Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and the Representation of American Culture

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9780195077759: Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and the Representation of American Culture
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This interdisciplinary collection of comparative essays by distinguished historians and literary critics looks at aspects of the thought of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin and considers the place of these two men in American culture. Probably the two most examined figures of the colonial period, they have often been the object of comparative studies. These characterizations usually portray them as mutually exclusive ideal types, thus placing them in categories as different and opposed as "traditional" and "modern." In these essays--by such scholars as William Breitenbach, Edwin Gaustad, Elizabeth Dunn, and Ruth Bloch--polemical contrasts disappear and Edwards and Franklin emerge as contrapuntal themes in a larger unity. Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and the Representation of American Culture is a valuable addition to scholarship on American literature and thought.

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No colonial figures so completely anticipated the shape of American culture - at once material and spiritual, piously secular and pragmatically sacred - as did Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin. Commonly labeled "Puritan" and "Yankee" respectively, Edwards and Franklin evoke seemingly opposite ideals. Puritan values, embraced by Edwards and sustained in American "evangelicalism", focus on God, communal faith, and self-denial. Yankee attributes, espoused by Franklin and sustained in American liberal republicanism, coalesce around the trinity of hard work, independent virtue, and utilitarian self-happiness. For two and a half centuries these alternative emphases and orientations have coexisted in uneasy tension both individually and in American society at large. In contrast to traditional comparative studies, which portray Edwards and Franklin as mutually exclusive ideal types, this interdisciplinary collection of essays allows polemical contrasts to disappear and Edwards and Franklin emerge as contrapuntal themes in a larger unity. From these essays, written by distinguished historians and literary critics such as Ruth Bloch, Edwin S. Gaustad, Daniel Walker Howe, J. A. Leo Lemay, and David Levin, emerges a portrait of two men who shared a common concern with mind, character, and virtue that shaped a legacy that would define much of American character for generations to come.

About the Author:

Barbara B. Oberg and Harry S. Stout are both at Yale University.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This is an interdisciplinary collection of comparative essays which look at aspects of the thought of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin and consider the place of these two men in American culture. The essays have their origin in a conference held at Yale University, the home of the modern editions of the papers of both these 18th century American anklin and Edwards are probably the two most studied colonial figures and have often been the subject of comparative exercises. In such studies, they have often been treated as having the characteristics of mutually exclusive ideal types and set into categories as different and opposed as `traditional' and `modern.' In the present volume, however, polemical contrasts disappear and Edwards and Franklin emerge as contrapuntal themes in a larger unity. Seller Inventory # LHB9780195077759

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This is an interdisciplinary collection of comparative essays which look at aspects of the thought of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin and consider the place of these two men in American culture. The essays have their origin in a conference held at Yale University, the home of the modern editions of the papers of both these 18th century American anklin and Edwards are probably the two most studied colonial figures and have often been the subject of comparative exercises. In such studies, they have often been treated as having the characteristics of mutually exclusive ideal types and set into categories as different and opposed as `traditional' and `modern.' In the present volume, however, polemical contrasts disappear and Edwards and Franklin emerge as contrapuntal themes in a larger unity. Seller Inventory # APC9780195077759

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This is an interdisciplinary collection of comparative essays which look at aspects of the thought of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin and consider the place of these two men in American culture. The essays have their origin in a conference held at Yale University, the home of the modern editions of the papers of both these 18th century American anklin and Edwards are probably the two most studied colonial figures and have often been the subject of comparative exercises. In such studies, they have often been treated as having the characteristics of mutually exclusive ideal types and set into categories as different and opposed as `traditional' and `modern.' In the present volume, however, polemical contrasts disappear and Edwards and Franklin emerge as contrapuntal themes in a larger unity. Seller Inventory # APC9780195077759

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