Jonathan Edwards:

A Life

by George M. Marsden (Yale University Press)


The ND professor of history’s critically acclaimed biography of controversial Protestant theologian Edwards (1703–1758) casts light on his personal life and his theology. The author reveals Edwards’ struggles to reconcile his Puritan heritage with the secular world and his personal difficulties with his faith. Told in an easily read narrative style, the book views Edwards in the context of his time in colonial America, when the fiery preacher ignited the Great Awakening of the 18th century.

The biography received the following awards:

  • Bancroft Prize for the best books in American history, awarded by Columbia University, 2004
  • Merle Curti Award for the best book in American intellectual history, awarded by the Organization of American Historians, 2004
  • Annibel Jenkins Prize for the best book length biography of a late seventeenth or early eighteenth-century subject, awarded by the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2002–04

(June 2004)