Jonathan Edwards: Art and the Sense of the Heart

by Terrence Erdt
Hardcover, 124 pages
Used Price: $12.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

Jonathan Edwards has long been accorded a place in the front rank of colonial American writers; his aesthetics are now recognized as the primary characteristic of his theology; and his writings are judged worthy of extended literary analysis. Oddly perhaps, no attempt has been made to discover if in his aesthetics Edwards attributes a particular significance to art. The discussion to follow contends that art as an instance of what he termed secondary beauty can perform a vital religious function by enabling the saint to conceive, and subsequently receive or revive, the particular emotional sensation that constitutes the religious experience – which Edwards referred to as the sense of the heart. My purpose in what is to follow is not to survey and to analyze Edwards' writings as works of art but to probe his aesthetic theory in order to discern the import he assigns to art.

– From the Preface

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