Jonathan Edwards. To meet a need which had been felt for some time both in the United States and abroad, the pamphlet series, the University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers, was established in 1959. By providing readable critical introductions to American Writers, the pamphlets were designed to meet the needs and tastes of mature students and readers of imaginative literature throughout the world.
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Robert Lowell in his meditative poem “Jonathan Edwards in Western Massachusetts” remarks:
Ah paradise! Edwards,
I would be afraid
to meet you there as a shade.
We move in different circles.
We do move in different circles now, more than two hundred years after Edwards died from a faulty smallpox inoculation. Yet the shade of Jonathan Edwards still haunts poets and scholars. Of course he is important historically: one can hardly understand colonial America without him. The great nineteenth-century historian George Bancroft claimed that “He that would know the workings of the New England mind in the middle of the...