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In die Skriflig

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


VORSTER, Jacobus M.. Die impak van die gereformeerde teologie op die moderne staatkundige denke in Suid-Afrika. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2020, vol.54, n.2, pp.1-9. ISSN 2305-0853.

The impact of the Calvinist Reformed theology on the constitutional reflection in South Africa is overshadowed by the perception that Calvinist social ethics, as argued and practised in the colonial era in South Africa, was responsible for apartheid and must therefore be perceived as immoral and unacceptable. This research focuses once again on the political philosophy that resulted from the social-ethical reasoning of Calvin and his followers such as Althusius, Voetius, Groen van Prinsterer, Kuyper and other reformed political philosophers in the 20th century. The investigation attempts to indicate how these exponents founded and defended republicanism and fundamental human rights. The traditional idea of the Calvinist Reformation such as the political covenant, sovereignty in own sphere in bodies of authority, religious freedom and the justice of the kingdom of God, developed in the 20th century in the ethos of human rights which became apparent in the South African constitutional democracy. This constitutionalism, and not apartheid, is the real legacy of Calvinism. This pattern of reasoning should be seen as the real tradition of the Calvinist Reformation, and social ethics of this tradition should be refined and developed in order to promote constitutionalism for the benefit of emerging democracies.

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