SOME CONTEXTUAL REFLECTIONS ON ‘PURPOSE IN THE LIVING WORLD?’

Philosophia Reformata

Jacob Klapwijk’s book Purpose in the Living World? is examined with special attention given to the scholarly background from out of which it emerges as a significant contribution to reformational philosophical reflection. As an initial step to clarify some important issues raised by Klapwijk’s critical comments about Dooyeweerd’s “essentialist” concept of species, the article probes facets of the way Jan Lever incorporated reformational philosophical concepts into his biological theory and considers the 1959 review written by Herman Dooyeweerd of Lever’s Creation and Evolution. The analysis focuses specifically upon the social responsibilities of these two scholars and the confrontation of their respective views. With the work of Lever and Dooyeweerd we sense something of the ambiguities when reformational philosophy confronts an evangelical scholasticism. This confrontation is an important facet of the context in which Klapwijk has set forth his discussion of creation and emergent evolution. Purpose is also the fruit of scholarly collaboration across disciplines, providing a welcome stimulus for a deepened understanding of the corporate character of the student vocation.

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