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Jonathan Edwards: A Life by [George M. Marsden]

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Jonathan Edwards: A Life Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 172 ratings

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Review

"Magnificent. . . . This is a book that tells us as much about the intellectual foundations of America as it does about Jonathan Edwards."―Damian Thompson, Daily Telegraph



"It may not stretch the evidence to call Jonathan Edwards the most important religious figure in American history. . . . [Edwards’] arguments [are] analyzed with great skill and sensitivity in
Jonathan Edwards: A Life.. . . Marsden, himself an evangelical believer, puts Edwards back where he belongs, firmly in the theological world of the Reformation. . . . Marsden makes a convincing case for his greatness."―Garry Wills, New York Times Book Review



"Whether the reader is an academic . . . or a nonprofessional, this imaginative, . . . sympathetic reading of Edwards's life is informative and enjoyable."—John P. Fitzgibbons,
America

"It will endure as the standard account."—E. Brooks Holifield,
American Historical Review


"This universally lauded biography portrays America’s greatest theologian, 300 years after his birth."—Richard N. Ostling,
Associated Press


"This biography of one of the founding fathers of American religion is the first to appear in 60 years. The fact that it is an emotionally complex, almost novelistic account by one of the country’s foremost evangelical thinkers makes it an extraordinary read."—Paul Elie,
Belief.net (A Best Spiritual Book of the Year Finalist)


"Better than anyone else before, Marsden enters Edwards’ world—physically, mentally, and spiritually—and helps us understand his significance as an 18th-century leader. . . . Marsden tells a wonderful story, enriching his narrative with a wealth of little-known gems from Edwards’ world."—Douglas Sweeney,
Books & Culture


"Marsden has succeeded in the daunting task of exploring the fullness of Edwards’s life and work while avoiding hagiography or demonization. Marsden’s style is clear and his research thorough, yielding an unapologetic account of one of America’s most amazing personalities. . . . A volume that will stand for generations. Recommended."―
Choice



"Marsden has written a life of Edwards the way Edwards would have liked such a life to be written."—Allen C. Guelzo,
Christian Century


"In this conscientious and eloquent biography, pious Jonathan Edwards comes to unruly life with all his unresolved complexity intact."―Thomas D’Evelyn,
Christian Science Monitor



"The author thoroughly demolishes the stereotype of Edwards as the purveyor of sadistic religion that damns most people to hell. Setting him and his ideas in context like no other, Marsden handles Edwards’s complex ideas with brilliant clarity without oversimplifying them."—
Christianity Today


"It is one of the great merits of Marsden’s biography that he shows us the decidedly unheroic aspect of Edwards’ life (which is, of course, the stuff of every human life) while at the same time doing justice both to his towering intellectual achievements and to his incandescent faith, animated by a palpable sense of the sheer beauty and majesty of God. Neither debunking nor hagiographic, it is an almost supernaturally fair-minded portrait."—John Wilson,
Christianity Today


"What non-specialists have needed for some time is an accessible biography that integrates his tumultuous ministerial career with his serenely logical mind. That need has at last been met, thanks to the magisterial synthesis of Edwards’s life and thought presented in George Marsden’s
Jonathan Edwards."—Christopher D. Levenick, Claremont Review of Books


"Not only the definitive biography but also a narrative that reads like a novel. . . . [Marsden] lets Edwards' magnificence shine through."—Edward T. Oakes,
Commonweal

"One of the grand features of this latest biography of Edwards is Marsden’s success in demonstrating that Edwards was far more than a mere intellect."―Scott A. Wenig,
Denver Post



"Marsden provides a less tidy, which is to say, much more complete, account of Edwards’ life and work, bringing in a wealth of detail that forces us to qualify practically everything we had ever heard about Edwards. . . . By showing the complexity of the man and correcting many of the misunderstandings about him, Marsden has prepared the way for serious conversation with him."—George McKenna,
First Things


"George M. Marsden is truly a Christian scholar who respects both the Faith and the canons of historical research. . . . In this finely presented biography, Edwards stands forth both as an historical being and a Christian. If one wants to understand him and his world, this biography is the starting point."—
H-Net Book Review
 
