In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 1018-6441
VAN DER WALT, Barend J.. The Christian philosophy of D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (1892-1978): How it originated and was developed. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.1, pp. 41-53. ISSN 1018-6441.
This article is the first in a series of three dealing with the emergence of a reformational-Christian philosophy in the work of D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (1892-1978), H. Dooyeweerd (1894-1977) of the Netherlands and H.G. Stoker (1899-1993) of South Africa. As a general introduction to the trilogy the question is how a tradition, the reformational philosophical tradition in particular, can today - 75 years after its inception - be kept alive and relevant. In this first article, focusing on Vollenhoven's contribution, the following are dealt with: (1) As introduction, something briefly is said about his personality. (2) Since especially epistemological issues were key problems at the cradle of his reformational philosophy during the first part of the previous century, a brief historical background (up to the present postmodern situation) is provided. (3) The third main section investigates the possible influences on Vollenhoven's thinking, firstly from outside (the philosophical environment of his times) and, secondly, from inside (preceding congenial thinkers). (4) Next, attention is asked for Vollenhoven's pioneering contribution to both systematic philosophy as well as the historiography of philosophy. (5) The following part deals with how the work of the triumvirate (Vollenhoven, Dooyeweerd and Stoker) was received by next generations and how the reformational philosophical tradition became divided into followers of Vollenhoven, Dooyeweerd and Stoker. (6) The reconnaissance is concluded with an indication of the close contacts between Vollenhoven as person as well as his philosophy and South Africa, especially Potchefstroom.