Edwards, Sin, and Latino Theology

So I am thinking about writing a paper for the Evangelical Philosophical Society…. Here is what I have so far for an abstract. Comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Jonathan Edwards: America’s Theologian?

A Latino Evaluation of Jonathan Edward’s Hamartiology

Robert Jenson has famously argued that Jonathan Edwards is “America’s theologian” because he meets the problems and opportunities of American Christianity. Jenson has in mind an American Christianity that has the Enlightenment as its defining narrative. However there are other narratives that give meaning to the phrase “American Christianity;” for instance the Latino narrative. This paper examines the claim that Edwards is “America’s theologian” by evaluating one particular piece of his theology, Hamartiology, in light of a Latino context. If Edwards’ theology can be read productively from a Latino context then perhaps we can say that he is “America’s theologian.”

This paper begins by examining Edwards’ metaphysics of sin in light of his Federalist and Augustinian realist tendencies, paying special attention to the role metaphysical antirealism and his doctrine of continuous creation play in his doctrine of Original sin. Then it examines Justo Gonazlez’ “Fuenteovejuna” theology which exemplifies the Latino emphasis on the community. By examining Edwards and Gonzalez it becomes apparent that Edwards and Latino theology have a communal rather than individualistic understanding of responsibility and action. Thus in this particular area Edwards can speak constructively into Latino theology and we can truly say that he is “America’s theologian.”


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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