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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441


VAN DER WALT, B.J.. The Christian philosophy of H. Dooyeweerd (1894-1977) as reconstructed according to the problem-historical method of Vollenhoven. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.1, pp.295-310. ISSN 2305-0853.

This introductory overview is the third in a series of three in this journal. The aim of this trilogy is to introduce the founders of a Christian philosophy, viz. D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (1892-1978), H.G. Stoker (1899-1993) and H. Dooyeweerd (1994-1977) to the readers. The present article tries to reconstruct the contours of the complex philosophical development of Dooyeweerd by employing the problem-historical method of philosophical historiography of his colleague, Vollenhoven. The introduction provides important background information about this internationally acclaimed scholar. It is indicated that at the emergence of a reformational philosophy (1918-1922) these two thinkers shared a viewpoint mainly developed by Vollenhoven. Afterwards, however, their philosophical journeys developed in different directions, distinct from each other. A second section of the article draws attention to the fact that since long ago Vollenhoven and some of his followers suspected monarchian tendencies in Dooyeweerd's thinking. Since 2010 new research suggests that his philosophy developed during a period of about 50 years through at least the following three phases: 1918-1922 (critical realism), 1923-1928 (semi-mysticism) and 1929-1977 (monistic monarchianism). This hypothesis about Dooyeweerd's philosophical development enables a next (third) step, viz. to trace the possible internal influences (from his like-minded predecessors) as well as external (secular) ones on the formation of his thought. A following (fourth) part provides a few highlights of his contribution to Christian scholarship. Finally, in retrospection on all three articles, this contribution is concluded with a few remarks about the road ahead.

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