Center and Periphery:
Thursday, January 2, 1964 lecture at
the annual meeting of the
Dr. J. Glenn Friesen
Note: The text below is a provisional translation. Copyright of the Dutch text is held by the Herman Dooyeweerd Foundation. The Dutch text of the lecture alone will be published in Philosophia Reformata 72 (2007) 1-19. Copyright of the English text is held by the Dooyeweerd Centre, Ancaster, Ontario, and publishing right is held by Mellen Press, Lewiston, New York. A definitive translation will be published in the series The Collected Works of Herman Dooyeweerd.
For English .pdf version click here.
For Dutch .pdf version, click here.
Part I: Translator's Introduction
Dooyeweerd's January, 1964 lecture, together with the discussion that followed, is a very important text for reformational philosophy. Marcel Verburg refers to excerpts from it, in his book Herman Dooyeweerd: Leven en werk van een Nederlands christen-wijsgeer (Baarn: Ten Have, 1989)[‘Verburg’]. But the entire lecture and discussion have never been published, and never translated into English.
Here are some of the reasons that this Dooyeweerd’s lecture and the following discussion are important:
1. Dooyeweerd says that the reason that he did not publish Volume II of his trilogy Reformation and Scholasticism is that the book had been aimed against Roman Catholic philosophy, but that such powerful changes had taken place in Catholic theology that the book had lost its point. Dooyeweerd expresses great appreciation for la nouvelle théologie in Roman Catholicism.
2. Because of his appreciation for these new developments in Catholic theology, and because of some contacts with people from other denominations, Dooyeweerd makes a very strong plea for an ecumenical approach to reformational philosophy, and for the Association to give up its label ‘Calvinistic.’ Dooyeweerd says that this label is an obstacle that prevents people from accepting the Philosophy of the Law-Idea (Discussion 17-19). This is all very strongly opposed by Vollenhoven, who wants to restrict ecumenism to those within the Gereformeerde persuasion (Discussion, p. 23ff).
3. The lecture gives a good summary of the cultural situation at the time that Dooyeweerd wrote De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee.
4. Dooyeweerd reaffirms the importance of the idea of supratemporal heart as the center of man’s existence, and “out of which are the issues of life” [Prov. 4:23]. And he says that this idea is necessary in order to understand the doctrine of Christ’s incarnation, as well as of the working of the Word of God upon this supratemporal religious center of our existence. But in answer to a question by Pete Steen, Dooyeweerd emphasizes that the supratemporal heart is the center of man’s existence [not Christ’s], and that he never used the expression ‘supratemporal heart’ in the theological way that Steen’s question assumed . Dooyeweerd says that Christ’s incarnation is an event that simultaneously reaches into the central sphere of our life as well as in the temporal sphere of our bodily existence. (Lecture, pp. 6, 8, 13-14, Discussion p. 4-5). In A New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Dooyeweerd speaks of man’s redeemed selfhood participating or having part in Christ, the New Root, thus making a distinction between man’s central selfhood and Christ (NC I, 99). And elsewhere, Dooyeweerd distinguishes between man’s supratemporality as a created eternity or aevum, and God’s uncreated eternity.
5. Dooyeweerd also relates religious center and the temporal periphery to the title of this lecture, “Center and Periphery: The Philosophy of the Law-Idea in a Changing World.” Dooyeweerd had already made a similar distinction between center and periphery in the opening pages of De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee . But Vollenhoven says that this distinction applies only to religion, but that it does not apply to philosophy. For philosophical differences, instead of speaking of religious root and temporal fruit, Vollenhoven prefers to speak of “cardinal questions and secondary questions” (Discussion, p. 22). And that is how Vollenhoven would like his own differences with Dooyeweerd to be regarded, since he says that he and Dooyeweerd still agree on the distinction between religion and philosophy (Discussion, p. 25). But although Dooyeweerd agrees that the religious center is not to be found in philosophy itself (Discussion, p. 27), he also says that some philosophers, like Prof. Stoker, cannot be viewed as adherents of The Philosophy of the Law-Idea because of the way that they speak about the center (Discussion, p. 1).
6. The lecture is important for interpreting the idea of the religious antithesis, and Dooyeweerd’s conviction that this antithesis is not something that can be organized within institutions. There appear to be fundamental differences from his views and what reformational philosophy has assumed to be the case, especially in relation to reformational philosophy’s assumption of a pluriform or pluralistic society. Dooyeweerd emphasizes that Christians are also not free from apostate Ground-motives. Dooyeweerd’s views here may also be significantly different from those of Abraham Kuyper and Groen van Prinsterer, although Dooyeweerd interprets Kuyper in a way similar to his own views, that the religious antithesis was not intended to lead to exclusivism or to a closing oneself up in one’s own circle (Lecture, pp. 12, 15; Discussion, p. 16).
7. The lecture and discussion set out many of the philosophical differences between Vollenhoven and Dooyeweerd (see Vollenhoven, especially Discussion p. 25). ). I have referred to these differences in my article “Dooyeweerd versus Vollenhoven: The religious dialectic in reformational philosophy” . From Dooyeweerd’s point of view, are these central or peripheral differences? It seems to me that Verburg is right when he says that Vollenhoven perceived that Dooyeweerd's comments in the lecture had been directed against him (Verburg, 381).
8. Dooyeweerd says that the idea of the modal aspects is one of the least understood ideas of his philosophy, and that the modal aspects are frequently understood in precisely the opposite way from what he intended (Discussion, pp. 2, 8). Dooyeweerd describes this theory of the modal aspects as a “vision” that has to be completed (Discussion, p. 3).
9. Dooyeweerd distinguishes his meaning of boundary concept [grensbegrip] from from the way that Kant used the term (Discussion, pp. 5-6).
10. Dooyeweerd discusses how the function of faith is directed to things beyond time (Discussion, pp. 6-7).
11. There are interesting points about Dooyeweerd’s views on sociology (Discussion, pp. 8-13, 15).
12. Dooyeweerd expresses misgivings about the name ‘Philosophy of the Law-Idea’ for his philosophy (Discussion, p. 14).
Provenance and condition of the text:
A tape recording was made of Dooyeweerd’s lecture to the Association, and of the discussion that followed. In October, 2006, I located transcripts of both the lecture and the discussion in the Dooyeweerd Archives at the Historische Documentiecentrum voor het Nederlandse Protestantisme in Amsterdam. Marcel Verburg assembled the Dooyeweerd Archives, but he never completed the work, and the documents in the archives have never been indexed. These archives are therefore in a very disorganized state. The transcript of the lecture and the discussion were in the same box (Lade II, 1), but not in the same folder. The actual tape recording is not there.
