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Jonathan Edwards and the Polemics of Theosis

  • Kyle Strobel (a1)

One of the more intriguing developments in Protestant theology over the past several decades has been the increasing interest in recovering a doctrine of theosis (or deification) for the contemporary church.1 In nearly every branch of the Protestant tree, theologians are making a case for theosis as integral to their theological tradition. There are proposed projects for Lutheran,2 Wesleyan,3 Reformed,4 and distinctively Evangelical5 accounts of theosis, all of which attempt to ground theosis within the overarching model of salvation that their given backgrounds affirm. In light of this, it is not surprising that Jonathan Edwards is touted as a key resource. More surprising is how little is written on Edwards’s doctrine of theosis as such. Instead, the focal point has been on themes in Edwards’s thought that allow for ecumenical bridge-building.6

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Paul L. Gavrilyuk , “The Retrieval of Deification: How a Once-Despised Archaism Became an Ecumenical Desideratum,” Modern Theology 25 (2009) 647–59

Lynnewood F. Martin , “The Family of Love in England: Conforming Millenarians,” The Sixteenth Century Journal 3 (1972) 99108

Jean Dietz Moss , “Variations On a Theme: The Family of Love in Renaissance England,” Renaissance Quarterly 31 (1978) 186–95

Stephen Foster , “New England and the Challenge of Heresy, 1630–1660: The Puritan Crisis in Transatlantic Perspective,” The William and Mary Quarterly 38 (1981) 624–60

Janet E. Halley , “Heresy, Orthodoxy, and the Politics of Religious Discourse: The Case of the English Family of Love,” Representations 15 (1986) 98120

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Harvard Theological Review
  • ISSN: 0017-8160
  • EISSN: 1475-4517
  • URL: /core/journals/harvard-theological-review
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