This interdisciplinary collection of comparative essays by distinguished historians and literary critics looks at aspects of the thought of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin and considers the place of these two men in American culture. Probably the two most examined figures of the colonial period, they have often been the object of comparative studies. These characterizations usually portray them as mutually exclusive ideal types, thus placing them in categories as different and opposed as "traditional" and "modern." In these essays--by such scholars as William Breitenbach, Edwin Gaustad, Elizabeth Dunn, and Ruth Bloch--polemical contrasts disappear and Edwards and Franklin emerge as contrapuntal themes in a larger unity. Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and the Representation of American Culture is a valuable addition to scholarship on American literature and thought.
"This valuable collection of essays is a good place to start in deepening and revising our assessment of Edwards and Franklin."--William and Mary Quarterly
"This is an important collection of original essays."--Church History