The transcript of the lecture is 17 typewritten pages. It contains extensive handwritten notes in Dooyeweerd’s handwriting in the margins and on an additional handwritten page. Perhaps the transcript was given to Dooyeweerd to review prior to publication, since the chairman of the meeting, Prof. Van Riessen, had indicated that the Association intended to publish the proceedings. Dooyeweerd did not complete the review of the transcript of the lecture, and he did not review the transcript of the discussion. There are therefore some typographical errors in the original Dutch transcript, including some errors made by the typist in wrongly substituting a word that sounded like the word that actually makes sense in the context. Sometimes the same word is spelled in two different ways. I am grateful to Dr. A.P. Bos for his careful review of the original Dutch text, and for his advice in correcting these evident errors in the transcript. I also wish to acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Harry Van Dyke for his suggestions with respect to the English translation.
I located another copy of the transcript of the lecture in a stack of course syllabi offered for sale by the Association for Reformational Philosophy, which is now located in Soest. I purchased that copy and I compared it with the one found in the archives. It therefore appears that the 17 typewritten pages were made available to members of the Association, but that the one with handwritten notations expresses what Dooyeweerd actually said at the meeting. I have numbered the pages of the lecture from 1 to 17, and the pages of the discussion from 1 to 28, following the numbering in the respective transcripts.
With respect to the discussion, there is another problem in that some of the questions were not recorded because the person who had asked the question stood too far from the microphone. I have been able to fill in some gaps here through the records of the Dr. K.A. Bril, who was a student at the time. Dr. Bril was actually present at this lecture, and it was his practice to make notes of each meeting of the Association that he attended. His notes distinguish between the question asked and the answer given. He has carefully preserved these records. I visited Dr. Bril recently in the Netherlands and discussed this matter with him in person. He shared his notes with me. I have indicated by the symbols < and > in the text where I have supplemented the transcript of the recording of the discussion with these notes by Dr. Bril.
Dooyeweerd’s Lecture January 2, 1964
[Lecture, page 1]
As far as I can remember, this is the first time that I will speak at the annual meeting of our Association on a topic that I did not myself choose. I must honestly admit that at first I was not pleased by the formulation of the topic, as it was presented to me by the Committee [of the Association]. “Changing World” is one of the fashionable terms of our time, and I am not fond of the term.. It is misused in many ways. But in the end, I submitted to the wishes of the committee, since I certainly understood what their intention was: not just the changing world, because we always live in that; the world is continually changing. But what they had in mind, and what was also apparent from the information they gave me, was that [the topic] concerns the presentation of our philosophy in a greatly changed world, a world in which the pace of change has become so fast that we can hardly keep up with it. When they think of change, people sometimes think of the situation that began to develop after the Second World War. And usually, people have only that in mind. But just because of this, I want to emphasize that from its very beginnings, the Philosophy of the Law-idea was confronted with a strongly changing world. And it is on just this point that I want to put special emphasis in my lecture, because it may possibly cast light on the task that philosophy still has today, and which it will continue to have in the near future.
The Philosophy of the Law-Idea made its first appearance to the outside world in the first half of the 1920’s, although it certainly did not yet appear in its full-grown form. That was a turbulent [felbewogen] time; there are probably not many of us who can still personally remember the experience of those sharp tensions. The First World War, which no one believed possible, was unleashed by demonic powers. No diplomatic negotiations seemed able to bring it into check, and it ended after millions of sacrificed human lives. Terrible revolutions had taken place in Central and Eastern Europe. It was supposed that democracy had triumphed over the autocratic regimes. But in Russia, revolution finally brought communism to power. Its totalitarianism ideology ruthlessly broke with the traditional foundations of democracy, and it posed an increasing threat for the whole Western world. Communist Russia remained outside of the Volkenbond [League of Nations], which was called into existence in order to do away with war, once and for all, as a means of settling differences between peoples. But really, the great hopes that people had for the League of Nations, and for human reason in which they had trusted, were alas soon enough put to shame. Germany, and its allies, who had been defeated, saw the Treaty of Versailles forced upon them. And this Treaty hid within itself all the seeds of a new world catastrophe. Not a single German scholar of international law acknowledged this Treaty as a true treaty, since it had been one-sidedly dictated, in conflict with the foundations of the armistice treaty, which had after all been based upon the acknowledged fourteen points of Wilson, which had also been accepted by Germany. And when Germany made objections, it was forced to relent–by being threatened with the immediate reopening of hostilities.
[Lecture, page 2]
Now after the fall of the Kaiser, it seemed that Germany had been won for Western democracy, and that along with Germany, the smaller Austria, as well as the newly formed states in central Europe had also been won. Austria had been left over from the liquidation of the Danube Monarchy [former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy]. Democracy showed itself here in an excessively rationalized form. In 1919, the constitutional law of Weimar ventured for the first time to express the rules of the parliamentary system within its constitutional law itself. In countries where this parliamentary system had really taken root, these rules had never been written down. But Germany did not appear to be ripe for democracy. And under the socialistic administration, the parliamentary system died a natural death, since it lacked a historical basis in which to be nourished. And so the way was opened for what took place at lightning speed in the 1930’s–by means of democracy, Germany brought Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism to power.
What was the intellectual situation at that time, when the Philosophy of the Law-Idea first made its appearance? What were the schools of thought that set the tone for philosophy? In 1917, during the war, Oswald Spengler’s important book was published in Germany: Der Untergang des Abendlandes [The Decline of the West]. This book was not written with the First World War in mind, for according to his own testimony, [the decline] was already there in principle before the outbreak of that war. In its catastrophic and impressive background there could already be seen a prophecy of its downfall. This book set out the logical consequences of a way of thinking about history that had become absolutized by a radical historicism, which reduced the whole human horizon of experience to its cultural-historical aspect. According to Spengler, man has no vantage point from which he can direct his view to that which is found outside the stream of historical development in which he is placed. If man has no view outside of the stream of historical development, then he also can no longer obtain any distance or perspective, no final goal that world history is to serve. And that was exactly what Spengler meant. He wrote a book, which we could take to be a philosophy of history, but it was really not that at all, for it lacked the philosophical idea of a “Weltgeschichte” [world history], such as the idea that could still be found in Leopold Ranke. In place of it, Spengler put what he called a “morphology of world culture.” And in this view, Western civilization, which previouslyhad been regarded as central, and as giving direction, and in which all classical values–including those for other cultures–had been united, was wholly forced from out of its central position. Western culture was viewed as one culture alongside of others. These cultures were described according to the model of a living organism. A living organism undergoes a development process. Of course, this development is not itself of a cultural-historical nature. It follows the pattern of organic life.
