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What is a significant similarity between Jonathan Edwards and Frederick Douglass?

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deadstar05 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 2, 2011 at 11:29 PM via web

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What is a significant similarity between Jonathan Edwards and Frederick Douglass?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that a significant similarity between both thinkers is their need to call for a change in how things are into how things should be.  Edwards and Douglass sincerely believe that their respective societies have to embrace a new path in order to ensure that what can be is better than what is.  For Edwards, there is a demand that spirituality and a renewed faith in the power of the divine has to be accepted in order to avoid the wealth of God.  Edwards sees so much in way of lack of spirituality and an unhealthy disrespect for God that this is a situation in which there has to be a demand for change.  In this way, Douglass bears similarity.  For Douglass, there is a demand that slavery end in American society.  The purpose of Douglass' writing is to abolish the institution of slavery, something that he sees is morally wrong and fundamentally unhealthy for America.  Douglass, like Edwards, believes that the path that American society is on is not one where there is redemption, but rather condemnation and destruction.  In both thinkers, there is a similar demand to reconfigure what is into what should be.

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