Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) has been acclaimed as the quintessential puritan of eighteenth-century America who defined not only what Puritanism was, but also what American Christianity would become. Anri Morimoto finds that Edwards's theology, once regarded as disarrayed, precarious, and dangerously unorthodox, is in fact consistent and integral to his general ontology and natural philosophy. By presenting Edwards's vision of salvation as a dynamic process of sharing God's excellence and holiness, Morimoto presents a new paradigm that is radically inclusive, yet theologically responsible.
By discussing Edwards in relation to Roman Catholic traditions, Morimoto places him in the context of a broader Christian tradition rather than that of New England Puritanism. Morimoto argues that this view of salvation was not new to the Protestant tradition—in fact, this view was present in Luther, Calvin, and much of the Reformed tradition—but Edwards accented it more clearly and emphatically than anyone else. Morimoto concludes that one does not have to surrender or compromise one's theology to promote ecumenical harmony. This study will be of interest to scholars, teachers and students of theology and religion, church leaders and lay persons of all denominations, evangelical or liberal, and especially those interested in Edwards, Puritanism, and early American intellectual history.