The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 26 Volume 26: Catalogues of Books Jonathan Edwards, Peter J. Thuesen

The Works of Jonathan Edwards Series
Publication date:
02 Oct 2008
Yale University Press
512 pages: 235 x 156 x 37mm
11 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

This final volume in The Works of Jonathan Edwards publishes for the first time Edwards’ “Catalogue,” a notebook he kept of books of interest, especially titles he hoped to acquire, and entries from his “Account Book,” a ledger in which he noted books loaned to family, parishioners, and fellow clergy. These two records, along with several shorter documents presented in the volume, illuminate Edwards’ own mental universe while also providing a remarkable window into the wider intellectual and print cultures of the eighteenth-century British Atlantic. An extensive critical introduction places Edwards’ book lists in the contexts that shaped his reading agenda, and the result is the most comprehensive treatment yet of his reading and of the fascinating peculiarities of his time and place.

Peter J. Thuesen is associate professor of religious studies at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and co-editor, Religion and American Culture. He lives in Indianapolis.

"The conclusion of one of the great editorial projects in American letters, not to mention American religion. . . . Although an edition of Edwards' reading lists—his 'Catalogues of Books'—may seem to bear as much potential for excitement as my collected 5th-grade spelling-papers, what Peter Thuesen's treatment of the 720 entries in the Catalogue offers us is a geography of the mind of Jonathan Edwards. It is a superb example of the scholarly editor's work, a major contribution to the intellectual history of the 18th century, and an indispensable adjunct to any understanding of Edwards' life as a theologian and philosopher. . . . The Catalogue is a revelation of an insatiable intellectual curiosity, at a time when a single mind could still aspire to universal knowledge."—Allen C. Guelzo, Books and Culture