[Lecture, page 3]
It begins with germination, proceeds through a period of ripening, and then comes the phase of being full-grown. Then comes old age, and then irrevocably comes death. But Spengler now viewed this as the model of the historical development of western culture, the culture of the West [avondland]. It was seen as a spiritual organism, closed up in itself, subjected to the same kind of process of development and decline as a natural organism. He said that Western culture has for a long time been past the period of manhood; it is in its last phase of old age. And now as an irrevocable fatum, a “Schicksal,” [destiny] as Spengler called it, the decline of the West would follow. In this view of history, there was missing a true idea of historical development. That is to say, it lacked a guideline that allows us to see the cultural-historical development of mankind in the cultural interaction of the nations as a process of unfolding and deepening, a process that is directed to a final goal, a final perspective. This final goal is something that itself transcends the historical aspect of our experiential world. And Spengler also demolished the concept of historical time. Spengler separated the ancient culture of the Greeks and Romans from Western civilization, which nevertheless found one of its formative bases in Greek and Roman Culture. Western civilization was viewed as a cultural organism that was closed up in itself. In such a closed-off state, there can no longer be any talk of a development process in which the achievements of one culture are taken over and further developed by another culture. We can then discover only parallel phenomena in the development of these separate cultural organisms. In a confusing way, Spengler saw these organisms appear as “historically simultaneous.” So, for example, in the culture of the West, the old mathematician Euclid from ancient Greek culture was named the contemporary of Einstein. Yes, this was historicism at its most logically consistent. A consistency that ends in nothing, in its downfall. And it is not often noticed that Spengler already made use of all kinds of terms and categories of modern existential thought. For example, he used terms like ‘Sorge,’ [concern] ‘Geschick,’ [fate] and ’Schicksal’ [destiny], which today have been worked out by Martin Heidegger in an extensive, systematic whole.
Spengler’s book did not just fall from the sky. It drew the most extreme conclusions from an historicistic way of thinking, which had already appeared in the beginning of the previous century, but which was then strongly influenced by German idealism, which believed in eternal ideas that realized themselves in history in a temporal manner. These ideas again and again displayed new individual forms, as a revelation of their inexhaustible riches. So, the historical way of thinking came partly from German idealism, and in the first half of the last century, it was also held in check by that idealism. It was not the radical historicism that we see in Spengler’s Untergang des Abendlands. It was an idealistic historicism that still believed in the idea of humanity in its freedom, its self-determination, its absolute autonomy, and that believed in a course of development that had brought humanity in a continually ascending line to the historical realization of that idea. Well now, this belief [in progress] was undermined in
[Lecture, page 4]
the ever-more radical turn that historicism began to take, following the collapse of German idealism around the middle of the previous century. In Spengler it had been lost completely. Radical historicism also viewed German idealism (with its belief in the eternal ideas), as merely an historical product of Western civilization.
Were there then no opposing tendencies in philosophical thought during this time? Certainly. Already in the last part of the previous century there was a certain renaissance of Kantian, or what is called ‘critical-idealistic philosophy.’ In the first decades of the 20th century, neo-Kantianism even came to be a dominant school of thought. Neo-Kantianism divided itself into two currents: the Marburg school, which was primarily directed towards Kantian epistemology, but which reshaped it in an important way, and the Baden school, which was primarily oriented to the philosophy of culture and the science of history. The Baden school tried to rein in radical historicism by positing that we must acknowledge an ideal world of eternal “values” outside the experiential world. These eternal values had validity [gelding] but no being, no reality. Man had [wrongly] reduced the experiential world to the reality of nature, as it was viewed by the natural sciences. According to the neo-Kantian school, between these two worlds–the world of nature (“empirical reality”) and the ideal world of values, could be found the area of culture or of “meaning” [zin]. This in-between realm of meaning or culture was supposed to be constituted, called into being, by a certain choice of position made by one’s faculty of judgment, whereby we subjectively relate the natural reality (which in itself is blind with respect to values and therefore meaningless) to the eternal realm of “values.” And that was to be done in an individualizing sense, because in the area of culture it is precisely the individual that acquires value for man. But immediately there came another renaissance of German idealism, in a revival of Hegelian philosophy. A neo-Hegelianism also arose, it also had its representatives in the Netherlands, just like neo-Kantianism. And then there arose the remarkable movement of phenomenology, which still today has an important number of adherents. It claimed to be able to open up totally new ways for philosophy, [to regain] previous certainties that had become lost in the crisis that was becoming ever more clear in Western culture. It was founded by the German thinker Edmund Husserl, who
[Lecture, page 5]
wanted to take a position both against historicism as well as against psychologism. Gradually, his thought was focused on what was called a transcendental-idealistic epistemological direction, which Husserl believed had a radical critical character.
Neo-Kantianism also claimed to be a critical philosophy of a transcendental-idealistic character, but in Kant’s line. But epistemologically, it remained stuck in a formalism that reduced the objective content of our experience of the world into our material sensory impressions, which are themselves of a chaotic nature. These impressions could only be ordered and determined by subjective a priori forms of thought.
The new phenomenology broke through this formalism. It wanted to make completely transparent our natural consciousness of a given world, in which we live and move, according to both our subjective modalities of experience as well as their objective content. But it wanted to separate this from our natural attitude of thought and of experience. Phenomenology then divided into different schools, including existentialism, which was to play a dominant role in European thought after the Second World War. But in the 1920’s almost no one saw its far-reaching significance.
In 1927, Martin Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit [Being and Time] was published, in which the existential way of thought announced itself in an impressive way. It originally did not appear as a book, but as a long essay in the Jahrbuch der Philosophie und der Phänomenologischen Forschung, of which Edmund Husserl was the editor. Only later was it published in book form, and its increasing influence was reflected by an ever-increasing number of editions.
What was the spiritual situation in Gereformeerde circles? I of course do not mean ‘Gereformeerde circle’ in a denominational sense, but in the broad meaning of “those who are the Gereformeerde persuasion.” The 1920’s were also a very turbulent time for this circle. This was partly caused by the death of Dr. Kuyper, who may be called the spiritual father of the Calvinistic revival [Reveil]. Kuyper had awakened a part of the population who had not been viewed as belonging to the intellectual part of the nation, as the jargon of enlightened liberalism of the previous century might have called it. In general, these were people who mistrusted modern culture, and who regarded science and philosophy as dangerous. Kuyper taught them that such an attitude towards culture and science certainly was not appropriate for those who called themselves spiritual heirs of Calvin, since it implied a failure to appreciate God’s common grace. And that this clearly distinguished them from Roman Catholicism and Humanism. In many works, he had shown that Calvinism had a broader meaning than merely for church and theology. In his well-known Stone Lectures that he gave at Princeton concerning Calvinism, he showed– in a way that spoke to the people in a tremendous way–that Calvinism is an all-inclusive life- and worldview, which desires to carry out the Scriptural principle of the Reformation in every area of life. And Kuyper had developed a number of basic ideas, which would be of great importance
[Lecture, page 6]
for the reformational movement and also for the reformational philosophy that arose after his death. In the first place, his concept of the radical antithesis between the spirit of God’s Word and the spirit of this world, the spirit of falling away. This antithesis was to be regarded as the central antithesis, which must come to be revealed in every area of life, including science. Already in Kuyper’s time, this was a view that became a true rock of offence; it went directly against the traditional scholastic teaching of two realms [of nature and grace].
