While there were earlier biographies and memoirs of Jonathan Edwards, the great eighteenth-century religious figure, than the one written by A. V. G. Allen, they were apologetic versions that had been produced by Edwards's disciples. Allen's stands out as the first to approach the life of Edwards comprehensively and critically, attempting to discern the positive and negative elements in his thought. Nearly forgotten today, Allen's book deserves a place among the landmark studies on Edwards. Alexander Viets Griswold Allen (1841-1908) was an Episcopalian priest and theologian educated at Andover Theological Seminary. After being the first rector of St. John's Church, Lawrence, Massachusetts, he was appointed Professor of Church History in the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. His principal writings are Continuity of Christian Thought; Freedom in the Church, or, The Doctrine of Christ; Christian Institutions; and Life and Letters of Phillips Brooks.
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