This month Eerdmans is releasing a landmark volume in Edwards studies: The Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia. This book is edited by the Jonathan Edwards Center luminaries Harry S. Stout, Kenneth P. Minkema, and Adriaan C. Neele, and it makes a substantial contribution to the field by helping those interested in Edwards to get acquainted with various aspects of his life, thought, and context.
It was a privilege for me to be able to contribute three essays to this work, all related to Edwards’s biblical interpretation: “Hermeneutics,” “Inspiration,” and “Scripture.” These form a very small piece of a much larger volume that deserves the attention of Edwards experts and students.
Here’s what other scholars are saying about the volume:
Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame:
The astonishing renaissance in study of Jonathan Edwards has very much needed a definitive reference work. This is it. An army of first-rate Edwards scholars has written authoritatively on every angle of his life and thought. The book summarizes, but it should also spur, the best kind of historical and theological scholarship.
Grant Wacker, Duke Divinity School:
This remarkable volume of nearly 400 essays tackles a sweeping range of topics related to the life, thought, times, and legacy of America’s most influential theologian. The authors consider important but often-overlooked topics (such as Edwards’s shifting views on aging) and cast new light on often-considered topics (such as Edwards’s Puritan context). The concise bibliographic suggestions at the end of each article are worth the price of admission alone. The word landmark is overused in cover endorsements. In this case, however, no other word adequately conveys the importance of The Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia.
Margaret Bendroth, Congregational Library and Archives, Boston:
Jonathan Edwards has received his ultimate tribute. This encyclopedia is a proverbial feast of scholarship and erudition, presented to readers in succinct, clear, and manageable bites. It is one of those rare reference works that you long to read from cover to cover.
Thomas S. Kidd, Baylor University:
The Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia assembles a remarkable cast of Edwards experts, whose entries offer a treasure trove of insights into Edwards’s vast body of work. A fitting monument to Edwards himself, this compendium will be an essential resource for scholars and admirers of this great preacher and theologian.
Anyone who intends to study anything about Jonathan Edwards will want to keep this volume handy. It will prove particularly helpful to those who are relatively new to Edwards. And it will offer a quick way for even the most seasoned Edwards scholars to gain greater clarity into the various doctrines, concepts, theological or philosophical movements, people, and historical contexts connected to the famous New England theologian. Edwards is brilliant and lucid in his way, but he can be demanding of his readers. Often, as he presents his case for his own views, he will be trying at the same time to anticipate and head off objections. So it is helpful to have an easily accessible guide to both highlight his main points and unveil the significance of the points he is refuting.