The German Lives of David Brainerd

Prof. Jan Stievermann, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center Germany, gave a lecture on “The German Lives of David Brainerd: Jonathan Edwards’s Biography and the German Pietist Construction of a Protestant History of World Mission” at the Jonathan Edwards Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School last year. The talk is now available for download from the TEDS Edwards Center site. You can listen to it online here.

Here is a brief description of the talk from the TEDS Edwards Center:

“Recent scholarship on Jonathan Edwards and the Protestant awakenings of the mid-eighteenth century has paid much attention to the networks of communication between and mutual influences of revivalist clergy from different churches and regions of the British Empire, leading to the development of what Susan O’Brien has called a ‘transatlantic evangelical consciousness.’ By means of personal contacts, private correspondences, the exchange of devotional literature, and especially through the devotional magazines, early evangelicals across the Atlantic world learned to perceive local awakenings as parts of a single God-inspired phenomenon and to see themselves as members of an international community of Saints engaged in the progressive Christianization of the world. Unfortunately, we still know far too little about the personal correspondences as well as the print- and publishing networks that linked the circles of early Anglo-American evangelicals in Britain and its North American colonies to those of Pietist reformers in Continental Europe. Even less is known about a sense of communal identity that might have arisen from these exchanges. This talk will make a contribution to the comparative study of German-American revivalism by looking at the reception and changing appropriations of Jonathan Edwards’s An Account of the Life of the Late Reverend Mr. David Brainerd (1749) by different groups of German Pietists between the 1750s and the 1850s.”

— Ryan Hoselton

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