Herman Dooyeweerd’s name is not as well known in the English-speaking world as, in view of the significance of his thought for our day, it deserves to be. A man of phenomenal erudition and gracious personality, Dooyeweerd, now 65 years of age, is not only one of the most distinguished Dutchmen but also one of the profoundest thinkers now living. For more than a third of a century he has been Professor of the Philosophy of Law in the Free University of Amsterdam. There, as intellectual heir of Abraham Kuyper the famous founder of the Free University and one-time Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Dooyeweerd has developed a specifically Christian philosophy which is exerting an extensive influence in Western Europe.

Of Dooyeweerd’s numerous published works, the one of greatest interest to the world of Christian thought is his three-volume Philosophy of the Idea of Law (Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee), published in Holland in 1935–36, an English translation of which appeared in America under the title A New Critique of Theoretical Thought between the years 1953 and 1958. Two smaller books, which in measure may serve as an introduction to Dooyeweerd’s thought, have appeared in America in English, namely, Transcendental Problems of Philosophic Thought (1948) and In the Twilight of Western Thought (1960).

No student of philosophy can fail to acknowledge the plain fact that there is profound disagreement between the different schools of thought even with regard to the most fundamental principles of philosophy. The multiplicity of divergent philosophical “isms” is itself testimony to the fact that they cannot result from a genuinely critical attitude of thought. Indeed, we are here confronted with the ...

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