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'A Good and Sensible Man': John Wesley’s Reading and Use of Jonathan Edwards.

O'Brien, Glen (2017) 'A Good and Sensible Man': John Wesley’s Reading and Use of Jonathan Edwards. In: The Global Edwards: Papers from the Jonathan Edwards Congress held in Melbourne, August 2015. Australian College of Theology Monograph Series, ed. Bezzant, Rhys S.. Wipf and Stock, Eugene, Oregon, pp. 247-260. ISBN 9781532635953

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This chapter examines John Wesley's reading of Jonathan Edwards and the manner in which he mediated Edwards to 'the people called Methodist' through the editing, publishing, and dissemination of Edwards' works. It will include a consideration of the 1778 sermon, 'Some Account of the Late Work of God in America' in which Wesley co-opts Edwards for use in a historical narrative designed to legitimate Methodism as a genuine work of God as well as to extend Wesley's opposition to the democratic spirit that had led to the American Revolution. Wesley describes his own work in Georgia and the awakening in Northampton reported in Edwards' 'Faithful Narrative of a Surprising Work of God' (1736), as though they were two parts of a continuous and converging stream. In so doing he smooths over the historical complexities and continuities, rewriting history to serve his own purposes. Though Wesley's admiration for Edwards is clear his selective use of the latter's writings was guided by the conviction that they contained 'wholesome food...mixed with much deadly poison.'

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords: John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Eighteenth-century studies, History of evangelicalism, revivalism, Colonial America
Fields of Research: 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210312 North American History
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950406 Religious Traditions (excl. Structures and Rituals)
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
A - Humanities, general
College/Association with University of Divinity: EBC: Eva Burrows College
Depositing User: Mr Mark Carey
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 22:35
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2018 05:11
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3021

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