In the second place, there was an idea that is most closely related to the first idea. Although Kuyper did not develop it in his great theological works, but rather in his more popular writings, it was an idea of very far-reaching importance. It is the idea that man was created by God with a religious center of life, which the Bible concisely names “the heart,” out of which are the issues of life . In Old Testament terminology, the heart must be circumcised . According to the testimony of Jesus Christ, it is from out of the heart that all sins come forth . And it is in the heart that man’s rebirth takes place, through the working of the Holy Spirit . This central Biblical vision of man had become lost in scholastic philosophy. And under scholastic influence, it was also lost in Gereformeerde theology. As in a flash, Kuyper again made evident this radical Biblical vision, and he confronted others with it. But such a flash of Biblical light concerning the center of human existence passed by unnoticed to the theology of his time. It continued to hold fast to scholasticism’s traditional dualistic image of man. And this [wrong, dualistic image] remained just as dominant in Kuyper’s own theoretical theological works.
Kuyper set out a third great idea, whose significance was not yet foreseen, in his still rudimentarily developed teaching of the distinctive laws and the mutual irreducibility of the spheres of life that he distinguished, especially of the various spheres of human society. Here he relied on a Biblical position against what he called “the blurring of the boundaries” in the prevailing culture. Kuyper forged his own terminology. He referred to his idea as “sovereignty in its own sphere”–a term that now, through frequent and not well-considered usage, has become worn-out [versleten]. But during his own time, it was a new and concise expression that gave notice of a reversal of the traditional scholastic view concerning the temporal life- and world order. But this deep purport of Kuyper’s conception of sovereignty in its own sphere was not at first perceived. Very quickly, its meaning was limited to the area of anti-revolutionary politics, where it had to accommodate itself to Groen’s Christian-historical vision of state and society . This was strongly under the influence of the German Historical School, to which the Lutheran statesman Fr. J. Stahl also belonged–someone whom Groen later very much admired . In its connection with this Christian-historical way of thinking, the [conception of] sovereignty in its own sphere, which could only be applied to societal spheres of a fundamentally different nature, was from the very beginning confused with the autonomy that for historical reasons had been granted to municipalities, provinces and water-board jurisdictions, which as parts of the state can really never have sovereignty in their own sphere . In this way, Kuyper’s great conception of sovereignty in its own sphere, which he had expressly based on the creation order, became watered down to an internally confused political slogan, in which people apparently had so little confidence that even during the time of Kuyper’s leadership, the idea was never included in the platform of the A.R. [Anti-Revolutionary] Party. And yet Kuyper’s original concept was deeply Biblically founded in the idea of the creation of all things according to their kind.
[Lecture, page 6A; handwritten page]
Kuyper developed a fourth important idea in his theological view of faith. Again, this idea is linked most closely with both of the first two ideas. Scholastic theology had always distinguished between natural knowledge of God, which just like other knowledge that remains within the “natural sphere,” can be obtained by the natural light of human reason alone, and supernatural divine knowledge, in which we can share only by means of special divine revelation, and which requires the supernatural gift of faith. Kuyper certainly did not dispute that true Christian faith is a gift of grace. But he did attack the scholastic view that faith plays no role in “natural knowledge.” He argued that the function of faith is created within human nature, and that it plays an essential role in all human knowledge. Therefore no science exists that can be neutral over against the faith that one proceeds from. But as long as the human heart, following the fall into sin, remains closed to God’s Word revelation, the function of faith that is created within man will acquire an apostate direction. It will direct itself to idols of all kinds. Only by means of the gracious working of God’s Spirit can it [our heart] again be re-directed to the Word revelation of the living God, a revelation that finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus. In this sense, Kuyper spoke about the plus and minus directions of faith.
It was especially these four basic ideas, which I have briefly summarized here, which were to have such a fundamental significance for the Philosophy of the Law-Idea, because the originally Biblical thrust [geladenheid] of these ideas broke through the scholastic direction of ideas in Christian thought.
[Lecture, page 7]
From the time that the Free University was founded until the beginning of the 1920’s, the development of Gereformeerde thought displayed no school of its own in the area of philosophical thought. During this period, it was still strongly bound to traditional Thomistic-Aristotelian scholasticism, which served as the philosophical foundation for dogmatic theology. Scholastic philosophy was itself considered as belonging to the area of natural knowledge. In this scholastic philosophy, Greek thought–which has an anti-Biblical religious foundation–was externally adapted to the church’s teaching. But by doing so, this philosophy did not in the least become a reformed philosophy in the Biblical spirit. Yes, well, there did come about a revival of the Kantian question with respect to human knowledge, scientific knowledge: how is universally valid knowledge possible? In relation to that, the question was also raised in Gereformeerd scientific circles: should we not do our own thinking on these critical problems? And that was also done, and Kuyper set the example. In his Encyclopaedie der Heilige Godgeleerdheid (Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology; 1893-1895), Kuyper developed a theory of science, in which the critical questions of neo-Kantianism were to some extent addressed: the question of how knowledge of a universally valid nature is possible. But it was really done in the same way that it was done in Louvain, where there had been an adaptation of scholastic philosophy to the new problems that had been raised by Kant and the neo-Kantians–by way of a certain linking up, a synthesis. The basic premise of scholastic thought remained preserved. There is a reality, a being, which as such is independent from human experience, even from all possible human experience, and this being has its existence directly from God. And then there is the area of subjective, human knowledge of that being. And that notion was then used to purify neo-Kantian idealism from its non-Christian characteristics. It resulted in what was called ‘critical realism,’ and you can find it developed in Kuyper’s theory of science. Those who have been members of our Association for some time may perhaps remember that at the annual meeting of 1939 I chose the special subject of “Kuyper’s Theory of Science” [“Kuyper’s Wetenschapsleer”].  For yes, that [article] was again in relation to a very quickly developing situation, now also occurring in Gereformeerde life. Kuyper had died, and as could have been predicted, after his death there was a battle with respect to his spiritual heritage. In which line should reformational thought develop further? For it was clear that two lines could be observed. And not only in Kuyper but also in Herman Bavinck —one of the other leading members of the older generation—and also in Jan Woltjer . There was a truly reformational line, which sought an inner reformation,
[Lecture, page 8]
an inner re-forming of the whole attitude towards life and thought, from out of the driving force, the dunamis of the divine Word. And the other direction, which merely carried on in the old scholastic line and that did not want to hear about reformation, about an inner reformation of thought. But as Voetius had named it, they wanted accommodation, adaptation, an external adaptation of thought to traditional theology, which itself appeared in every respect to be infected by Greek philosophy, which cannot be reconciled with the Biblical basic principle [grondgedachte]. The Philosophy of the Law-Idea immediately chose the reformational line, in this radical sense. It concerns reformation, inner reformation of our attitude of thought, through God’s Word–and, as was always added, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. That’s what it’s about. It was against the scholastic accommodation. But then the conflict occurred with the theological faculty of the Free University, which at that time was still wholly in the grip of the scholastic way of thinking . It related in particular to the attack that the Philosophy of the Law-Idea had made against the traditional scholastic view of man, the view that man is a composite, something put together out of two substances, two independent entities [zelfstandigheden] as they were called: a material body that is mortal, and a soul that is immortal because it is spiritual, an anima rationalis, a rational soul that is characterized by reason, by its ability to think. In this picture of man there was no room for the core [kern] of human existence, as it has been revealed to us by the light of the Bible, namely the religious center of man’s existence, the concentration point of his whole existence. It is what the Bible concisely names “the heart, out of which are the issues of life.” Sometimes it also uses the word [word in text unclear, probably ‘soul’  of human existence or ‘spirit’ of human existence, but by this the Bible always intends something other than the Greeks, who broke apart man’s temporal human existence into two substances, two independent entities: a material body and a rational soul. And the rational soul was viewed as immortal. The Philosophy of the Law-Idea directed a sharp attack against this view. And that led to the conflict [with the theological faculty]. After the publication of Volume III of De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, there immediately appeared the well-known series of brochures by Prof. Hepp. Hepp was then professor of dogmatics. The brochures were entitled Dreigende Deformatie [The Threatening Deformation]. The people against whom he was directing his polemics remained anonymous, but it was very clear that the brochures, insofar as they dealt with philosophy, intended to point to the founders of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea.
