Jonathan Edwards (1703 - 1758) is widely regarded as America's greatest philosopher-theologian. In the last half century there has been a resurgence of interest in Edwards' work from historians, theologians and philosophers, aided by the publication of the Yale edition of Edwards' Works. Edwards' thinking on sin has long been a mystery to scholars trying to fit his thought into the traditional categories of Reformed theology. What this study shows is that Edwards' theory of sin was an original contribution to philosophical theology, which can only be understood when read on its own terms as a philosophical theory about the nature of sin, its origin and transmission. This constitutes a substantial contribution to the literature on Edwards and, more broadly, to philosophical theology in general.
'The great New England philosopher and theologian would not fail to have been impressed by Oliver Crisp's philosophical engagement with a central theme of his thought. Crisp's sympathetic treatment of Edwards's concept of sin is thorough, insightful and scrupulously fair. A book of the highest standard which will be of great interest to any philosophical theologian.' Paul Helm, Professor Emeritus of the History and Philosophy of Religion, King's College, London and J. I. Packer Professor of Philosophy and Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada 'Crisp's meticulous investigation of this topic has considerable significance for current interest in analytic philosophical theology and the continuously growing body of literature on the theology of Jonathan Edwards. ...Crisp's short book will challenge readers from virtually any disciplinary perspective to look far more carefully at what Edwards actually said than they are likely to have done. This is a worthy achievemnet in 146 pages... scholars, and certainly this reviewer, are in Crisp's debt for his challenging investigation of the issues at stake.' Religious Studies