On Kuyper: A Collection of Readings on the Life, Work & Legacy of Abraham Kuyper is an indispensable resource for those wanting to discern the implications of Kuyperianism for contemporary thought and social action. While it may not be a page-turner like the epic new biography by Bratt, it is the best anthology of essays about Kuyper to date. Compiled by individuals deeply rooted in the neo-Kuyperian movement, the collection features some of the most astute Christian intellectuals of the last half a century ruminating on, and in some cases incisively dissecting, important details of Kuyper’s perspective and programs.
John Kok, an esteemed philosopher at Dordt College, and Steve Bishop, a feisty cultural critic and teacher who maintains the neo-Calvinist website allofliferedeemed.co.uk, have brought together in one major volume the world’s finest Kuyperian scholars, from philosophers like Dooyeweerd, Zuidema, Klapwijk and Strauss to theologians, churchman, political theorists, and historians. The collection also has excerpts from biographies, scholarly articles, and popular speeches, along with several pieces never before published in English, and a few introductory essays about Kuyper’s life, including one by his daughter, Catherine.
Many of the chapters explore specific aspects of Kuyper’s work such as Mary Stewart Van Leuween’s detailed study of Kuyper’s writings on women, Del Ratzch’s report of Kuyper’s view of evolution, Peter Heslam’s chapter on Kuyper’s view of the arts, and George Harinck on the legacy of Kuyper in South Africa. There are numerous pieces on the tradition of Christian Democracy, Kuyper’s statesmanship, and anti-revolutionary politics. James Skillen’s chapter shows how Kuyper’s framework shaped CPJ’s significant contribution to welfare reform.
Pondering the treasures of these two new Kuyperian books will help us clarify how to think about and propose fresh policy initiatives in ways that are different from conventional liberal or conservative ideologies and will help CPJ be true to its heritage and calling.
-Byron Borger runs Hearts & Minds Books. Capital Commentary readers can get a 20% discount on books listed here by ordering through Hearts & Minds.
The full review is here.