It was at this time that I received the request from the publisher Wever in Franeker to write a brochure about the relation of Calvinism and philosophy. This was a request that did not attract me at all, and I did not in any way intend to follow up on it. But I wrote him back that I was certainly prepared to write about something else.
[Lecture, page 9]
That was the subject “Reformatie en Scholastiek in de Wijsbegeerte” [Reformation and Scholasticism in Philosophy]. That became a big headache for me, for this subject grabbed my interest, and my work on it grew to become a new trilogy, a large work of three volumes, a companion set to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee. But only the first volume was published.
And now I come back to the Philosophy of the Law-Idea in changing times. For the situation changed in an unbelievably short time, one could almost not keep up with it. Yes, Volume II was intended as a polemic against the scholastic way of thinking, and I had this in view because it was a current topic in the 1930’s and also at the beginning of the 1940’s. I had in view the traditional scholasticism, what was called Neo-Thomism, which had been somewhat adapted and polished up to fit into Gereformeerde theology. That’s what I had in view, but in the meantime, such a tremendous change was taking place in Roman Catholic understanding, in the Roman Catholic circle itself and in the circle of what was called neo-Scholasticism. You have all heard about it–the coming into existence of une nouvelle théologie, against which the encyclical Humani Generis [by Pope Pius XII in 1950] was clearly directed. We heard voices in the new theology, of which we said: “These seem to be purely reformational, that is no longer Roman-Catholic.” They spoke again about man’s radical corruption. There were polemics against the view of Cardinal Mercier , the Louvain school, which had always taught that there is, that a sharp distinction must be made between the domain of philosophy, which belongs to the area of natural light, and the domain of theology, for that belongs to the supernatural light of revelation. It was generally acknowledged that philosophy couldn’t be Christian. That was a generally accepted idea and now some totally difference voices could be heard. People again began to speak the language of Augustine, who had denied the autonomy of thought, of natural thought, and who had said that apart from the illumination by the Divine Word (leaving aside now whether Augustine understood this in a more precise way), but apart from the illumination by the Divine Word, man could never find the truth, not even in science. Now it is true that even in the Middle Ages there remained a conflict between the Augustinian and the Thomistic schools, but [it was believed at that time] that they must of course be accommodated, adapted. A synthesis must be found, since they all wanted to remain within the hierarchical relation of the Roman Catholic Church. And now, now the nouvelle théologie arose, totally new voices were heard in neo-Scholastic philosophy, including talk of the religious center of man. Well, all of a sudden, Volume II of my book Reformation and Scholasticism immediately lost its basic foundation, insofar as it concerend the scholastic school. For the Roman Catholics would be able to say,
[Lecture, page 10]
“What are you talking about? The times have changed, and neo-scholasticism has long outgrown that old standpoint. It has now to a large extent come close to your own views."  We had already observed this here with one of our most faithful visitors of our annual meeting, Prof. Marlet, a Jesuit, and an adherent of the nouvelle théologie. And, as he always told me, and as appeared from his dissertation, he is also an adherent of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea. Of course, for in his dissertation at the Gregorian University of Rome, he defended the idea that this philosophy completely falls within the framework of the Philosophia in ecclesia accepta ac agnita, meaning philosophy as it has always been accepted and acknowledged by the Catholic Church . Yes, indeed, that is the Philosophy of the Law-Idea in rapidly changing times. But that was also the reason why I have never published in its entirety Volume II of Reformation and Scholasticism. It no longer satisfied me. And [only those] various chapters, which really brought about an extension of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea–thus, those that carried a thetical character–were published separately by me in our journal Philosophia Reformata.
Yes, and then in 1941, after the World War [commenced], a second split occurred in the Gereformeerde Church. As you know, we had the first split in 1926. That was the Geelkerken conflict, which concerned the view of Scripture . Although that split had only an exceedingly narrow and provincial basis, it led to the exodus of Geelkerken’s followers and the formation of a new denomination, the Gereformeerde Kerk in Hersteld Verband. This was a great split in the unity of the church. And in 1941 there came the second great split with the conflict about Schilder, Prof. Schilder and his followers. That led to a liberation [vrijmaking], and there arose the Vrijgemaakte Gereformeerde Churches. And then suddenly there was a sort of fearful mood in the Gereformeerde Churches: “Let’s never have that again.” And the result was that now everything was allowed, and everything could be said, and everything was permitted to be said, and really no one precisely knew any more what the guidelines were for what might and what could be said.
