Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and the Representation of American Culture

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Barbara B. Oberg, Harry S. Stout
Oxford University Press, May 20, 1993 - Religion - 240 pages
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This interdisciplinary collection of comparative essays by distinguished historians and literary critics looks at aspects of the thought of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin and considers the place of these two men in American culture. Probably the two most examined figures of the colonial period, they have often been the object of comparative studies. These characterizations usually portray them as mutually exclusive ideal types, thus placing them in categories as different and opposed as "traditional" and "modern." In these essays--by such scholars as William Breitenbach, Edwin Gaustad, Elizabeth Dunn, and Ruth Bloch--polemical contrasts disappear and Edwards and Franklin emerge as contrapuntal themes in a larger unity. Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and the Representation of American Culture is a valuable addition to scholarship on American literature and thought.

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Contents

1 Introduction
3
MIND
11
CULTURE
99
LANGUAGE
169
Index
219
Copyright

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Page 30 - The rapid progress true science now makes, occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon. It is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter.
Page 21 - In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself ; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history ; for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.
Page 190 - The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood.
Page 152 - I am very sorry, that you intend soon to leave our hemisphere. America has sent us many good things, gold, silver, sugar, tobacco, indigo, &c. ; but you are the first philosopher, and indeed the first great man of letters for whom we are beholden to her.
Page 158 - ... by suitable good and wise rules, which good and wise men may probably be more unanimous in their obedience to than common people are to common laws. "I at present think that whoever attempts this aright and is well qualified, cannot fail of pleasing God and of meeting with success.
Page 148 - Linda K. Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980); Mary Beth Norton, Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800 (Boston: Little, Brown, 1980); and Jan Lewis, "The Republican Wife: Virtue and Seduction in the Early Republic...
Page 76 - Men I find to be a sort of beings very badly Constructed, as they are generally more easily provoked than reconciled, more disposed to do mischief to each other than to make reparation, much more easily deceived than undeceived, and having more pride and even pleasure in killing than in begetting one another...
Page 177 - ... there was any extraordinary influence of God's Spirit in it; but only that now I saw further, and my reason apprehended the justice and reasonableness of it. However, my mind rested in it; and it put an end to all those cavils and objections. And there has been a wonderful alteration in my mind, with respect to the doctrine of God's sovereignty, from that day to this...

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