We at the Jonathan Edwards Center Germany are proud to announce the official inauguration of the center will be held on July 11, 2012.

There will be a number of presentations and a panel discussion, with a keynote address by Peter J. Thuesen, Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, author of the acclaimed Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine, and editor of the final volume of The Works of Jonathan Edwards.

Thuesen will speak on Edward’s reading and intellectual formation, using Edward’s studies as a window into the 18th century history of ideas.

Thuesen has written extensively on the development of Edward’s thinking. In The Princeton Companion to Jonathan Edwards, he examined the wide range of Edwards’ reading, and looked at the “competing influences” on his thought. Edwards’ thinking was not only shaped by traditional Puritan sources, Theusen argued, but also by a wide array of Enlightenment thinkers, such as John Locke, the Cambridge Platonists, and even the deists and Arminians that Edwards so fiercely opposed.

Thuesen explored this subject in more depth in Vol. 26 of Edward’s collected works, where he wrote a 113-page critical introduction to the first-ever publication of the Puritan preacher’s personal record of books of interest, and the notebook where he kept track of books he loaned to family, friends, and fellow clergy. In looking at these records, Thuesen traced Edwards’ reading agenda, shedding light on the “mental universe” Edwards’ inhabited.

At the Heidelberg Center for American Studies on July 11, Thuesen will turn his attention to the light Edwards’ studies shed on thinking in the trans-Atlantic world of the 18th century.

For more information or details about attending the inauguration, e-mail Daniel Silliman at


— Daniel Silliman

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