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Herman Bavinck, Reformed Ethics: Created, Fallen, and Converted Humanity

In: Philosophia Reformata
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  • 1 Graduate School of Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, MI, USA, drechev@hotmail.com
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Abstract

Herman Bavinck (1854–1921), the Dutch master of dogmatic theology, wrote a systematic treatise in theological ethics. Bavinck is a theistic moral realist whose ethics is deontological and virtue centered. His realism—both ontological and epistemic—is reflected in his understanding of conscience and its relation to the objective moral law. Furthermore, this review article discusses issues in Christian anthropology, particularly the selfhood of the human person, the relation between nature and grace, creation and redemption, and philosophy and theology, and the distinction between objective and subjective religion. It concludes with a brief reflection on Bavinck’s hermeneutics of renewal and reform in the continuity of the catholicity of the Reformed tradition.

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