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

Emory Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-368

25 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015

See all articles by John Witte

John Witte

Emory University School of Law

Date Written: 1986

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Witte, John, Introduction to 'A Christian Theory of Social Institutions' (1986). A Christian Theory of Social Institutions, John Witte, Jr., ed., Magnus Verbrugge, trans. (Toronto: Paideia Press, 1986), 7-30, Emory Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-368, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2699307

John Witte (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

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