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A Critically Comparative Kuyperian Analysis and a Trinitarian, ‘Perichoretic’ Reconstruction of the Reformational Philosophies of Dirk H.Th. Vollenhoven and Herman Dooyeweerd

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

This is a critically constructive study of the systematic thought of two ’Reformational’ philosophers Dirk H.Th. Vollenhoven (1892-1978) and Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977) within the contours of the Reformational vision which they both inherited from the founder of the modern Reformational tradition, Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920). While exploratory work has been done in this area, a full systematic comparison is undertaken here for the first time. Elements in the thought of the two philosophers which may seem to be at variance will be shown to be complementary or at least capable of correction by the thought of the other. This will be done by returning to the trinitarian basis of the Kuyperian vision, and more specifically, the notion of ’perichoresis’ which affirms at once the distinctiveness of the work of each of the triune Persons and the harmony of their joint achievement. It will be argued that this trinitarian grounding and ’perichoretic’ reconstruction of the thought of the two philosophers provides a more fully-rounded Reformational account - one with a greater overall coherence than the work of either provides on its own - resulting in a philosophy true to the vision which they together inherited, offering a systematic framework serviceable alike for inter-disciplinary work in the contemporary academy, and for Christian engagement in the public square.
Original languageEnglish
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Award date1 Jul 2012

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