The Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards
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The Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards : A Study in Divine Semiotics

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The identification of the dichotomy between the Renaissance and Modernist modes of logic and the detailed working out of that dichotomy in Edwards's writings constitute a new foundation for the study of Edwards's thought and rhetoric. NWilson H. Kimnach Though he is well known in literary, historical, and religious circles, Jonathan Edwards is a puzzle to philosophers, and attempts to portray him in terms of the classical modern dispute between empiricism and rationalism are inevitably frustrated by his blend of philosophy, rhetoric, history, and religious doctrine. Stephen H. Daniel reveals how Edwards's philosophy appeals to the tradition of Stoic logic and ontology thematized in the Renaissance by Paracelsus and Peter Ramus. Drawing on the semiotic work of Peirce, Foucault, and Kristeva, the book shows how the Renaissance theory of signatures provides Edwards and his contemporaries with a powerful alternative to the ideas of Descartes and Locke. Presenting the Stoic-Renaissance treatment of signs as an alternative to the modern dismissal of the language of nature, Daniel shows how this earlier model illumines Edwards's treatment of theological themes such as creation, trinity, original sin, freedom, moral agency, and the knowledge of beauty.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 161.5 x 230.6 x 19.3mm | 517.1g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 025331609X
  • 9780253316097

About Stephen H. Daniel

STEPHEN H. DANIEL is Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University and author of Myth and Modern Philosophy and John Toland: His Methods, Manners, and Mind.show more

Table of contents

PREFACE INTRODUCTION I. The Prospect of Semiotics The Invitation of Typology The Semiotic Context The Renaissance Episteme II. The Discourse of Typology The Vocabulary of Nature Two Texts: Nature and Scripture The Nature of Typological Relations III. The Logics of Creation The Stoicism of Ramist Logic The Ontology of Supposition Corporeality and Mentality as Rhetorical Placement IV. The Trinity and Creation The Logic of the Trinity Why God Creates V. The Ontology of Original Sin The Fall The Imputation of Subjectivity VI. Freedom and Moral Agency Intentionality of Will as Philosophical Necessity Divine Decrees and Foreknowledge Virtue as Consent VII. The Knowledge of Beauty Consent Knowledge and Grace Concluding Remarks: The Porpriety of Christ BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEXshow more

Review quote

"In this challenging work, Daniel draws on the semiotics of Foucault, Kristeva, and Peirce to explore Edwards's typology... elegant and important ... " - Library Journal "A provocative and at times brilliant reinterpretation of Edwards ... " - Religious Studies Review " ... a comprehensive analysis and redefinition of the thought of Jonathan Edwards."- Peirce Project Newsletter " ... a new foundation for the study of Edwards's thought and rhetoric." - Wilson H. Kimnach "... this is a superb and important book, one that deserves to be widely read and vigorously discussed." - Transactions of the Charles S. Pierce Society "... Daniel's work ought ... to be required reading among the Edwards guild, for it provides perhaps the best philosophical introduction in English to Edward's major writings." - Church Historyshow more