Edwards Questions. These questions have keys in the text you are reading about Edwards and Hopkins. For
each question look for keys in the text marked this way , ,  etc...
1. What does Niebuhr claim about the “kingdom of god in America” as a way to understand
2. What was the relationship between the “kingdom of god in American” and the secular vision of
3. In simple form, what were the elements of the kingdom of god in America as Niebuhr understood
4. What was the Great Awakening? How did ideas of progress and about the future change at the
time of the Great Awakening?
5. Distinguish “postmillennialism” from “premillennialism.” Do you know of any discussion of these
6. What was Jonathan Edwards’ influence on nineteenth and twentieth century writings about Utopia
7. According to Edwards, can humans do anything to save their souls?
8. What did Edwards think of human freedom?
9. How does Edwards try to reconcile his belief in predestination with his ideas about freedom?
10. Is he successful? Questions 9 and 10 ask for your conclusions… You will not find definitive
answers in the text.
11. What do you make of the “law of perfect freedom?”
12. What enslaves individuals and a people? Describe the process. Is his argument “rational” or is it
simply that God punishes sinners who don’t obey Him?
13. What motivates humans when they are free according to Edwards? Why do anything and not
nothing if you are free?
14. Describe the “spiritual autotelic state” that Edwards imagined.
15. What did Edwards think was progress’ culmination? i.e., history’s terminus that gives direction
and meaning to progress?
16. Specifically, what does Edward think are the worthwhile activities of freedom? Make a list.
17. What role did reason play in Edwards’ vision of the future? (see question 12 and the texts marked
18. What happened during the early days of the Great Awakening that disturbed Edwards (and others
who though the people had lost their minds?)
19. How did Edwards conceive of abundance? This is a general question – no one place in the text is
20. According to Edwards, can work be excessive? How does views compare with the modern
serotype of the Puritan world?
21. For Edwards, how would science and reason be brought into service of the things of the spirit?
22. What did Hopkins think about being concerned with future punish and rewards? (Answered in
23. Why did Hopkins think that a person should be willing and happy, to be damned forever?
(Answered in Class)
24. What is “disinterested benevolence?” Do a word search… (Answered in Class)
25. Do you agree with Edwards Hopkins that the logic of progress forced (or forces) humans to
grapple with the eternal? (Answered in Class)