Imagined Constructions of Community: Continuing Scholarship on Jonathan Edwards (SEA Savannah, Georgia, Feb. 28 - March 2, 2013)
Panel Organizer: Andrea Knutson, Oakland University
Chair: Joy A. J. Howard, Saint Joseph's University
Scholarship on Jonathan Edwards has expanded in recent years especially due to the availability of his writings. In 2008, Yale issued the final volume of The Works of Jonathan Edwards. Yale has also offered all twenty-six volumes in the letterpress series and a substantial amount of additional material for free through The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online. Cambridge, Oxford, and Princeton University Presses have each recently published collections and "companions" to the study of Edwards. Additionally, Jonathan Edwards continues to be well read by seminary students and pastors around the world. They find in the writings and life of this prominent eighteenth-century Protestant Congregational minister a practical example of ministry, mission, and career. The breadth of Edwards' intellectual pursuits and interests are well represented in recent scholarship; yet, this scholarship tends to treat the breadth of Edwards' various intellectual interests (millennial, aesthetic, trans-Atlantic, Native American, Calvinist, scientific, philosophical, and others) as discreet categories.
Energized by the continued interest and access to Edwards' writings, this panel seeks to put into conversation intersections of new scholarship on Jonathan Edwards. We invite new scholarship on Edwards' wide-ranging interests. We also invite work that seeks to synthesize and explore how Edwards' diverse interests speak to and inform each other. We are especially interested in work that engages with ways Edwards imagined the dynamics of community—again, keeping in mind his wide-ranging trans-Atlantic and colonial communities (scientific, philosophical, evangelical, and so on). We are open to work that interprets readership of Edwards outside of the United States, but considering our Savannah, Georgia location for this 2013 SEA conference, we welcome work that focuses on Edwards in the American south and southwest.