Reading Jonathan Edwards is not easy. He is a difficult person to read and even more difficult to understand. If you have an interest in reading Edwards, I am hoping I can help. I have started what I call “The Jonathan Edwards Project,” which is a series of books that slowly increase in level. The first level is two volumes, the first of which is a forthcoming edition of the spiritual writings of Edwards, and the second is a new edition of Jonathan Edwards own Charity and Its Fruits, and I conclude that volume with a list of his works in the order I think they should be read. Here is the list of books in the project thus far and a brief note about them:
101 – [A] Jonathan Edwards: Selected Writings Classics of Western Spirituality ed. Ken Minkema, Adriaan Neele, Kyle Strobel (Paulist Press, forthcoming). Paulist Press has the most substantial line of spiritual classics ever assembled. You can see the range of the line here. I have recently signed a contract, with my co-editors, to develop a volume of Edwards’s spiritual writings in this series. This will be the first time someone has assembled key primary sources of Edwards’s that outline his vision for Christian spirituality. Furthermore, rather than focusing on already well-known material, we are hoping that about half of the volume will be previous unpublished, out of print, or simply lesser known parts of Edwards’s corpus. This is going to be an exciting one!
301 Jonathan Edwards: An Introduction to His Thought co-written with Oliver Crisp (Eerdmans, forthcoming). This book introduces Edwards’s philosophical and theological thought, showing their deep integration throughout his writings. If you’ve never read Edwards, or read him enough to be confused (!), this book is for you.
401 The Ecumenical Edwards: Jonathan Edwards and the Theologians (Ashgate Publishing, forthcoming). Who gets to decide if a theologian is great? It is a difficult question. In my mind, the church, as a whole, must decide something like that. For too long Edwards scholars have claimed Edwards’s greatness, but that isn’t something we can claim in isolation. So, to remedy that, I have put together a top-notch team of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants of all stripes to write about Edwards in relation to the tradition. If Edwards is truly great, we should come to see his greatness shine forth through this volume.
501 Jonathan Edwards’s Theology: A Reinterpretation (T&T Clark, 2013). This book is an academic work on Edwards’s theology. If you really want to dive into Edwards, this book is for you. That said, this is a serious work of theology. Only read it if you have an interest in academic theology and Edwards’s own theological constructions. The focus of this volume is to unearth the theological core to Edwards’s thought. My goal in this book is to give a framework for how to read Edwards well, which, in my mind, is learning to read him theologically.
I will continue to add volumes to this list as they appear, both my own written work as well as edited volumes on Edwards. My hope is that I can help those interested in Edwards read him well, which is what these books should do – help you read Edwards.