Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was an American revivalist preacher, philosopher, and Congregationalist theologian. Edwards is widely regarded as one of America’s most important and original philosophical theologians. Edwards’ theological work is broad in scope but rooted in the paedobaptist (baptism of infants) Puritan heritage as exemplified in the Westminster and Savoy Confessions of Faith. Recent studies have emphasized how thoroughly Edwards grounded his life’s work on conceptions of beauty, harmony, and ethical fittingness, and how central the Age of Enlightenment was to his mindset. Edwards played a critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening and oversaw some of the first revivals in 1733–35 at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts. His theological work gave rise to a distinct school of theology known as New England theology.
Edwards delivered the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, a classic of early American literature, during another revival in 1741, following George Whitefield’s tour of the Thirteen Colonies. Edwards is well known for his many books, such as The End for Which God Created the World and The Life of David Brainerd, which inspired thousands of missionaries throughout the 19th century, and Religious Affections which many Calvinist Evangelicals still read today.