Jonathan Edwards and Slavery: A Bibliography

  • Anyabwile, Thabiti. “Jonathan Edwards, Slavery, and the Theology of African Americans” (2012): 1–10. (pdf available here)
  • Burns, Sherard. “Trusting the Theology of a Slave Owner.” Pages 145–71 in A God Entranced Vision of All Things: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards. Edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2004. (pdf available here)
  • Byrd, James P. “We Can If We Will: Regeneration and Benevolence.” Pages 63–77 in After Jonathan Edwards: The Courses of New England Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Edwards, Jonathan. “Draft Letter on Slavery,” 1738. (available on the Yale site)
  • ———. “Jonathan Edwards’s Last Will and the Inventory of His Estate,” Bibliotheca Sacra 33 (1876): 438–47.  (pdf available here)
  • ———. “Letter to Esther Edwards Burr, Letter 231, Stockbridge, November 20, 1757 (available on the Yale site)
  • ———. “Letter to Joseph Bellamy,” Letter 186, Stockbridge, February 28, 1754 (available on the Yale site)
  • ———. “One Great End In God’s Appointing The Gospel Ministry,” (1750) (available on the Yale site)
  • ———. “Receipt for Slave Named Venus,” (available on the Yale site)
  • Hambrick-Stowe, Charles E. “All Things Were New and Astonishing: Edwardsian Piety, the New Divinity, and Race.” Pages 121–36 in Jonathan Edwards at Home and Abroad: Historical Memories, Cultural Movements, Global Horizons. Columbia: University of South Carolina, 2003.
  • Lucas, Sean Michael. “‘He Cuts up Edwardsism by the Roots’ : Robert Lewis Dabney and Edwardsian Legacy in Nineteenth Century South.” Pages 200–14 in The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards: American Religion and Evangelical Tradition. Edited by D.G. Hart, Sean Michael Lucas, and Stephen J. Nichols. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003.
  • Marsden, George M. Jonathan Edwards: A Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.
  • McClymond, Michael J. “Edwards and Slavery.” in The Theology of Jonathan Edwards. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012: 526–27.
  • Minkema, Kenneth P. “Jonathan Edwards on Slavery and the Slave Trade.” William and Mary Quarterly 54 (1997): 823–33. (available on JSTOR)
  • ———. “Jonathan Edwards’s Defense of Slavery.” The Massachusetts Historical Review 4 (2002): 23–59. (available on JSTOR)
  • Minkema, Kenneth P., and Harry S. Stout. “The Edwardsean Tradition and the Antislavery Debate, 1740–1865.” The Journal of American History (2005): 47–74. (available on JSTOR)
  • Saillant, John. “African American Engagements with Edwards in the Era of the Slave Trade,” in Jonathan Edwards at 300: Essays on the Tercentenary of His Birth. Edited by Harry S. Stout, Kenneth P. Minkema, and Caleb J.D. Maskell. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2005: 141–151.
  • ———. “Lemuel Haynes and the Revolutionary Origins of Black Theology, 1776-1801.” Religion and American Culture 2.1 (1992): 79–102. (available on JSTOR)
  • ———. “Slavery and Divine Providence in New England Calvinism: The New Divinity and a Black Protest, 1775-1805.” The New England Quarterly 68.4 (1995): 584–608. (available on JSTOR)

NOTE: If you know of other published sources (journals, chapters, books) please let me know!

(Photo by João Silas on Unsplash)

“Baptist” or “Evangelical”?

We moved to the heart of Minneapolis this summer and immediately found ourselves surrounded by Somali immigrants. There is a Somali ‘mall’ directly across the street, including a mosque, and many of the local shops are owned by and cater to Somalis.

The first week we were here, I stopped in one particular deli and ordered a large Americano (from a Somali deli, I know). Since then, I’ve stopped in about twice a week and ordered the same thing. It’s cheaper than Starbucks, and I think I like it even better.

I’ve gotten to know the shop-owner by name, and at this point he starts making my drink before I even have to order it. I’m starting to care about him as a person, and pray for his salvation.

This morning I asked if he was religious (of course — 99.9% of Somalis are Muslim) and he reciprocated the question. It seems like Somalis love to talk about religion — there was no guardedness about him at all, actually an eagerness to compare our beliefs, and in a very friendly manner.

When I told him I was Christian, he asked what kind, Catholic . . . ? I froze for a second. What label could I give him that would mean anything to him? I didn’t know, and I grabbed “Baptist”. We talked for a couple minutes about the Torah, the Injil (New Testament) and the Quran. “What to Baptists believe about the Quran?” he asked at one point, and I briefly told him. It was a good, if brief, conversation, and I think the door is wide open to go further. Pray for this man if you think of it.

I kept thinking, and I’m not satisfied with “Baptist” — I wish I would have said “evangelical” instead. It’s not that “evangelical” would be any more meaningful to him than “Baptist” but using “evangelical” would give me a straight and direct excuse to talk about the evangel that defines me as a Christian, rather than the mode of Baptism that distinguishes me from other Christians. For evangelistic purposes, one term keeps us focused on the gospel, the other opens up rabbit trails that are totally meaningless at this point. Even in encounters with Americans, I think “evangelical” is a more useful term. Regardless of how the broader culture defines (or vilifies) a particular label, we define the terms for the people we interact with. “I thought evangelicals were _______, but I know Daniel, and he says he’s an evangelical.”

I’m not ashamed of being a Baptist. I’m as strong in that conviction as I have ever been. Yet, I’ve determined that for purposes of evangelism, I need to identify as an evangelical.