Edwards in the Second Great Awakening: The New Divinity Contributions of Edward Dorr Griffin and Asahel Nettleton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Edwardsians were not only thinkers but doers; speculative theologians, but like their eponymous leader, revivalists. This was particularly evident among the third generation of Edwardsians, a postrevolutionary cohort whose ministry extended from 1790 to the 1820s. Among the Edwardsian revivalists of the Second Great Awakening in New England, Edward Dorr Griffin and Asahel Nettleton excelled at the craft. Griffin, the "prince of preachers," who held several pastorates and then presided over Williams College, wielded the sermonic rhetorical conventions of his day with "tenderness and tears" to lead sinners to Christ. As an itinerant revivalist who specialized in personal small group "conference meetings," Nettleton far exceeded Griffin's success. In the words of Francis Wayland, "I suppose no minister of his time was the means of so many conversions." This chapter examines the theology and preaching of the New Divinity revivalists of the Second Great Awakening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAfter Jonathan Edwards: The Courses of the New England Theology
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780199950379, 9780199756292
StatePublished - Sep 20 2012



  • Asahel Nettleton
  • Edward Dorr Griffin
  • Evangelism
  • New England theology
  • Revivalism
  • Second great awakening
  • Williams college

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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