GUM AND WIRE, A TIME FOR EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN. From Kuyperian Root to Dooyeweerdian Fruit and Back

In: Philosophia Reformata

The value of Abraham Kuyper’s thought is presently being discovered by a growing body of readers. Herman Dooyeweerd’s thought is appreciated by a smaller number. Yet he was trained in the Kuyperian tradition and conceived many of his most characteristic insights by building on Kuyper’s. What did he learn from Abraham and what can be learned by reflecting on their shared ideas? A view of the coherence, the gum and wire holding society and the cosmos together is the first of their common themes, considered in this essay. The second is religion and its root, namely, the human heart in its encounter with the Eternal. This involves a discussion of time and whether human existence can be said to extend beyond time in some respect. Observations are made and questions are raised about the contrasting and comparative accessibility of the two authors’ thoughts and writings. The second half of the essay focuses on the earliest statements of Dooyeweerd’s germinating philosophy — in relationship to Kuyper’s thought. At the most fundamental level these two thinkers share basic principles, and in light of these they developed their most distinctive ideas. An implicit reassessment of this intellectual tradition is offered here with the hope of finding hints and motivation to open new vistas on some key insights and principles.

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