Jonathan Edwards on the Experience of Beauty

Jonathan Edwards on the Experience of Beauty

by Louis J. Mitchell


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Jonathan Edwards on the Experience of Beauty relates Edwards' idea of beauty to his understanding of the psychology of religious experience. In his vocabulary of the language of beauty Edwards articulates a traditional understanding of beauty in the various relations that constitute primary and secondary beauty. All beauty, however, is ultimately founded on the beauty of God's Trinitarian being. Edwards' concept of the "sense of the heart," related to his psychology of religious experience, is articulated as an infusion of God's beauty. This experience results in a new perception and manifestation of holiness and beauty in the lives of the saints, both individually and corporately. True believers are to be "proportioned Christians," showing forth beauty in their affections. Edwards explicated this perspective in sermons, treatises-especially Religious Affections-and in a number of cases he presented, including the religious experiences of David Brainerd, Sarah Edwards, and his own awakening and conversion. In these cases, the language of beauty plays a prominent descriptive role. In summary, Jonathan Edwards on the Experience of Beauty shows the importance of Edwards' idea of beauty for his understanding of genuine religious experience. Edwards defines true or genuine religion as an experience of God's beauty that becomes manifested in the beauty of the affections. Further, in articulating that understanding, he utilized the vocabulary of his language of beauty. For Jonathan Edwards, beauty is the structure of genuine religious experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532603594
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 08/05/2016
Series: Jonathan Edwards Classic Studies Series
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Acknowledgments and Dedication viii

Introduction ix

I The Language of Beauty 1

The Vocabulary of Beauty 1

The Beauty of Love 5

Beauty and the Trinity 10

Beauty and Glory 12

II The Experience of Beauty 17

A Sense of the Heart 18

Religious Knowledge 20

A Sense of the Spirit 27

Beauty Perceived 29

III The Manifestations of Beauty 31

Beauty Incarnate 31

Excellency of Christ 31

"Proportioned Christians" 41

Corporate Beauty 43

The Beauty of Order 46

The Beauty of Union 49

"One Cannot Subsist Alone" 51

IV Signs Of Beauty 55

Religious Affections 55

Negative Signs 59

Positive Signs 62

V Cases of Beauty 75

A Faithful Narrative 75

The Case of Abigail Hutchinson 77

The Case of Phoebe Bartlet 78

The Case of Jonathan Edwards 80

Some Thoughts on the Revival 90

The Case of Sarah Edwards 90

The Case of David Brainerd 94

Conclusion 105

Bibliography 109

Index 113

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