 



"Magisterial. . . . Definitive, and it will remain so for decades to come."—Avihu Zakai,
Journal of American History

  



"George Marsden's study of Jonathan Edwards is a magnificent one. While admittedly sympathetic to Edwards's Augustinian and Calvinistic theology, Marsden examines the life of this greatest of American minds with a great deal of clear-sightedness."—Don M. Shipley, Jr., Journal of Church and State



"Splendid. . . . Scholarly, balanced, fair-minded, and highly readable. . . . Ministerial students would profit immeasurably by reading Marsden’s vivid account of Edwards’s shining integrity and glaring flaws as a pastor."—Joe E. Barnhart,
Journal of the American Academy of Religion


"A very readable biography."―William O. Paulsell, Lexington Theological Quarterly



"A comprehensive, compelling, and intensely human portrait of Edwards. . . . Marsden’s accessible style will appeal to laypeople and scholars alike. . . . This meticulously researched look at one of America’s most prominent thinkers and theologians is sure to set the standard for future studies of Jonathan Edwards’s life and work."—Pegge Bochynski,
Magill’s Literary Annual


"This is the first full-scale critical biography of Edwards in 60 years. Marsden’s biography represents the re-awakening of great scholarship on the works, life, and influence of Jonathan Edwards. . . . The book is accessible to a general audience, but it does not surrender rigor for academic use. Marsden offers a balanced perspective on Edwards who was clearly a great figure in the history of early America and in the history of western philosophy."—Joseph W. Ulatowski,
Metapsychology


"[An] excellent, fascinating biography. . . . Absorbing."―Adam Kirsch,
New York Sun



"Marsden’s elegant prose and vivid, vivacious storytelling brings Edwards to life. This magisterial and definitive biography reveals the complexities of Edwards’s life and provides new appreciation for his commitment to fostering religious sensibilities in the increasingly secular world of his time. This is a beautifully written book about one of America’s most important thinkers."—
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review


Winner of the Philip Schaff Prize sponsored by the American Society of Church History


A finalist for the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award in the biography category



Winner of the 2001-2003 Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize sponsored by the Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies




Winner of the 2004 Bancroft Prize in American History
 

"At last! A highly readable biography of Jonathan Edwards that takes account of the mountain of recent Edwards scholarship and is willing to acknowledge the agonies and ambiguities as well as the triumphs of Edwards life. A great companion to the
Jonathan Edwards Reader and TheJonathan Edwards Sermons."—Amy Plantinga Pauw, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary


"Marsden has brought together in a magisterial synthesis the details of the man’s daily life and the range of ideas that challenged the assumptions of his time and ours."—Edmund S. Morgan

"In this biography, Marsden has produced a masterpiece. It is eloquent, reliable, and comprehensive. I found it insightful and inspiring throughout."—George S. Claghorn, West Chester University, editor of
Letters and Personal Writings of Jonathan Edwards


"This is the finest biography of Edwards that I have read. It will be the standard benchmark for Edwards scholarship for generations to come."—Harry S. Stout, Yale University


"There is no question that Marsden’s biography is the best book ever written about America’s (and perhaps the world’s) greatest theologian."—Sam T. Logan, Jr., Westminster Theological Seminary


--This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

George M. Marsden is Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He has written numerous books, including The Soul of the American University and The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship.
--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0017I1OR2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Yale University Press (March 11 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 7568 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 640 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 172 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
172 global ratings

Top reviews from Canada

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Reviewed in Canada on November 13, 2003
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Reviewed in Canada on August 16, 2003
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Top reviews from other countries

Rohintan Mody
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2004
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13 people found this helpful
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P. Mead
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive biography
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2014
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2 people found this helpful
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Michael Print
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Biography
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2018
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dbello88
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent biography, poor kindle version.
Reviewed in Brazil on August 3, 2018
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Willow
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic volume
Reviewed in Australia on February 27, 2020
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