Dooyeweerd, Herman (1894-1977)
Dutch theologian. Born in Amsterdam, he graduated from the Free University there, and was assistant director of the Kuyper Institute, The Hague (1922–26), before appointment as professor of the philosophy of law in the Free University (1926–65). His major work, A New Critique of Theoretical Thought (4 vols., 1953–58), challenged the “pretended autonomy” by which philosophical thought asserts self-sufficient independence from divine revelation. He attacked speculative metaphysics, insisting that true knowledge of God and self-knowledge come from the working of God’s Word and Spirit in the heart. Accepting the concepts of general revelation and common grace, he held that neither provides any foundation for natural theology based on man’s unaided reason. Moreover, orthodox theology was no guarantee of true spiritual understanding; the latter comes through submission of the whole person to the message of Holy Scripture concerning “redemption by Jesus Christ.” Acceptance or rejection of this was “a matter of life and death to us, and not a question of theoretical reflection.” In 1935 Dooyeweerd cofounded the journal Philosophia Reformata, and was prominent in the establishment of the Association for Calvinistic Philosophy (later called Christian Philosophy). From 1948 he was a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of the Sciences.
Charles M. Cameron
From The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, editor J.D. Douglas, consulting editor, with Robert G. Clouse et al (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1991)