Slave records digital archive receives ACLS Extension Grant

A project directed by Jane Landers, the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History, to preserve endangered African and Afro-descended slave records has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Extension Grant.“Enhancing the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies Digital Archive: A Project to Add Context, Improve Technology, and Strengthen Collaborative Networks” is among five projects to receive this grant, which is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Forthcoming JE Encyclopedia

Interview with Dr. Ken Minkema on the Forthcoming JE Encyclopedia

If you look at the back of almost any serious work on Jonathan Edwards, there is good chance that there is an endorsement given by Dr. Ken Minkema. Not only has Dr. Minkema written voluminously on Edwards himself, (including editing Vol. 14 of Edwards Works, Sermons and Discourses 1723-1729) but he also has a great knack for inspiring other Edwards scholars along the way. Dr. Minkema is executive director of the Jonathan Edwards Center and assistant adjunct professor of American Religious History at Yale Divinity School. He edits the Yale University journal and Works of Jonathan Edwards and has written or edited a number of books and articles on Edwards and other Puritans. Today, speaks with him about the forthcoming JE Encyclopedia project.

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Missionary Archives Lesotho Online

Missionary Archives from Lesotho, 1832-2006 Online

Archives of the Morija Museum Lesotho and Other Documents

John Owen Society

In April 2015 a small group of Oxford University graduate students formed a Reformed theology reading group. Members of the group grew intellectually and spiritually through their discussions of Reformed theology, past and present.  The group desired to expand the discussion and share the benefits of Reformed theology with those in the university (students and faculty) and the church (leaders and laity).  The John Owen Society aims to bridge the gap between the church and the academy.  We intend to assist Christian academics in carrying out their vocations and to aid church leaders and laity in deepening their appreciation of Reformed theology.

The John Owen Society will promote interest in Reformed theology through a termly lecture on aspects of historic Reformed theology.  Each event will also provide an opportunity for further discussion and interaction over light refreshments.  As the society grows, we hope to host more lectures and a conference.

The John Owen Society is pleased to announce its inaugural lecture on 25th January 2016.  Rev. Dr. Lee Gatiss (Director, Church Society) will speak on ‘The English Calvin?  The Life and Legacy of John Owen’. Owen was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Dean of Christ Church and a Member of the British Parliament in the mid seventeenth century. He was also a prodigious Bible commentator and leading Reformed theologian. We pray that this society bearing his name will contribute to the rebirth of Reformed theology in Oxford in 2016.

What: “The English Calvin? The Life and Legacy of John Owen” (Rev. Dr. Lee Gatiss, Director Church Society) followed by drinks
When: Monday 25th January 2016, 7pm
Where: Old Clore Library, University Church of St. Mary, Oxford.

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So much about Early American History

New York Times – Anger: An American History

By: Stacy Schiff is the author of, among other books, “Cleopatra” and “The Witches: Salem, 1692.”

WHERE, many have asked these last weeks, do the rhetorical fireballs — the raging suspicion and rabid xenophobia — come from? Barring people from our shores, Paul Ryan reminds us, is “not what this country stands for.” Emma Lazarus would have agreed. But while the demonizing may sound un-American, it happens also to be ur-American.
Well before Japanese internment camps, before the Know-Nothing Party, before the Alien and Sedition Acts, New England drew its identity from threats to public safety. We manned the nation’s watchtowers before we were even a nation.
From that earlier set of founding fathers — the men who settled 17th century Massachusetts — came the first dark words about dark powers. No matter that they sailed to these shores in search of religious freedom. Once established, they pulled up the gangplank behind them. The city on a hill was an exclusively Puritan sanctuary. The sense of exceptionalism — “we are surely the Lord’s firstborn in this wilderness,” the Massachusetts minister William Stoughton observed in an influential 1668 address — bound itself up from the start with prejudice. If you are the pure, someone else needs to be impure…Read further

But also read a critical review of Stacy Stiff “The Witches: Salem 1692”

[…] Schiff goes out of her way to make Salem intelligible to a contemporary reader, often by way of analogies, many of them forced, some offensive. The indigenous warrior was “the swarthy terrorist in the backyard.” The Indian captivity narrative was “a kind of martyrdom porn.” Increase Mather’s 1684 treatise “Remarkable Providences” was “an occult Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” while the durability of a witchcraft accusation “resembled an Internet rumor.” Tituba, the enslaved woman Parris brought from Barbados to Massachusetts, was “a sort of satanic Scheherazade,” whose tales of witchcraft, presented “in supersaturated 3-D,” featured characters with “various superpowers.” Repeatedly we redound to “The Wizard of Oz”: The accusers embellished their tales, “nearly conjuring ruby slippers”; the ebbing of the trials was “like watching the Wicked Witch of the West molt back into Miss Gulch”; the responses of accused witches in the courtroom resembled “Dorothy’s wide-eyed, back-in-Kansas ‘Doesn’t anybody believe me?’” From Oz to Hogwarts: Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter get walk-ons, too.

Much of this effort to drag the past into the present amounts to pandering, earnest if schlocky. But it is also, all too often, misleading.[…]

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Graduation Day

The staff of the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa is pleased to announce that three of its Master students graduated today. The Rev. Samba Mosweu (Botswana), Warren Naidoo, Durban, South Africa, and Jake Griesel, Bloemfontein, South Africa graduated cum laude in historical theology (MTh) at the University of the Free State.


Rev. Samba Mosweu, MTh


Jake Griesel, MTh (cum laude) on his way to doctoral studies…


Warren Naidoo, MTh (cum laude) considering a PhD study…

Invitation Funded Research Studies


The Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa along with the Directorate for Research and Development at The University of the Free State (UFS), South Africa is offering a special funding opportunity for an interdisciplinary Research Masters project in African Intellectual History. The interdisciplinary concerns of this project unite philosophy, theology, and history, and focus on a close study of primary texts. As intellectual history, the chief interest is with exploring themes, or thinkers, understanding the contexts (philosophical, theological, historical, social, cultural, religious, political etc.) in which they arose, tracing trajectories and influences of such ideas leading up to their development and their consequent dissemination. Within this rough methodological scope, there is flexibility for studying a range of thinkers and themes, but these insofar as they impinge directly on African thought, or thought by people of African origin, or movements that directly affect or play out in Africa.

The funding is for a research degree leading towards a Magister Theologiae (MTh), Magister Artium (MA) or a Magister Philosophiae (MPhil) conferred by UFS, which must be completed within one academic year.

The final choice of specific research topic will be decided after discussion with prospective applicants and careful review of submitted proposals.

The benefits of the scholarship include:

  • Full tuition cost for one year of research masters at UFS
  • Cost of course registration
  • Publication of research in international peer-reviewed journals, or academic book publishers.
  • Expert local and international supervisory team


For further enquiries, please contact:

Victor Emma-Adamah:

Adriaan Neele: