I am taking a momentary pause from my writing retreat to think out loud about a question that has been bugging me. I am working on an invited chapter for a book Kyle Strobel is editing which seeks various takes on the theology of Jonathan Edwards. If memory serves, it is called The Ecumenical Edwards.
I would say what I am working on, but I have heard a few stories about scholars stealing each others’ ideas to be a bit shy about that sort of thing. It does not happen often, but it happens.
Besides, my thesis is incidental to this post because, so far, the hardest part of my argument to write has been the introduction. You see, I keep getting distracted by the realization that the only people who seem to be writing anything on connections between Edwards and Orthodoxy are Edwardsian scholars. I keep getting stuck on the feeling that we Orthodox just do not seem to care.
At least, I am guessing that we do not care about Edwards, because we tend to study what we find interesting. The fact that we have not spent much time working with the writings of Edwards, to me, indicates a lack of concern about him. (I am accusing myself here, too.) My question is: Why? Just because Edwards might not be important in the history of Orthodox thought does not mean he is not important, and I think it says something about our own damnable insularity if we ignore one of the most significant theologians these shores have ever seen.
Or am I being too critical? Jonathan Edwards is just one of many major protestant theologians we have mostly ignored. Perhaps there is some other reason why, for the most part, we have not really engaged any of them. What are your thoughts?