Jonathan Edwards, the Mystical Tradition, and Revivalism

June 3, 2024 - June 7, 2024
June 3-7, 2024 10:00 am - 12:15 pm Eastern Time
New HavenCT

The early eighteenth-century British-American philosophical theologian Jonathan Edwards has often been called a “mystic.” Through a selected series of primary and secondary readings, supplemented by presentations and discussions, this course seeks to evaluate Edwards’ place within the mystical tradition, the contours and nature of his mysticism, and his appraisal of how mystical experience was appropriated (and misappropriated) during the protestant evangelical revivals, known as “The Great Awakening.” Starting with definitions and an overview of trajectories in medieval mysticism, we will consider mysticism(s) in early evangelicalism and whether and in what regards Edwards himself partook of these traditions, and then examine the radical claims to mystical experiences, including revelations, visions, spirit possession, and embodiment, that emerged during the revivals, and Edwards’ developing critique of those claims.

There are no prerequisites for this course. All readings will be made available for download through the Jonathan Edwards Center website,