press of the fifteenth century replaced the tedious and expensive practice of copying by hand, the advent of computers and the Internet are displacing printed paper with screens and hypertext. Harnessing this digital revolution, Robert and Sarah Boss link each of the contributors’ essays to Edwards’s complex web of ideas with a pictorial matrix that makes for a helpful, striking, and aesthetically appealing visualization.
Chris Chun, Director of Jonathan Edwards Center Gateway, Professor of Church History, Gateway Seminary
The tools of digital humanities allow researchers to identify or represent patterns in literature in ways that would have been prohibitively time consuming or impossible with tools based in print technologies. Because of the structure of the “Miscellanies” of Jonathan Edwards and the breath of his corpus, an exhaustive analysis of a theme is difficult. Topical mapping allows researchers to clarify Edwards through his own writings. The “Visual Edwards” interface is clean and easy to navigate from the links that accompany the essays. The essays in this volume contextualize the concepts mapped. This project exemplifies what can be done to enrich theological research with data gathered from projects similar to The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online.
Jonathan McCormick, Director of Library Services, Gateway Seminary
My friend and academic accountability partner Rob Boss made another splendid work of compiling together works of emerging Edwards scholars. Tied with the amazing “Visual Edwards” project, these papers weave through treasures hidden in repositories of Edwards’s “Miscellanies” notebooks, reconstructing important themes such as covenant, conversion, happiness, glory, infant baptism, hell, the new world, and more. Summoning a new generation of Edwards scholars, the Jonathan Edwards Society is, by this contribution, showing a new direction of the study of this America’s greatest theologian.
Reita Yazawa, Professor of Christian Studies, Hokurikugakuin University, Japan
The Jonathan Edwards Miscellanies Companion, Volume 2 reflects the excellent ongoing work of JESociety Press. It is expertly edited, beautifully designed, and high quality. The second volume, like the first volume, is a collection of some of the best international Edwards scholars writing on a series of topics from Edwards’s “Miscellanies.” It is a strong collection and highly recommended.
Joshua R. Farris, Professor of Theology of Science, Missional University