Introduction to 'A Christian Theory of Social Institutions'
A Christian Theory of Social Institutions, John Witte, Jr., ed., Magnus Verbrugge, trans. (Toronto: Paideia Press, 1986), 7-30
25 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015
Date Written: 1986
This chapter introduces an early work of Dutch jurist and philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd on the origin, nature, and purpose of social institutions. Dooyeweerd was a highly original Christian thinker who sought to apply biblical and traditional Christian teachings to the modern understanding of law, politics, and society. He argued that the natural order and laws of creation made possible a variety of independent natural, voluntary, and contractual social institutions, which stand between the individual and the state, each discharge distinctive private and public goods. This was an early theory of social pluralism, courageously proffered in part against the growing threats of political totalitarianism and fascism in Europe.
Keywords: Herman Dooyeweerd; Religion and Philosophy; Social Theory; Created Order; Natural Law; Social Differentiation; Divine Sovereignty; Modal Theory; Social Dimensions of Life; Social Pluralism; Natural and Contractual Societies; German Idealism; Romanticism; Ernst Troeltsch; Otto von Gierke; Ferdinand T
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