Yes, the Second World War, with its judgment of the totalitarian regimes of nazism and fascism. When the Second World War was over, the break-through movement [doorbraakbeweging] arose in the Netherlands. I’m sure you still remember it well. The Dutch People’s Movement arose. At that time I was the Editor-in-Chief of the weekly periodical Nieuw Nederland. I directed it for two years . At that time there appeared a series of articles about the antithesis, in connection with the appearance of this people’s movement. For these articles opposed the antithesis. There had to be a spiritual breakthrough. Yes, these articles opposed what one could call the organization of the antithesis, which is indeed something dangerous. As you know, Kuyper had organized that part of the Christian population who wanted to go forward in his line. And he did this very powerfully in the political area. The Anti-Revolutionary Party was the first really well organized party in the Netherlands.
[Lecture, page 11]
And he did it in the area of higher education, the Free University. And yes, the whole constituency [achterban] of the Free University, that part of the people on whom the Free University depended for its support, had to be organized. And then soon also the trade unions became Christian. But in all of this, Kuyper had an ecumenical idea in mind, and this is often forgotten. It was an ecumenical idea, no ecclesiasticism [kerkism], no binding of a party, of a political party, or of an institution for higher education or of a trade organization to a certain church denomination. Now yes, what did Kuyper really envision? One could no longer have any church confession as a foundation. That also applied to the Free University–it doesn’t have the confession of the Gereformeerde Church as its basis. Article 2 of the statute only refers to “Gereformeerde principles.” And that in itself was an amazingly risky venture, for these principles were not formulated. What was to be understood by them? What drove Kuyper, what did he really envision? And what did he not say? What could he probably also not have been able to say? What did he really envision at that time?
And now I will speak about something that I cannot prove. It is based on my own convictions. I have seen it myself, and I have gradually brought this more sharply to the foreground during the further development of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea.
In 1939, mention was made for the first time in the Philosophy of the Law-Idea of a transcendental critique of philosophic thought. To be honest, I had really forgotten this, but there are certain dissertations and articles written in English, which have refreshed my memory. They have researched the historical development of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea, and have shown that in 1939 (and nota bene not in Philosophia Reformata, but in an article in the periodical Synthese) there was a long article. That article was entitled “De Transcendentale Kritiek van het Wijsgerig Denken” [The Transcendental Critique of Philosophic Thought]. And now, after my memory has been refreshed (for I have lost the article, I no longer have it), I suddenly remember again what that article was about. In 1939, the whole thing had become philosophically stuck. People formed schoolsl, which they had organized into narrow circles. There was the Kritisch Genootschap [Critical Society], a society for critical philosophy. They published their journal Annalen der Kritische Filosofie. And in the first volume of that journal there appeared a threefold repetition of the assurance that critical philosophy was the only scientific one, and that it really had the monopoly on truth.
But the Hegelian circle in the Netherlands had also separately organized itself, and it published its own journal Idee. And it announced the same thing. They thought that the Society for Critical Philosophy really belonged to the narrow-minded group who only believed in the understanding, but who did not allow pure reason to be heard. For pure reason alone is what creates the good synthesis above the antithesis between the different schools. That was the Hegelian train of thought.
[Lecture, page 12]
And there was also a neo-Spinozist direction in the Netherlands, and of course a neo-Thomistic one, which were both separately organized. And would you believe it, there also arose an Association for Calvinistic Philosophy. Did our Association really have to be the umpteenth formation of a group that would also claim a monopoly on truth? When that idea, that question arose for me, I felt that it was necessary to show a way, in order to show that the antithesis, as it is taught by the Philosophy of the Law-Idea, and which followed in the line of Dr. Abraham Kuyper, that this did not lead to exclusivism, towards isolation in the wrong sense of the word, closing oneself up in one’s own circle. But that, to use a new word that came into fashion–into vogue–after the Second World War, as a result of the creation of a Center for Dialogue–that it [the Philosophy of the Law-Idea] would really be able to lead to dialogue, to a dialogue with opponents who stood on a totally different religious standpoint. And I thought that it was prercisely the transcendental critique of philosophic thought, as it had been developed by the Philosophy of the Law-idea, that would open the way, since it set out the requirement that in our dialogue with an opponent in principle–let’s say with a humanist, who is not a Christian–the only way to real communication is to approach him from out of his own deepest basic principles. And there came the word “religious Ground-motive.”
In Volume I of Reformation and Scholasticism in Philosophy, I have sketched out four of these motives. I have first tried to let Greek thought speak, and to disclose its own deepest religious Ground-motive out of its deepest, spiritual driving force. I have tried to do the same with scholasticism and with humanism. I had really already done that in Volume I of De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee. And now the word ‘religious Ground-motive’ must also apply with respect to the reformational direction of thought. What was its religious Ground-motive?
To speak about religious Ground-motives was naturally unpleasant for a theology that still was based wholly on a scholastic standpoint, for it saw itself unmasked. It saw that in the dualistic view of what was called “nature and grace,” the natural domain, where the natural light of reason was sufficient in order to arrive at knowledge of natural truths–that this domain is not neutral as they declared, and that reason is not autonomous there. But in that way, they viewed nature in the light of a deeper religious Ground-motive that was not Biblical. The motive of nature and grace included the tendency towards accommodation, an accommodation of the Greek religious motive to the official teaching of the church. Yes, that was the purpose of the work Reformation and Scholasticism.
And now, in the development that I have so briefly outlined, the development of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea in a rapidly changing time,
[Lecture, page 13]
the question always came up as to what was really the core [kern], the center, and what was the periphery [omtrek] in this philosophy. You are all my witnesses that from the very beginning I have said that, as philosophy, the Philosophy of the Law-Idea is human work, fallible. I have said that it claims no privileged position with respect to other philosophical systems. That is something that could easily happen, to hide oneself behind the name ‘Christian,’ or ‘reformational,’ and to say, “Yes, but this is a philosophy that is a better guarantee against error than the others.” No. Every time I have warned against that and with great emphasis. That is not the way it is. Philosophy itself remains human work. But it is human work that is directed from out of a spiritual driving force that does not come from man, but which comes forth from out of the Word of God, and which works in the community, the communio Spiritus sanctus, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, whenever these Ground-motives–I am convinced that there still is much misunderstanding about them, also in our circle, also in the circle of our own Association. Some became afraid when they heard this and thought, “Here a selection is being made.” For the Ground-motive is described as that of creation, fall into sin and redemption through Jesus Christ in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. And then it was said, “And after this the Bible can remain closed. If that alone is the Ground-motive that guides this philosophy, then the Bible can remain closed.” Now, it was so difficult to remove this misunderstanding. For I have said that the Ground-motive is the key of knowledge of Holy Scripture, and a key serves in order to open something up. And what must be opened up, that is Holy Scripture. Thus the key belongs to Holy Scripture, and it is itself only to be understood from out of Holy Scripture. It is not something that is imposed upon it, but it is certainly something, this motive in its completely central, in its radical character, that completely fits with the revelation given by God in the beginning, in the first chapter of Genesis, of the creation of man in the image of God. If you read that further in relation to everything else that the Bible teaches us about the religious center of human existence, then it must become clear that the divine revelation, the revelation of the Word, which became flesh, must be adapted to human existence as it was created by God. Otherwise there would be no revelation. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Christ became man, Jesus Christ, and lived among us. And God’s Word has spoken in our human language and in our human world and has thereby also entered our human horizon of experience. And just as man, who was created by God,
[Lecture, page 14]
with a great diversity of functions and structures with respect to his bodily existence, but with one central unity. The heart of his existence, that religious center, out of which are the issues of life, and which according to the order of creation was destined to concentrically direct all the powers that God had placed in the temporal world. These were to be directed in the service of love to God and to our neighbour as the bearer of the image of God. For our neighbour, too, is created according to the image of God.
