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Palgrave Macmillan

Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, and the Quest for Evangelical Enlightenment

Scripture and Experimental Religion

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  • © 2023


  • Builds upon and bridges growing scholarship on Mather’s and Edwards’ exegesis by bringing them together in one study
  • Focuses particularly on their pursuit of experimental knowledge and piety
  • Contextualises them in wider transformations of religion in the long-eighteenth century north Atlantic world

Part of the book series: Christianities in the Trans-Atlantic World (CTAW)

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About this book

This book explores the early evangelical quest for enlightenment by the Spirit and the Word. While the pursuit originated in the Protestant Reformation, it assumed new forms in the long eighteenth-century context of the early Enlightenment and transatlantic awakened Protestant reform. This work illuminates these transformations by focusing on the dynamic intersection of experimental philosophy and experimental religion in the biblical practices of early America’s most influential Protestant theologians, Cotton Mather (1663-1728) and Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). As the first book-length project to treat Mather and Edwards together, this study makes an important contribution to the extensive scholarship on these figures, opening new perspectives on the continuities and complexities of colonial New England religion. It also provides new insights and interpretive interventions concerning the history of the Bible, early modern intellectual history, and evangelicalism’s complex relationship to the Enlightenment. 


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

    Ryan P. Hoselton

About the author

Ryan P. Hoselton is Associate Pastor at Munich International Community Church and Visiting Scholar at Heidelberg University in Germany, where he taught religious history and historical theology from 2016-2023. He co-edited The Bible in Early Transatlantic Pietism and Evangelicalism (2022), and he is editing vol. 7 of the Biblia Americana (Matthew-Luke).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, and the Quest for Evangelical Enlightenment

  • Book Subtitle: Scripture and Experimental Religion

  • Authors: Ryan P. Hoselton

  • Series Title: Christianities in the Trans-Atlantic World

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-44934-5Published: 29 December 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-44937-6Due: 29 January 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-44935-2Published: 28 December 2023

  • Series ISSN: 2634-5838

  • Series E-ISSN: 2634-5846

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 300

  • Topics: US History, History of the Book, History of Early Modern Europe, History, general, History of Religion

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