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

Front Cover
Barbara Oberg, Harry S. Stout, John B Madden Master of Berkeley College and Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Christianity Harry S Stout
Oxford University Press, 1993 - History - 230 pages
0 Reviews
No colonial figures so completely anticipated the shape of American culture - at once material and spiritual, piously secular and pragmatically sacred - as did Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin. Commonly labeled "Puritan" and "Yankee" respectively, Edwards and Franklin evoke seemingly opposite ideals. Puritan values, embraced by Edwards and sustained in American "evangelicalism," focus on God, communal faith, and self-denial. Yankee attributes, espoused by Franklin and sustained in American liberal republicanism, coalesce around the trinity of hard work, independent virtue, and utilitarian self-happiness. For two and a half centuries these alternative emphases and orientations have coexisted in uneasy tension both individually and in American society at large. In contrast to traditional comparative studies, which portray Edwards and Franklin as mutually exclusive ideal types, this interdisciplinary collection of essays allows polemical contrasts to disappear and Edwards and Franklin emerge as contrapuntal themes in a larger unity. From these essays, written by distinguished historians and literary critics such as Ruth Bloch, Edwin S. Gaustad, Daniel Walker Howe, J. A. Leo Lemay, and David Levin, emerges a portrait of two men who shared a common concern with mind, character, and virtue that shaped a legacy that would define much of American character for generations to come.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

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

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1993)

Barbara B. Oberg and Harry S. Stout are both at Yale University.

Bibliographic information