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The Theology of Jonathan Edwards$
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Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199791606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.001.0001

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Edwards's Spirituality

Edwards's Spirituality

Chapter:
(p.60) 4 Edwards's Spirituality
Source:
The Theology of Jonathan Edwards
Author(s):

Michael J. McClymond

Gerald R. McDermott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.003.0004

Edwards's spirituality may be described in terms of three distinct themes: discipline, enjoyment, and consummation. His “Diary” and “Resolutions” reveal that Edwards insisted on rigorous practices and careful self-examination, ultimately looking to mortify sinful desires. The spiritual life was a disciplined life. At the same time, discipline in no way limited enjoyment or happiness. On the contrary, a holy life that is combined with the experience of beauty is a happy life. Such happiness consists in “holy affections,” the thesis of his famous Religious Affections. Edwards further insisted that a disciplined and happy spirituality looked beyond this life to an eventual consummation in heaven, a “holy and happy society” consisting of the Trinity, angels, and saints. In this heavenly state, the saints will forever advance into a closer relationship with God and with one another.

Keywords:   spirituality, discipline, happiness, enjoyment, mortification, religious affections, heaven eschatology, community, “Diary,” “Resolutions”

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