Tag Archives: Kenneth Minkma

Edwards texts return to Yale

They’ve been checked out for about 150 years, but now a dozen boxes of Jonathan Edwards texts are being returned to the library at Yale Divinity School.

The books were borrowed by Edwards Amasa Park, a professor at Andover Theological Seminary, in the mid 1800s. The exact date is unclear. Park apparently intended to write a biography of Edwards. He was interested especially in Edwards’s writings on natural philosophy. Park has been called “the last Edwardsian,” though there are surely some today who would dispute that. A Congregationalist theologian, Park also happened to be married to one of Edwards’s descendants. Perhaps it felt like the books belonged in the family. When the theologian died 1900, the books he’d borrowed just stayed at the Massachusetts seminary.

More than a century later, they’ve been returned.

As the New Haven Register reports, the small-but-significant collection is being reunited with the larger Yale collection. Andover Newton, struggling with the declines hitting many mainline seminaries in the U.S., formed a partnership with Yale several years ago. Part of the partnership is the merging of theological libraries, including the Edwards collection.

“It brings great relief,” Ken Mikema, director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale told to the New Haven paper. “I sleep better at night knowing these things are all reunited again.”

–Daniel Silliman

Getting to the Jonathan Edwards Center Germany inauguration

The Heidelberg Center for American Studies, where the Jonathan Edwards inauguration and symposium will be held, is at Hauptstrasse 120.

It’s easy to get there from Bismarkplatz, which is a main square, centrally located. There are a large number of trolleys going to Bismarkplatz from the train station as well as other parts of the city. The HCA is about a 15 minute walk from Bismarkplatz. Map here.

Even easier, if you takebus #31 or #32 to Universitätsplatz, the HCA is around around the corner. The #32 leaves from the train station for Universitätsplatz every 10 minutes or so during the day throughout the week. Map here.

The building is well marked, and easily visible. Pictures of the outside of the building are online here.

If you need any assistance on the day you’re to arrive, feel free to call me at [deleted].

Look forward to seeing you all there!


— Daniel Silliman

Summer Semester 2012

The University of Heidelberg’s Summer Semester is quickly approaching, and students interested in American religious history have several excellent and rare opportunities:

1. Prof. Albert J. Raboteau, a leading scholar in African American religion in America, will teach a compact seminar with Prof. Jan Stievermann in the end of May, beginning of June, covering the major themes and most important moments in African American religious history, from the colonial period to the present.

2. Prof. Kenneth Minkema, Executive Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, and Prof. Rachael Wheeler, an Indiana University specialist on the Moravians in North America, will team up with Prof. Stievermann to teach a compact seminar on the culture of mission in earl America.

More information about both classes is available on the events page.

To register, e-mail Prof. Stievermann @ jstievermann@hca.uni-heidelberg.de

In addition to those unique offerings, Prof. Stievermann will be lecturing on the history of Christianity in American from 1900 to the present.

From the course description:

“Always with an eye on the wider cultural context, the course will trace the dramatic changes in America’s religious landscape during this period, and examine central events, issues, and conflicts such as the fundamentalist-modernist controversy, religious responses to two world wars, the rise of neo-evangelicalism, or the role of religion in the civil right struggles and the so-called culture wars. While special attention will be given to the transformations of America’s Christian churches, we will also discuss the increasing religious pluralization of the US and look at the development of non-Christian immigrant faiths and the emergence of new religious movements and individualistic spiritualities.”

Daniel Silliman will also be teaching a class on the history of American pentecostalism. An intro course, Silliman’s class will look to position pentecostalism in its American context.

As the course description states:

“To the casual observer, American pentecostalism may well appear to be the most bewildering of contemporary forms of Christianity. Whether it’s snake handlers or prosperity preachers, healing miracles preformed on television or the exorcism of demons on the radio, “speaking in tongues,” being “slain in the spirit,” or just extraordinarily exuberant prayer, American Pentecostalism seems completely foreign to the culture around it. Yet, it emerged from and exists in that context. American pentecostalism is deeply embedded in 20th century American history. Pushing past the apparent strangeness, this class will examine the pentecostal movement in the United States, looking at its cultural  relationships, and its history, beliefs and practices, paying special attention to ways these illuminate America’s recent past.”

It looks to be an excellent — and very busy — Summer Semester for American Religion at the University of Heidelberg.