Renewing Spiritual Perception with Jonathan Edwards
Contemporary Philosophy and the Theological Psychology of Transforming Grace
Jonathan Edwards’ theologically sophisticated psychology of grace remains one of the deepest and most fertile theological psychologies in the Protestant tradition. The heart of his account lies in his foundational doctrine of spiritual perception where he locates the psychological core of the engraced Christian life. This work revisits Edwards’ doctrine from the perspective of recent work in the philosophy of emotions and other related philosophical sub-disciplines. The aim is to recover this often neglected theme in contemporary theology and renew it by bringing Edwards’ theological insights into conversation with various spheres of contemporary philosophical discussion. The account of spiritual perception that emerges from this interdisciplinary dialogue is one that seeks to revise, update and deepen Edwards’ own thinking on the matter in five major ways. The book concludes by arguing that the capacity for spiritual and emotional perception of the supreme good is grounded upon a wisdom-like seminal virtue centred upon the incarnate Christ (i.e., Christocentric wisdom). Such wisdom, on the renewed account, is considered the psychological core of transforming grace and the foundational basis upon which all other Christian virtues are formed.
Table of Contents
1. Renewing Jonathan Edwards’ Theory of Spiritual Perception 2. Spiritual Perception and the Theological Psychology of Converting Grace 3. Spiritual Perception and the Infusion of Grace 4. Spiritual Perception and the Normative Divine Address in Scripture 5. Spiritual Perception and the Transformative Understanding of Scripture 6. Spiritual Delight 7. Christocentric Wisdom and Spiritual Perception of the Supreme Good 8. Spiritual Perception Renewed Appendix 1: The Interpretation of Divine Discourse
Ray S. Yeo (Ph.D, King’s College London) is Postdoctoral Fellow of Theology at Prairie College in Alberta, Canada. His research interests centre upon the interface between Christian spiritual theology, psychology and philosophy. His recent publications have revolved around the theme of spiritual emotions and Christian formation. Ray was also the recipient of a research grant from The Character Project at Wake Forest University and the John Templeton Foundation for work on the theology of character.
"Ray Yeo’s discussion combines deep theological learning and analytical sophistication. It provides a model of how we might retrieve the thought of central figures in the theological tradition, so they can contribute to debate in our own time. Here, it is the thought of Jonathan Edwards in particular that is used to reinvigorate contemporary reflection on the nature of the Christian life."
Mark Wynn, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, University of Leeds, UK