When you see that, then it is no longer strange that Holy Scripture also has a center, a religious center and a periphery, which belong to each other in an unbreakable way. That center is the spiritual dunamis, the spiritual driving force that proceeds from God’s Word in this central, all-inclusive motive of creation, revelation of the fall into sin, redemption through Jesus Christ in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. And naturally, we can also speak about creation as an article of faith, a doctrine, and that is also clear. Naturally. And one can theologize about that. Of course that can occur. It is also necessary. But when it concerns true knowledge of God and true knowledge of self, then we must say, “There is no theology in the world and no philosophy in the world that can achieve that for man. It is the immediate fruit of the working, the central working of God’s Word itself in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, in the heart, the radix, the root unity of human existence.”
The center of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea is that religious Ground-motive, that is to say, it lies outside philosophy. The core [kern] of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea is not of a philosophic nature. The core of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea is of a central religious nature. And I believe that that is its strength, and that that will be its significance for the future. As long as we continue to see this, as long as we continue to see that in the final analysis it comes down to the driving force of God’s Word, which goes to work in the religious center of our existence, through the power of Christ Jesus, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. As long as we continue to see this, the Philosophy of the Law-Idea will not waste away, it will not become irrelevant to a rapidly changing world, but it will retain its full relevance. For it will continue to raise a call in the world, an appèl.
Okay, some people have said, “What the Philosophy of the Law-Idea says here, the inner reformation of thought and so on, that is something eschatological, that is something of the age to come and not in this dispensation, not in this sinful world in which man is still sinful. In our philosophic thought we can never know what is directed by the Biblical Ground-motive and what is directed by non-Biblical Ground-motives. Granted that there is an antithesis between the Word of God and the spirit of apostasy, and every Christian acknowledges this,
[Lecture, page 15]
our objection against the Philosophy of the Law-Idea is that it wants to carry out this antithesis in the domain of philosophy.” And one can naturally add to this: “Our objection in general against this reformational school is also outside of the domain of philosophy, in that it wants to carry it out in the domain of politics and trade organizations, and that it there also speaks about antithesis.”
Now I must say one thing, and I hope that I will not be misunderstood. The antithesis is indeed something that cannot be organized. There was certainly some emphasis on this idea, also by Dr. Kuyper himself, who spoke about we Calvinists. See the title of his address to the deputies [deputatenrede of 1909]. That had the sound of a certain pride: we Calvinists, and the Anti-Revolutionary Party, and our people, etc. And oh, how quickly the idea came about that we should have no contact with others who did not belong to this. But there is a solidarity of the fall into sin, isn't there? We cannot say that we ourselves are free from apostate motives. That would be distinctly unbiblical . No, that is of course completely true and that was precisely the great danger in the beginning, and the danger must also be continually warned against. [This warning was needed] when the Philosophy of the Law-Idea first appeared, again with the antithesis, again with that appèl, with the call. Be careful! Do not think that you can organize the antithesis. Not in philosophy and not in an Association for Calvinistic Philosophy, where it is assumed that all that matters is a good foundation. Oh, you can make that foundation as good and as excellent as you want, but if the Spirit of God does not blow into it, then it is nothing. It is then less then nothing, chaff and not wheat. And no foundation, no basis that we ourselves may lay down and that we ourselves mayformulate can really give the reformational, Christian, Biblical direction to our thought. That is the work of God’s Word by the working of the Holy Spirit, Who is always at work in fellowship. Yes, the core [kern], the center of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea, hold on to it, it is not made by man! The periphery, there was a time, in the beginning of our Association, when there was no criticism given in our circle about what the Philosophy of the Law-Idea had brought forward. Everything was accepted with a certain gratitude, but there was no critique. I then repeatedly invited critique. Every part of this philosophy [of the Law-Idea] must be critically weighed, because don't forget, it is human work. I have had an alarming success in [being subjected to] such criticism! After the Second World War it came to the point that I sometimes thought, “No pillar remains standing. At the moment everything lies knocked down flat. There is no part of this philosophy that has not been subjected to a sharp critique. The teaching of time, in my opinion
[Lecture, page 16]
a very fundamental piece of the philosophy of the law-Idea, has been struck at in its foundation.” The theory of the law-spheres–the term is also a bit outdated–has in various parts been so injured that I thought, “Okay, now where are we going?” It was in fact said to me, “Yes, we agree with you, there is a diversity of modes of experience, of modal aspects of our experiential world, but we refuse to speak of a historical aspect of experience,” and “We do not want to become historicists. That [aspect] must stay outside of it.” And others said, “Now, the view of time; it is such an all-encompassing time, in which all the aspects are fitted. That we can't accept. There are aspects–the arithmetical aspect, the spatial aspect–which are timeless. We must maybe make time itself into an aspect…etc.” I thought, “There goes the whole philosophy of the Law-Idea.” Some have objected to the view of science as an activity that is characterized by its theoretical, logical function. That was perhaps less far-reaching, but it was still a point where you could say, “Well, that is quite something, what is here being dropped.”
And then especially, and that was of course in connection with the second split in the church, the so-called liberation, a fundamental critique was given of the view given by the Philosophy of the Law-Idea of the institution of the church. This critique was along the lines of Prof. Schilder, who had always objected to this view. They said, “Yes, this is all terrific, the theory of the temporal individuality structures, as these ideas have been worked out for society and for the things of our everyday world of experience. But the church must stay out of it, for don’t forget that the church–the church comes from above. It is something totally different, and cannot be viewed as something that is just given in experience.” Yes, this concerns–how shall I really say this–is this still in the periphery? Or is the church–doesn’t the church really concern the core of what is believed, and can it really in any way be separated from the religious center of our existence? Center or periphery, center or circumference? Well at the moment I don’t think I have an answer. I shall also not try. But let me only say this. The periphery does not exist without the center, but the center is intended [bestemd] for the periphery. It is meant to direct the periphery. In other words, the religious Ground-motive of God’s Word is meant to give a reformational direction to our philosophic thought. With all our shortcomings, in all fallibility, in all sinfulness we shall try to hold on to this task, also for the near future. Now I would liketo say this to you. If you sometimes think, “Ah, this Philosophy of the Law-Idea, when it first appeared it was regarded as belonging to the avant-garde. At the moment it is viewed as outdated, as conservative.” I want to say to you: That depends a lot on you yourself. If we begin to speak of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea in a sort of mood of the bourgeois satisfait [the satisfied bourgeousie]:
[Lecture, page 17]
“We have a system etc.,” and we then begin to copy it theoretically, then our influence will be nihil. Of course there is no influence. But the Philosophy of the Law-Idea will last as long as the Spirit remains active in our life, in our thought, even if it has to change in its philosophical conception (which I do not absolutely rule out). This philosophy will last that long, and it will not become meager and not change.
