Dooyeweerd’s Third Letter
to the Curators
March 19, 1938 [Excerpts]
Translated by Dr. J. Glenn Friesen
The text below is a provisional translation.
Copyright 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.
Note: This third letter by Dooyeweerd to the Curators
of the Vrije Universiteit consisted of 19 propositions. The following
is a translation of proposition 7 of it, as it appears in Verburg, p.
Proposition 7 of Dooyeweerd’s March, 1938 letter:
For the reasons named, a true Christian, Calvinistic philosophy cannot
accept a view of soul and body that is oriented to the traditional substance
idea. The “body,” which is put off [afgelegd] at
death, is in the Philosophy of the Law-Idea rather understood in the
sense of the entire earthly existence of man in all temporal spheres
of life, just as this existence is created in an interweaving of individuality
structures. Bodily death is the severing [losmaking] of all
earthly relations, and not just the putting of a problematic “material
body,” the existence of which is supposed to be closed up in the
physical-chemical aspects of temporal reality. And the “soul,”
whose continued existence after death is assured to us beyond any doubt
by Scripture and Confession, may from the Christian standpoint not be
understood as a part of this temporal earthly existence, or rather as
the theoretical abstraction from a “substance” that is supposed
to have only psychical and normative functions. It [the soul] is much
rather man’s full human selfhood, his heart in the sense of the
centre of his entire existence, or which the “body” is the
temporal organ [organon].