Global interest in Jonathan Edwards spurs new center in Japan
For the American revivialist and philosopher who wrote A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton in 1737, it would no doubt be equally surprising that the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan recently announced establishment of the Jonathan Edwards Center Japan, affiliated with the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University. This strategic partnership exemplifies the objectives of both institutions to operate as institutions of higher education on the global level.
The Jonathan Edwards Center Japan will serve as a research, education and publications hub for study of Edwards and early American history and develop links with the academic community in Japan, including, but not limited to, Sophia University, a private research university in Tokyo.
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), pastor, revivalist, Christian philosopher, missionary, Yale College graduate, and president of Princeton University, is regarded by many as North America’s greatest theologian. He is the subject of intense scholarly interest because of his significance as an historical figure and the profound legacy he left on America’s religious, political and intellectual landscapes.
“Our plan is to pay sustained critical attention to Edwards’s and early American historical thought,” said Edwards scholar Anri Morimoto, a professor at International Christian University. “Jonathan Edwards was an important American theologian and, more specifically, America's greatest contributor to catholic and philosophical theology.”
Kenneth Minkema, executive director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, observed, “The establishment of the Jonathan Edwards Center Japan at International Christian University is a significant expansion of Edwards and early American history scholarship and will serve widely both academia and the church.”
Edwards’s writings are being consulted at a burgeoning rate by religious leaders, pastors, and churches worldwide because of the fervency of Edwards’s message and the acumen with which he appraised religious experience. This interest in Edwards globally has been spurred in part by the work of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, whose sole mission is to support inquiry into the life, writings, and legacy of Jonathan Edwards by providing resources that encourage critical appraisal of the historical importance and contemporary relevance of one of America’s premier theologians.
The primary means to achieve this is with the Works of Jonathan Edwards Online, a digital learning environment for research, education and publication, that presents all of Edwards’s writings, along with helpful editorial materials that allow the reader to examine Edwards's thought in incredibly powerful, useful ways. The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online, as well as the Jonathan Edwards Studies journal online and the Global Accelerated Sermon Editing project are accessible through the Center’s web site at: www.edwards.yale.edu.