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Jonathan Edwards and the Closing of the Table: Must the Eucharist be Open to All?

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image of Ecclesiology

The New England Puritan theologian, Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) famously changed his mind on the question of the qualifications for communion in his church, a matter that led to his dismissal from the pastorate at Northampton. This paper sets Edwards' contribution to the Communion Controversy in New England into the broader context of his thought, especially his doctrine of the Church. I argue that, although there are objections to Edwards' position, his sacramental theology makes a constructive contribution to ecclesiology.


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