Jonathan Edwards on the Election of Christ

S. Mark Hamilton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, I set out Jonathan Edwards' doctrine of the divine decrees, specifically his supralapsarian doctrine of election, which I argue consists of two logical and necessary stages. First, I argue that the logic of Edwards' view requires that God elects Christ and only then does he elect particular individuals "in Christ" for salvation. Upon seeing the shape of Edwards' doctrine of election, I then consider whether Edwards' formulation fits within the recent revisionist historical narrative that suggests that his successors developed a species of hypothetical universalism. I go on argue that Edwards appears to deploy this doctrinal innovation in order to support the metaphysics underpinning his unique doctrine of union with Christ and atonement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-548
Number of pages24
JournalNeue Zeitschrift fur Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Atonement
  • Edwards
  • Election
  • Hypothetical Universalism
  • Union with Christ


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