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Mysteries Of Government: The Political Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards

by, Jeff Jay Stone

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In “Mysteries of Government: The Political Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards”, the author Jeff Stone has uncovered Jonathan Edwards’ answers to many of the perennial questions that have driven political philosophers’ quest for truth across the ages.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is widely considered “one of America’s greatest intellectuals” and “America’s most important and original philosophical theologian”. However, few know that Edwards authored an impressive number of deeply important and influential works that quickly became classics. These works show the incredible breadth and ah of Edwards’ thought and why he deserves the accolades that have been bestowed upon him.

As a philosophical theologian, Edwards brilliantly employed concepts and methods he took from philosophy to present traditional biblical Christianity and in particular the theology of Calvinism that was under attack in his time.

Edwards’ political philosophy, however, remains the least explored part of his thought. Until now, only one book-length work on the subject has been published: Gerald R. McDermott’s One Holy and Happy Society: The Public Theology of Jonathan Edwards (1992, University of Pennsylvania Press).

With Jeff Stone’s “Mysteries of Government: The Political Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards”, we have the first published book on Edwards’ political views by a scholar who is thoroughly conversant with the great tradition of both ancient and modern political philosophy. Prof. Stone brings his own extensive breadth and depth of knowledge to bear in his search for Edwards’ political teaching. In the process Stone makes a brilliant and highly original contribution to Edwards’ scholarship as it pertains to Edwards’ politics views.

Prof. Stone’s objective is to understand Edwards’ political thought as Edwards understood it himself, and maintains that the political issues he raised as well as the answers he offered transcend the age in which Edwards lived and worked.
The result of Prof. Stone’s inquiry is a profound contribution to the study of Edwards’ political thought. Mysteries of Government: The Political Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards sets a high standard for future scholarly work on the subject.

[Taken from Jerry Combee’s Foreword in Mysteries of Government: The Political Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards]

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