Who was Jonathan Edwards's audience?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" was a sermon delivered in 1741 by Jonathan Edwards, a theologian of the Congregationalist Protestant sect. The sermon was initially delivered in Massachusetts and then, more famously, in Enfield, Connecticut.

The text of "Sinners in the Hands of an...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" was a sermon delivered in 1741 by Jonathan Edwards, a theologian of the Congregationalist Protestant sect. The sermon was initially delivered in Massachusetts and then, more famously, in Enfield, Connecticut.

The text of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is considered by scholars as a historic literary work that showed the early beginnings of the First Great Awakening, or Evangelical Revival. It also offers a glimpse into colonial America's Puritanical foundations.

The title of the sermon itself indicates the type of audience it was intended for: sinners. Edwards warned the colonists of eternal damnation if they continued to commit sinful acts. At the time the sermon was given, the people of the Thirteen Colonies were still attuned to Puritan traditions, but the fast economic progress of the colonies provided more opportunities for the citizens to commit sins.

Jonathan Edwards saw instances of these sinful acts and believed the sermon would be an effective way to proliferate his Protestant philosophy. The sermon addressed his own congregation directly—particularly in Massachusetts—but it was also intended for the general public.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team