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In: Hegel's Philosophy of the Historical Religions

This essay focuses on the relation between China and the West. For the most part it concerns China as viewed through Western lenses, starting with the “natural theology” of Matteo Ricci and the Jesuit Mission, then turning to the “Rites Controversy” of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and ending with contemporary issues. In the final section the emphasis shifts from the West to China. This contribution aims to go beyond the description of certain phases in the relation between West and East. First and foremost, it attempts to reconstruct this development in terms of “proximity” and “distance.” It considers the genius of natural theology to be its sense of proximity and the later development a fateful distancing. To regain proximity it suggests that intercultural philosophy heed the experience of Christian communities. To illustrate this point, it draws on Vroom’s discussion of symbols in Indian hymns, John Wu’s translation of the Bible, and a case study on Chinese churches in the Netherlands.

In: Crossroad Discourses between Christianity and Culture
In: Philosophia Reformata
In: Philosophia Reformata

De werkverdeling met Willem de Jong is zodanig dat ik in het midden van De aantrekkingskracht van het midden mag beginnen: bij Hegel. Mijn beschouwing opent met de typering van de interpretatie die Johan van der Hoeven biedt als op de wijze van Kierkegaard. Daarop volgt een karakterisering van de wijze waarop hij de geschiedenis van de filosofie beoefent, geplaatst binnen het bredere kader van de Faculteit der Wijsbegeerte van de VU.1 Het kritische gedeelte van mijn beschouwing begint in de paragraaf die als titel heeft ‘Uit het centrum verdreven’. Vanaf dat punt blijven de gedachten die ik formuleer cirkelen rond de vraag naar de zin van de geschiedenis der wijsbegeerte; en ook: hoe ons filosoferen op die zin betrokken kan blijven.

In: Philosophia Reformata
In: Philosophia Reformata

This essay focuses on the relation between China and the West. For the most part it concerns China as viewed through Western lenses, starting with the “natural theology” of Matteo Ricci and the Jesuit Mission, then turning to the “Rites Controversy” of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and ending with contemporary issues. In the final section the emphasis shifts from the West to China. This contribution aims to go beyond the description of certain phases in the relation between West and East. First and foremost, it attempts to reconstruct this development in terms of “proximity” and “distance.” It considers the genius of natural theology to be its sense of proximity and the later development a fateful distancing. To regain proximity it suggests that intercultural philosophy heed the experience of Christian communities. To illustrate this point, it draws on Vroom’s discussion of symbols in Indian hymns, John Wu’s translation of the Bible, and a case study on Chinese churches in the Netherlands.

In: Crossroad Discourses between Christianity and Culture

This is a study in the philosophy of worldview. It consists of two parts. The first part, which is presented here, is concerned primarily with key elements in the general structure of a worldview. It lays the groundwork for more concrete and differentiated investigations that will be pursued as a sequel to this article. The genius of the worldview notion is that it signifies both an inner conviction and an outlook on the world. Thus it combines the personal and the universal. Moreover, it does so in the context of conflicting convictions and outlooks. Accordingly, the plural worldviews is more adequate than the singular since each reflects the presence of the others. As I try to show, this inherent pluralism is what is missing both in traditional settings as well as under totalitarian regimes. The main body of this article consists of an analysis of four basic functions: ‘orientation’, ‘assent’ (i.e. a channeling of convictions), ‘integration’, and ‘public recognition’ (i.e. attaining recognition for a cause). A preceding section is dedicated to a delineation of worldview with respect to ‘world picture’. Special attention is paid in this connection to ‘embedded´ worldviews: hybrid forms characteristic for our present ‘post-worldview era’.

In: Philosophia Reformata

Dit artikel neemt de secularisatietheorie van H. van Riessen als leidraad. Het begint met het onderscheid tussen secularisatie als emancipatie en als secularisme uit te werken. Vervolgens toont het de actualiteit van deze theorie (die representatief wordt geacht voor de Reformatorische wijsbegeerte) door op het punt van het onderscheid tussen emancipatie en secularisme overeenkomsten met hedendaagse denkers aan te wijzen (vooral Charles Taylor). Via een verbinding tussen emancipatie en modernisering wordt daarna Taylors positie vergeleken met radicalere visies op deze verhouding binnen de traditie van de Vrije Universiteit. In het slotgedeelte staat secularisatie als secularisme centraal. Dit onderdeel begint met een analyse van het leerstuk van de ‘werkzame schijn’. Afgesloten wordt met een eigen visie op secularisme als religie. Een ongetoetste vooronderstelling van veel (alle?) Reformatorische wijsbegeerte is dat religie altijd in geconcentreerde vorm optreedt. Aan de hand van het voorbeeld van multipele religieuze participatie in China maakt dit artikel aannemelijk dat secularisme ook in diffuse vormen kan optreden.

In: Philosophia Reformata

I feel honored to be asked to respond to the text of Carl Mitcham’s Van Riessen lecture. Although philosophy of technology is not my field, there is much to make this task attractive, as Hendrik Van Riessen’s personality and philosophy have been formative influences on my own development, and this Lecture contains so much that is stimulating (as well as debatable). The setting in which Mitcham situates Van Riessen’s contribution seems to be the right one. Van Riessen’s seriousness and analytic depth are praised. Mitcham is also very positive about his focus on the internal structure of technology (techniek),1 and is convinced of the fruitfulness of this approach. He not only holds that it deserves greater attention than it has received, but also that it is still relevant today, comparing favourably with the now prevalent ‘social constructionist reflection on science and technology’.

In: Philosophia Reformata