Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale: Summer Course.

Summer Course 2014, “Jonathan Edwards and Missions.”

The Jonathan Edwards Centre is please to announce the Summer Course 2014, “Jonathan Edwards and Missions.” Date: June 9-13, 2014 Location: Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT.

Teaching staff: Kenneth P. Minkema, Adriaan C. Neele.

Using primary and secondary readings, multimedia presentations, and student discussions, this course will focus on Jonathan Edwards as missionary, examining his work at the mission post of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, during the 1750s, where he ministered to Mohawks, Mahicans, and Tuscaroras.

Edwards composed sermons specifically for the natives, wrote copious correspondence to provincial and imperial officials on their behalf, and dealt with native spirituality and social life.

To help understand Edwards’ role and methods, we will place his work in the context of New World comparative missions by the Portuguese, Spanish, French, and British, with particular emphasis on the evolution of British missions in New England, the founding of the Stockbridge mission, and competition from other agencies such as those of the SPG and the Moravians.

Included in the readings will be selections from one of Edwards’ most important works, and a key text in the history of American and English missions, The Life of David Brainerd.

In addition, attention will be given to the reception of some of Edwards works in the history of missions, including but not limited to the Baptist Missionary Society, London Missionary Society, and the French Paris Evangelical Missionary Society.

Book Update

So, I haven’t been able to work on the book much for the past couple of months, but I’m back working on the last chapter every day for an hour or so. Intro is more or less written, working on the genetic criticism. Need to proof it then format for the electronic version. I hope to have things wrapped up before the end of the year.

Gospel Scholarship. The Dividing Line.

A rehash of an old post. Worth thinking about perhaps.

Preaching in 18th century New England tended to fall out in two ways. Here’s one example:
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“Learn How to Live and How to Die”

This is a reboot from way back—In honor of my friend, Quentin Bates—Godspeed old boy

Much of Joseph Smith’s preaching about death was meant to compel his listeners to faith. Over the years of my own life I have seen death. Even if you don’t experience death as it was in the early 19th century, if you live long enough, you will see it impact your life.

I have buried a son, a brother, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and unrelated friends. Looking at death as inevitable has become a routine matter. But what is it for us survivors? It is first and foremost, loss. Whatever theology one subscribes to, or to no theology at all, this is the universal fact. The dead don’t come back. You don’t find him or her sleeping in their bed the next morning after the funeral.

They are gone.
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Losing the Context — Preaching in Early Mormonism

The institution of Mormonism has generally prized parts of, or all of Joseph Smith’s literary production. Joseph wrote little himself, seeing that as a kind of separate duty, tasked nearly exclusively to more capable hands. When a document-driven history began to emerge in the late 1830s, Joseph was a driving force, but rarely a contributor beyond supplying those relevant documents.
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“I Very Much Doubt Whether Another Gentile Ever Joins the Church”

The 25th anniversary of the organization of the little “Church of Christ” in 1830 New York saw the apostles who succeeded Joseph Smith building a new territory out of the wilderness of the west. A general conference convened on April 6th 1855 with Brigham Young presiding. The small tabernacle was overcrowded leaving thousands outdoors and a new Bowery was under construction, anticipated to hold 12,000.

One of the interesting developments of the meeting, aside from fascinating organizational matters, was the calling of new missionaries. But there was a difference: these newly called missionaries were headed out to seek the Jews around the world, not those pesky Gentiles. Fifty-three men were voted to take these new assignments to different parts of the world. One leader stated that the goal was to see the Jews return to the Holy Land and the House of Israel redeemed. As one might expect, Orson Hyde stood and related a portion of his own mission to the Holy Land and expressed his conviction that the Spirit of the Lord would rest down upon this mission to the House of Israel.
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The Gift of Tongues: The Propagation of Sermon Texts in Mormonism

Another blast from the past. It seemed appropriate.

In spite of all the talk about remembering what we feel in a sermon experience, not what we hear, as valid as that may be, it is the text that reigns supreme. Recreating a sermon is not possible. But recording the words spoken on the occasion may be valuable. From the very beginning of Joseph Smith’s career, it was the text that trumped all other things. The Book of Mormon saga places the text in the role of savior, preserver and founder of language and true religion. It was to be expected that Mormons would keep records, and by commandment.
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King Follett Fallout

One of the many interesting things about the King Follett Discourse (KFD) was its nearly immediate (public) effect on church priorities. An early production of a text for the KFD appeared in the church serial of Nauvoo, Times and Seasons. In November, the text was reprinted in Liverpool, England in Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star. An editorial appeared in the same issue of the Star which I think is remarkable for both its quotation of the early KFD text and its takeaway from that text.
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Muggles, Mormons and Theology

“Mainstream” Protestantism during Joseph Smith’s lifetime was locked in important controversies over things like the nature and extent of freewill, grace, perfectionism, slavery and the like.

But drop groups like the Mormons or Shakers into the discussion and those other disagreements paled.
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“Outlines of Mormon Philosophy” and the King Follett Discourse

Lycurgus Arnold Wilson was born in Salem, Utah in 1856.[1] Wilson did a stint as a school teacher in Utah valley and then decided on the Law as profession, eventually founding the firm, Booth and Wilson. In 1891, Wilson became tithing clerk for Presiding Bishop William B. Preston.[2]
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Richard Whately and Preaching/Teaching the Word in Mormonism

Richard Whately (1787-1863) was an academic churchman. First a Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford, then the Rector of Halesworth, then Principal of St Albans Hall, then Drummond Lecturer on Political Economy at Oxford and last but not least Anglican Archbishop of Dublin. Read more of this post

James Edward Talmage. Superman.

[Cross-posted at By Common Consent.]

James E. Talmage, a name that lives in legend among LDS missionaries for the last 60 years, was British born and converted to Mormonism in 1873. Talmage was a talented scholar from childhood. After emigrating to the US he ended up finishing four years at Lehigh in one year and went on to Johns Hopkins in 1883. Ph.D. at Illinois Weslayan even though he wasn’t in residence. At home in Provo, he was a city councilman and then judge. (Some of his court cases are a crackup.)
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Jonathan Edwards Center Announces New Sermon Initiative. You Become the Editor.

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release
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New Volume of Jonathan Edwards Sermons

The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale notes that Wipf and Stock has published a new volume of Edwards sermons:

Sermons by Jonathan Edwards on the Matthean Parables, Volume 1. Edited by Ken Minkema, Adriaan C. Neele and Bryan McCarthy.
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Stemmata for the Funeral Sermons of Joseph Smith

Here’s an example for one of the funeral sermons.

Preaching event at the top. Arrows represent text dependence.

This particular sermon was published in full a comparatively large number of times. The more times in print the more complicated the variorum. In this particular case, one excerpt has appeared (just in recent years) over a hundred times in Church conferences and literature. That is rather unusual and somewhat odd, given the earth shaking stuff you *could* come up with. The stemma reveals the most influential editor: MS2. It is not always easy to identify the real editor of published Church documents and in the typesetting era often more than one set of hands dealt with a given text like this one. Complete texts of Joseph Smith’s sermons tend to be published by the Church at large during in a cycle very similar to this one. Aside from reprinting certain standard imprints like Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and a few independently published versions of the sermons, new “official” imprints stopped after 1952.
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