With that, ladies and gentleman, I would like to end this speech, for I cannot give you much more.
Go to Part III, Discussion following Dooyeweerd's Lecture
 JGF: Steen may have been influenced by J.M. Spier, who had previously argued against the idea of supratemporality by relating it to the issue of Christ’s nature. Spier also rejected Dooyeweerd’s idea of the aevum, which distinguishes man’s supratemporality (as a created eternity) from God’s uncreated eternity. See J.M. Spier: Tijd en Eeuwigheid, (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1953), 151, 163. In 1962, Okke Jager had written the book, Het eeuwige leven, met name in verband met tijd en eeuwigheid (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1962). Steen wrote a review of this book later in 1964 (thus, after this discussion with Dooyeweerd. See Westminster Theological Journal (November 1964), pp. 61-65. In that review, Steen agrees with Jager that Dooyeweerd’s view of time and eternity is faulty, in that it “eternalizes” God’s acts to outside of time, and that it brings with it the danger of confusing Creator and creature. But it is evident that Dooyeweerd had not changed his views in response to Steen’s 1964 question. For in his 1970 dissertation, Steen continued to battle Dooyeweerd’s idea of supratemporality. See Peter J. Steen: The Structure of Herman Dooyeweerd’s Thought (Toronto: Wedge, 1983), where there are many references to the issue. Steen cites both Spier and Jager in his arguments against supratemporality. But Steen does acknowledge at p. 149 that G.C. Berkouwer had defended Dooyeweerd against Spier’s view that supratemporality involved some sort of super-creatureliness. G.C. Berkouwer: Man: The Image of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962).
 Dooyeweerd says that the central meaning of the heart as religious root of man’s existence gave such a revolution in philosophic thought that Kant’s “Copernican Revolution” can only be seen as peripheral. For the central conception of the heart relativizes the whole temporal cosmos (De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, pp. v, vi). This is also Dooyeweerd’s view of the relation of Ideas and concepts to the Center and periphery: “Research proceeds from the Center to the periphery; it is egkuklios.” Encyclopedia of Legal Science, (1946), p. 6, online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Encyclopedia.html]. There is also a central and peripheral relationship between the nuclear meaning moment and its analogies within each law-sphere. Dooyeweerd says that the nucleus or kernel of the modal aspect is the center, and the other aspects surround it. See Herman Dooyeweerd: “Introduction to a Transcendental Criticism of Philosophic Thought,” Evangelical Quarterly 19 (1947), 42-51.
 J. Glenn Friesen: “Dooyeweerd
versus Vollenhoven: The religious dialectic in reformational philosophy”
Philosophia Reformata 70 (2005) 102-132, online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/
 JGF: the reference is to Matt. 15:19: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. And Mark 7:21: “For from within, out of the heart, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders.”
 JGF: The reference may be to John 3:6, where in answer to the question by Nicodemus, Jesus says he must be born again, and says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Or perhaps 1 Cor. 15:49: “and as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Or 1 Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” There are of course many other references to ‘heart’ in the New Testament.
 JGF: Compare this to what Dooyeweerd says in Vernieuwing en Bezinning (Zutphen: J.B. van den Brink & Co.). In a passage that for some reason is omitted from the (partial) English translation, Roots of Western Culture (Toronto: Wedge, 1979), Dooyeweerd seems to criticize regarding the religious antithesis in terms of the idea of pluriform democracy (or verzuiling), in conflict with the views expressed at p. ix of the Preface by the translator, John Kraay. In my view, Kraay confuses sphere sovereignty and political pluralism. At p. 49 of Roots, after the sentence on line 2 ["If one takes sphere sovereignty as no more than a historical given, somehow grown on Dutch soil as an expression of Holland's love of freedom, then one automatically detaches it from the constant, inner nature of the societal sphere."], Kraay omits the following long passage from pages 47-48 of Vernieuwing, where Dooyeweerd is critical of certain developments:
 Note by Dooyeweerd: Already in the 17th century, the Utrecht theologian Gijsbertus Voetius had said that this philosophy would have to fit with, to be accommodated to Gereformeerde theology (and not the other way around). As Voetius said, philosophia est accommodana theologiae, non contra.
 JGF: In 1937, both Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven were asked by the Curators of the Free University to respond to accusations about their philosophy, which had been made by the theologian Valentijn Hepp in a series of brochures he published entitled Dreigende Deformatie [Threatening Deformation]. See The Responses to Curators, by Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven, translated online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Curators.html].
 JGF: See Herman Dooyeweerd: Reformatie en Scholastiek in de Wijsbegeerte (Franeker: T. Wever, 1949). Published in English as Reformation and Scholasticism in Philosophy, Volume I, The Greek Prelude (Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2004).
 JGF: The actual date of the Vrijmaking was 1944. In 1926, the synod of Assen of the Gereformeerde church judged and removed from office the pastor J.G. Geelkerken because he denied the literal nature of the fall. Geelkerken had denied that the snake literally spoke.
 Most of the articles that Dooyeweerd wrote as Editor of Nieuw Nederland were collected and published in Vernieuwing en Bezinning (Zutphen: J.B. van den Brink & Co., 1959). This was partially translated as Roots of Western Culture (Toronto: Wedge, 1979).
 JGF: The full title of this article is “De transcendentale Critiek van het wijsgerig denken. Een bijdrage tot overwinning van het wetenschappelijk exclusivisme der richtingen”, Synthese 4 (1939) 314-339. Later, Dooyeweerd did publish “De transcendentale critiek van het wijsgeerig denken,” Philosophia Reformata 5 (1941), 1-20. Dooyeweerd already distinguished between transcendent and transcendental critique in De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee. See WdW I, 45, 51-58; II, 399, 407-422, 482-484). He also referred to Ground-motives (grondidee, grondmotief) (WdW I, 467-473). In response to Van Til, Dooyeweerd says that his later work was merely a sharpening of the transcendental critique.
Go to Part III, Discussion following Dooyeweerd's Lecture
Revised Jul 23/07