HSS2 - Edwards response

HSS2 - Edwards response - Ben Krejci Edwards Narrative...

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Ben Krejci   Edwards   Narrative  Response Jonathan Edwards was a man of conviction—and never afraid to assert his rather radical  beliefs quite passionately. As is often the case with such individuals, he was met with fervent  controversy and dislike by many all his life. It is unclear to me, however, whether the basis for  this contempt included any of the same skepticism and aversion consistently exhibited today  with regard to Edwards and his writing. Nevertheless, while Calvinism is not a particularly  prominent topic of debate in this day and age, most sense an air of arrogance and immaturity  upon reading his work, which does not generally prove conducive to his popularity. Today’s  reader is often intrigued by his writing as it stands out in stark contrast against other familiar  religious doctrines, but is ultimately bothered by the obnoxious tone and childish tendency to  center around Edwards himself and no one else. It is, in fact, Jonathan Edwards’ sole objective  in writing his  Personal Narrative  to boast, whether he is aware of this fact or not. Edwards mentions various traits and experiences that place him above the rest of  humankind in proximity to God, by virtue of a  vastly  superior understanding of the true beauty  within the divine righteousness beheld by his holiness. It is difficult to isolate specific instances  of this effect because it is largely present only in the implications of his tone—which I find  painfully apparent in his reminiscent digressions in particular. Thus he writes, “…I remember the  time very well, when I seemed to be convinced, and fully satisfied, as to this sovereignty of  God…   but   only   that   now   I   saw   further,   and   my   reason  apprehended the justice and reasonableness of it” [2]. It may be  necessary now to re-read the quote, or preferably, to read the full  passage from his narrative; but this time, take a moment allow  your   mind’s   eye   to   picture   the   adjacent   wigged   gentleman,  furrowing his noble brow before relating the captivating parable  with an exaggerated British accent. Just one true story of many,  used   in   a   vain   and   selfless   attempt   to   show   others   how   he  attained knowledge of such superiority, that they might one day achieve comparable greatness. 
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This note was uploaded on 10/15/2008 for the course HSS 2 taught by Professor Hannahwells during the Spring '07 term at Cooper Union.

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HSS2 - Edwards response - Ben Krejci Edwards Narrative...

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