Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
John Calvin's American Legacy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Thomas Davis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390971

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390971.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 September 2019

“Jonathan Edwards, Calvin, Baxter & Co.”: Mark Twain and the Comedy of Calvinism

“Jonathan Edwards, Calvin, Baxter & Co.”: Mark Twain and the Comedy of Calvinism

Chapter:
(p.239) 10 “Jonathan Edwards, Calvin, Baxter & Co.”: Mark Twain and the Comedy of Calvinism
Source:
John Calvin's American Legacy
Author(s):

Joe B. Fulton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390971.003.0010

Mark Twain grappled seriously with theologians from the Calvinist tradition. While many of his comments seem dismissive (and funny), it is clear that Calvinism charged his writing with what one might call an insistent humorousness of purpose. Reflecting on free will, election, and predestination, Twain read especially Jonathan Edwards; not just as one of whom to make fun but as one with whom he had much in common. Edwards provided more than just a whipping boy for Twain’s philosophical comedy—they shared a theological vocabulary, metaphysical assumptions, and a view of God as sovereign. Their disagreements were substantial, but Mark Twain and the Calvinists were partners in the same enterprise. Thus, one can argue that Twain’s growth as a writer came, not, as some have argued, only insofar as he could distance himself from his Calvinist upbringing and influences, but rather as he fully engaged and wrestled with that tradition.

Keywords:   Mark Twain, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Calvinism, comic writing, free will, election, predestination, Richard Baxter

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .