APPROPRIATING WELTANSCHAUUNG:


ON JERUSALEM SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE OF ATHENS 

[Address given at the “After Worldview” conference at Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids MI, on Sept. 18, 2004.]

Let me begin with an autobiographical comment. I grew up in a religious sub-culture–Dutch Neocalvinism as transplanted to North America–where the phrase “world and life view” was often used to refer to one’s overall orientation to reality at large, a phrase denoting something which had affinities with both philosophy and theology, but which was not reducible to either of these. In our circles we liked to talk about the “Calvinistic world and life view,” which distinguished our own particular tradition from other traditions, both Christian and non-Christian, and which had implications for all of life and culture, from education to worship, from labor relations to evangelism. My father was a strong proponent of this idea, and not only taught it to his children, but also embodied it in his own life. He was a barber for most of his life–an occupation he would not have chosen if his life’s circumstances had been different–and he was very serious about doing his barbering in the light of his Calvinistic world and life view. Among other things, this meant that he saw barbering as his divine vocation (despite his life-long wish to be a teacher), that he took pride in his work, that he gave good value for money, and that he was honest in his advertising. It also meant that he engaged his customers in serious conversation about the issues of the day by relating them to his own and others’ “world and life view.”

I myself later studied philosophy in the same tradition in which I had been raised, and began to wonder about the historical roots of the category “world and life view” with which I had become so familiar. It was readily apparent that the term as used in my circles was a literal translation of the Dutch levens- en wereldbeschouwing, but this in turn proved to be a Dutch rendering of the German Lebens- und Weltanschauung, which had been popularized especially by the philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey around the turn of the twentieth century. As I began to dig deeper, I realized that this phrase was one of a constellation of expressions in German (others were Weltansicht, Weltbild, Lebensanschauung, Welt- und Lebensanschauung) which clustered around the central notion of Weltanschauung or “worldview.” When I had the opportunity to spend a sabbatical in the Netherlands in 1981-82 I devoted part of my time to a project which traced the origin and development of the term Weltanschauung and its cognates. This part of my sabbatical research resulted in an unfinished manuscript entitled “Weltanschauung in the history of ideas: preliminary notes,” which I never completed, since I moved from philosophy to biblical studies in 1984. I am delighted, however, that this unpublished and incomplete essay proved to be the germ and catalyst of the fine study by David Naugle on the concept worldview.1 Naugle’s work does a much better job than I would have done in tracing the roots and ramifications of this seminal category in modern western intellectual history.

My own transition twenty years ago from philosophy to biblical studies is also associated with the notion of worldview. In 1985 I published my little book Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview, which arose out of an introductory philosophy course in which I used the category “worldview” as a means of linking a particular Christian philosophy with its biblical roots. In a way which far exceeded my expectations, this little book has served to introduce many  Christians, not so much to the idea of a Christian philosophy as to the idea of a Christian worldview.

I mention these autobiographical facts in order to highlight a number of things. One is that I clearly have a lot invested in the concept “worldview.” You might say that I have a good deal at stake in defending the legitimacy and viability of this concept, especially in a Christian context. Another is that, although I have been fairly intensively busy with the idea of worldview in an earlier phase of my academic career, it has not been central to my research and writing for some twenty years now. Consequently, like James Sire, I am revisiting a theme that played a key role in my earlier thought and writing, and looking at it again with fresh eyes.

I have entitled my remarks “Appropriating Weltanschauung: On Jerusalem Speaking the Language of Athens.” It will be obvious to everyone that I am here alluding to the famous exclamation by the third-century church father Tertullian, “What does Jerusalem have to do with Athens?”, in which Jerusalem stands for the biblical and Christian tradition, and Athens for the tradition of pagan philosophical thought. Taking the terms somewhat more broadly, what I propose to do is to offer some general reflections on the issues involved in the adoption, within an explicitly Christian context, of key terms that have been developed outside of the Christian context, and then to focus especially on Weltanschauung and its equivalents and translations as an example of such a key term. Ultimately the question will be: is it spiritually and intellectually wise, and strategically prudent in terms of our present culture context, to speak of a Christian Weltanschauung/worldview?

To begin with, let me make it clear that I am talking about key terms, not just any word at all. It is clear that Christian discourse, if it is not to restrict itself to the biblical languages, will of necessity use a host of words and locutions which have acquired their meanings and associations outside of the circle of biblical revelation and explicitly Christian teaching, and that such use is not only necessary–not least for purposes of evangelism--but also largely unproblematic. There is nothing particularly problematic about Christians using the Arabic words for “tree,” “green,” or “throw.” But matters get a bit more complicated when Christians consider using the key word allah, which is the ordinary Arabic word for “God.” As is well-known, Arabic-speaking Christians are divided over whether the word allah is so freighted with associations of Islamic religion that it cannot be legitimately used to refer to the Christian God.

As a matter of fact, the issue we are discussing would arise even if we were to restrict ourselves to the biblical languages, since even the vocabulary of biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek is embedded in the pagan cultures into which biblical revelation came. The book of Hosea uses the noun ba‘al (Hos 2:16) to refer to the God of the Jews, even though it was also the name of a pagan deity whose worship was proscribed, and the apostle John uses the word logos (John 1:1) to refer to the pre-incarnate Christ, even though it was a central concept in Stoic philosophy. On the other hand, the writers of biblical Greek could not bring themselves to use the regular Greek word for “altar,” namely bÇmos, to refer to the altar of the one true God, presumably because in ordinary Greek usage it was almost always used of the altars of pagan gods. So they coined a new Greek word, thusiast‘rion, to denote the altar of the true God.

However, the word for altar is an exception. Generally speaking, it is remarkable how free the New Testament writers are to use terms which had strong pagan overtones, or which were intimately linked to the Greek philosophical tradition. Many Greek words which played a key role in Hellenic and Hellenistic philosophy are freely used in a non-technical sense by the evangelists and apostles, without any suggestion of spiritual contamination because of these associations. Apart from the logos of the Prologue of John, we could mention a number of other striking examples: anank‘ (1 Cor 9:16), nous and ta kath‘konta (Rom 1:28), hul‘ (James 3:5), theia phusis (2 Pet 1:4), and hubris (Acts 27:10). It is a great mistake to read these terms as conveying the meaning which they bear in the tradition of Greek philosophical discourse. Thus I would judge as utterly wrongheaded the New English Bible’s translation of nooumena in Rom 1:20 as “visible...to the eye of reason,” or the understanding of theias koinÇnoi phuseÇs in 2 Pet 1:4, commonly rendered “partakers of the divine nature,” as referring to believers’ ontological participation in the being of God.

Scriptural usage therefore seems to suggest that religiously alien vocabulary, including loaded terms from the extra-biblical intellectual tradition, can be converted to positive Christian use through being embedded in an alternative context, ultimately of course the context of the biblical metanarrative. At the same time, the example of bÇmos and thusiast‘rion makes clear that there are also limits to this kind of positive convertability. There is no positive New Testament use for the Greek daimonion, for example, or even erÇs.

One conclusion which I draw from this is that language does not predetermine thought, that the so-called “Sapir-Whorf hypothesis” of the relation between language and thought cannot be validated in any strong sense. It is of interest to note in this connection that an early version of this hypothesis was defended in the early nineteenth century by Wilhelm von Humboldt, who argued that every language embodies a worldview (he used the German term Weltanschauung), and that every speaker of that language therefore thinks that worldview. On the contrary, it seems to be the case that entirely different worldviews can be expressed in the same language, and to a large extent with the same vocabulary.

Nevertheless, it is also true that the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is not without some justification. Not only is it difficult to translate certain concepts from one language into another (it is notoriously difficult, for example, to render Dutch gezelligheid, or German Gemütlichkeit, into English), so that it is difficult to think that concept in another language, but also, within the intellectual discourse of a single language, certain terms have become so strongly associated with specific schools of thought or traditions that they are virtually unusable for those who reject those schools or traditions. Thus the term “patriarchy” is contraband to those who do not wish to identify themselves with feminism, and the term “paganism” is taboo for those who want to distance themselves from traditional Christian orthodoxy. In an earlier age the term “ideology” was connected so intimately with Marxism and the sociology of knowledge that it was almost always used in a negative sense, as a reflection of false consciousness, or as a class-determined justification of the status quo, so that one would not use it to describe one’s own commitments. (Nowadays, however, the term has lost those negative connotations in much academic writing and speaking.)

For Christian intellectuals, especially those working in traditions with a strong sense of the spiritual antithesis between biblical and unbiblical modes of thought, the issue of the legitimate Christian use of key categories forged in a pagan or humanistic environment becomes particularly acute. Thus the Dutch Neocalvinist philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd resolutely refuses to use the term “substance” in a positive sense, since in his view it always carried with it the connotation of something which exists in itself, and which thus does not need anything else to exist. Since such a concept is antithetical to the biblical idea of creation, he rejected the term altogether. Hendrik Stoker, on the other hand, a philosopher who was in many ways sympathetic to Dooyeweerd’s antithetical way of thinking, argued that the term substance was redeemable, and could be used of an entity that was relatively independent within the context of dependent createdness. One could have similar arguments about the term “values” (to which I am personally allergic, because of its historicist roots), or “transcendental” (because of its association with an a priori human subjectivity which constitutes reality), or even “reason” (because of its association with rational autonomy).

The same issues surround the term Weltanschauung and its equivalents. Do its origins and the history of its use in modern intellectual history not militate against its usefulness as a prime Christian category? As I argued in an essay published in 1989, a strong case can be made for viewing the idea of Weltanschauung with a good deal of suspicion.2 Let me briefly recapitulate that argument here, noting that much of what I wrote then has been extensively documented by David Naugle in his excellent study of worldview.

(1) It is striking that the term Weltanschauung was coined and popularized in the context of German Idealism and Romanticism, during that great flowering of the modern spirit that has dominated subsequent intellectual history. The rapid spread of the concept and its cognates seems to be part of the pervasive influence of precisely that phase of German thought.

(2) A basic feature of that seminal period was the “rise of historical consciousness,” a new awareness of the value of the historically singular. In reaction against the Enlightenment–indeed, against the whole millennial tradition of Greek intellectualism–a great reversal of values occurred wherein the universal was depreciated in favor of the particular, the abstract in favor of the concrete, the eternal in favor of the temporal, the identical in favor of the unique. Whereas previously the Western intellectual tradition had been oriented to the enduring “essence” or “substance” (ousia) of things, it now became oriented to the historical development (Geschichtlichkeit) of things.
(3) Generally speaking, we can say that the Greek word philosophia belongs to the thought-world dominated by ousia, and the German word Weltanschauung belongs to the thought-world dominatedby Geschichtlichkeit. The two terms do have some features in common: philosophia and Weltanschauung both share a cognitive orientation to the whole, and both are associated with the optic metaphor of viewing (Greek theÇrein, German anschauen). Where they differ is that the former places emphasis on the universal, abstract, eternal, and identical character of that viewing, whereas the latter places emphasis on the particular, concrete, temporal, and unique character of that viewing. Basic to the idea of Weltanschauung is that it represents a point of view on the world, a perspective on things, a way of looking at the cosmos from a particular vantage point which cannot transcend its own historicity. A “worldview” tends to carry the connotation therefore of being personal, dated, and private. This is not universally the case (notably in Engels’ usage), but does seem to be at the root of the powerful attraction the idea of Weltanschauung has had for the modern West. A worldview may be more than individual–it may be collective (that is, held by everyone belonging to a given nation or class or period)–but even so it does not escape particularity, for it cannot transcend the experiences and perspectives of that particular nation, class, or period. Thus “worldview” forfeits all claim to universal validity, and becomes enmeshed in the problems of historical relativism.

(4) Whereas philosophia is highly theoretical and therefore reserved for an intellectual elite, Weltanschauung is broadly pre-theoretical and therefore available to the mass of people. Furthermore, because philosophy is associated with science, worldview is considered to be non-scientific–which can be interpreted positively as prescientific, or negatively as unscientific.

(5) It is striking that the two primary features of Weltanschauung that we have highlighted, namely that of being historically individual (private) and non-scientific (for the masses), also characterize the modern conception of religion. It is not surprising, therefore, that worldview has often been associated with religious faith, understood in the sense of a highly personal and pre-theoretical commitment.

My conclusion is therefore that the notion of worldview has intimate historical and systematic connections with modern humanistic views of history, science, and religion. It is, in fact, virtually defined by those views. As I wrote in 1989, this leaves us with a crucial question: Can Christians who are fundamentally critical of the spirit of modernity, particularly as it manifests itself in historicism, the autonomy of science, and the privatization of religion, salvage the idea of Weltanschauung for their own purposes?

To these objections to the Christian use of the category “worldview” we can add two others: the metaphor of “viewing” the world is both too intellectualistic, since it focuses on thought to the exclusion of action, and too oriented to seeing to the exclusion of the more biblical metaphor of hearing.

In my opinion, it is relatively easy to answer these latter two objections. The first one, that worldview is too intellectualistic to serve as a Christian category, rests on a double misunderstanding. In the first place, it assumes that those who advocate the concept of a Christian worldview are claiming that Christianity is a worldview and nothing else. This is patently false. Christianity is first of all the person of Christ, and the kingdom which he ushers in, and includes the covenantal relation of Christ and the church, and everything involved in that. The imperfect cognitive “view” which people may form of reality in the light of the person and work of Christ is an important but subordinate part of Christianity as a whole, which can hardly compare with the forgiveness of sins and the life of sanctification. In fact, it is probably fair to say that a Christian worldview is only one part of an aspect, namely the cognitive aspect, of the life of sanctification. Secondly, the kind of cognition that is involved in a worldview is not primarily intellectual cognition. There is a lot more to knowing than scientific or theoretical insight, and worldview, in my opinion, is much more prescientific and pretheoretical than anything else.

The second objection, that worldview privileges seeing, whereas the Bible privileges hearing, is in my opinion based on a discredited way of contrasting Greek and Hebrew thought, associated with the well-known book by Thorleif Boman, Hebrew Thought Compared to Greek (E.T. 1960). In any case, the contrast fails to recognize the fact that we can know more about the world by seeing than by hearing, and overlooks texts in the Bible like Job 42:5, arguably the climax of the book of Job, where the hero of the story finally exclaims “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” Here seeing is clearly privileged over hearing.

But the other considerations that have been urged against the Christian use of the category “worldview” are in my opinion much more weighty. In its origin and widespread usage Weltanschauung seems to depend for its meaning on conceptions of history, science and religion which Christians ought to reject. I do not dispute that the term has historically had these associations.

However, I would offer two reasons why these considerations are not decisive for rejecting worldview as a Christian category.

The first is that there is already a century-old tradition of using “worldview” in a positive Christian sense. As Naugle demonstrates, through the work of James Orr and Abraham Kuyper, the word “worldview” has undergone the same kind of transformation as the Greek logos in the Prologue of John. There is now a well-established Christian tradition in which “worldview” does not suggest historical relativism or the privatization of religion. Both Orr and Kuyper oriented their idea of a Christian worldview to a divine revelation and a constant world order which transcends historical particularity. Furthermore, they exploited a feature of the idea of Weltanschauung which is particularly congenial to the Christian religion, the fact that it is not restricted to people of a certain kind of intelligence or training. It is precisely its non-intellectualist nature which allows a Christian worldview to appeal to, and be appropriated by, a wide range of people.

In addition, especially through the work of Kuyper, the idea of worldview was made to do the very opposite of what its historical origins might lead one to expect: to counter the idea of religion as a private affair, and to insist that Christianity was public truth. Kuyper did this by insisting that the Christian worldview (he actually spoke of the Calvinistic worldview or “world and life view”) stands arrayed against such secular competitors as liberalism and Marxism as a spiritual and cultural force of the same order as these. Christianity was not to be marginalized, but was to be allowed to play a role in the struggle for cultural hegemony in the public square, pitting itself as a culturally formative worldview against other culturally formative worldviews in the arena of world history. In my opinion, it was a bold stroke of genius on Kuyper’s part when he adopted and adapted the newly popular notion of Weltanschauung in the nineteenth century to put Christian cultural aspirations on a par with the ideological movements of the revolutionary age. It was through the notion of worldview that Kuyper gave Christianity renewed historical traction at a time when it was being dismissed as harmless private piety or the irrelevant academic discipline of theology.

But my second reason for not rejecting worldview as a valid Christian category is the lack of a viable alternative. If we believe that Christianity teaches the truth about reality and human life, and if we want to communicate to the world around us that this truth is public truth, with implications for the way human society and civilization ought to be organized and shaped, what other word shall we give to our understanding of that truth? Shall we call it doctrine, or theology, or ideology, or system of values or perspective? I would contend that a little reflection will show that each of these alternatives has drawbacks which are even weightier than those of “worldview.” In the modern world “doctrine” and “theology” suggest ecclesiastical and academic specialties that can safely be ignored in the real world, “ideology” still has overtones of class-related false consciousness, “values” suggests subjective and historically variable human valuation, and “perspective” is more reminiscent of relativism (think of “perspectivalism”) than worldview ever was.

It is instructive to notice how many of the church fathers solved this problem in their day. As the French scholar Malingrey has documented, they often chose the term philosophia to denote Christianity in its cognitive and world-claiming aspect.3 This was a remarkable choice, since the only time the Scriptures speak of philosophia they speak of it as a pagan force to be warned against, representing the tradition of men as opposed to the tradition of Christ (Col 2:8). But these church fathers decided to claim the word for Christ, and indeed spoke frequently of the philosophia Christi. We need to remember of course that in late antiquity “philosophy” was as much a way of life (to which one was “converted”) as an intellectual discipline, and even as an intellectual pursuit included much more (mathematics, for example, and political science) than its modern namesake does. We still find echoes of this ancient usage in Erasmus and Calvin, but it has since died out, or given the more specific meaning of a Christian approach to the contemporary academic discipline of philosophy. But in its early usage it stands as a striking parallel to Orr and Kuyper’s bold move in appropriating Weltanschauung for Christ.

My argument has been that there are decided disadvantages to using worldview in a positive Christian sense, but that on balance the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. We need to weigh the pros and cons, and to acknowledge that this weighing is a multifaceted thing on which Christians can easily disagree. Ultimately, I would contend, this is a matter of spiritual discernment applied to the strategic interests of Christian cultural engagement. But I acknowledge that to frame the issue in this way is to betray my own understanding of the overall relation between the spiritual and the cultural–in fact it betrays what I would call my worldview, the world and life view that I was taught as a child in a Dutch Neocalvinist home.

          “Concluding Unscientific Postscript”

I borrow this phrase from Kierkegaard to describe some informal reflections that were sparked by previous speakers at the Cornerstone conference on worldview, and which I added to my presentation of the above on the last day of the conference. There are three sets of additional comments that I would like to make.

(1) Perhaps there is a further difference between the heirs of Orr and Kuyper in the way they appropriated Weltanschauung. For Kuyper and the Neocalvinists, the concept of worldview not only served to make Christianity a competitor of secular ideologies, but also served as the means through which faith was “operationalized,” as it were, for the complexity of a differentiated society. Jim Olthuis is right that worldview is a mediating category, which helps to bring faith/the gospel/Scripture to bear on matters not mentioned or addressed in Scripture, such as schools, labor unions, nation states, and modern technology.

Worldview thus functions as a hermeneutical key for cultural engagement, both in the academy and beyond.
In the past I have used the image of worldview as a gearbox which connects the power of the engine with the traction of the wheels. The animating drive of the gospel as revealed in Scripture shapes and directs concrete activity (“where the rubber hits the road”) through the mediation of a worldview. In the reformational tradition this mediation is further facilitated through a worked-out philosophical ontology, which in turn deals with the foundational issues of the various disciplines. This is a feature that is largely lacking in the tradition inspired by Orr.

This mediating function of worldview, whether or not it is accompanied by a refined systematic philosophy, is a key aspect of the way the term Weltanschauung has been “converted” for Christian use, at least in the Kuyperian tradition. Now admittedly, this makes for a certain distance between Scripture and the academic disciplines. In an over-reaction to biblicism and naive proof-texting, it is certainly possible that a reformational scholar will lose a direct and nurturing relationship with Scripture–to replace it, as it were, with a schematized understanding of worldview (e.g creation-fall-redemption) or a particular systematic philosophy (e.g. a set of “transcendental ground ideas”). There is certainly a danger here.

The mediating function of worldview was already clearly laid out in the writings of Herman Bavinck. I refer here to my 1996 article on the relationship between faith and science in Bavinck.4 In his view, aside from the theology, Scripture can be directly brought to bear on the academic disciplines only in history, and then only in the ancient Near Eastern history to which the Bible itself testifies. Everywhere else its normative bearing is mediated through a worldview, a worldview which is essentially constituted by biblical teaching on the origin, essence, and goal of things.

(2) Having said all of the above, I still feel a bit uneasy about the Christian use of worldview. I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s quip about democracy: “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” There are lots of disadvantages to the term “worldview,” but are there any alternatives which have fewer disadvantages?

In casting about for such alternatives, I initially thought of the words “confession” (as in “confession of faith”) or “mind” (as in “the mind of Christ,” or the title of Harry Blamires’ book The Christian Mind). But then, in light of Jim Olthuis’s paper at this conference, I thought of “testimony.” Could we speak of the Christian testimony as the biblical alternative of the testimony of Marxism, or liberalism, or feminism? It strikes me that this term has a number of advantages:

(a) It is a central biblical concept.
(b) It doesn’t privilege the visual or the intellectual.
(c) There is some historical precedent for this usage (see for example The Contemporary Testimony of the Christian Reformed Church).
(d) It highlights subjective involvement and experience.
(e) It is nevertheless oriented to truth as a given independent of the testifier.
(f) It has an implicit reference to narrative.
(g) It has the connotation of making an appeal to others.
(h) It can be based on any of the five senses, but still privileges seeing, since generally the best witnesses are eye-witnesses.

In this connection I am reminded of the opening sentences of the first epistle of John: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it...”

Of course, this refers primarily to the early Christians’ experience of Jesus Christ, not to the world in general, but it was an experience which transformed their perception of everything.

I throw this out as a possible alternative to the use of “worldview.” Can “testimony” do the same work that “worldview” does in mediating the gospel for cultural engagement? Or is it too burdened by unfortunate connotations of its own in contemporary culture to communicate clearly. I leave it to others to judge.

(3) Finally a word about worldview and spirituality. Among worldview enthusiasts one can sometimes detect a somewhat dismissive attitude to such topics as spirituality and spiritual formation, meaning by those terms a focus on such traditional “spiritual disciplines” as prayer and meditation. This may be partly due to an awareness of the dangers of pietism or a world-flight mentality, or a fear of emotionalism.

Although these cautions are fully justified, I wonder whether a tradition which spends much of its energy combating pietism is not in danger of losing a healthy respect for piety and the traditional “spiritual exercises” of the Christian tradition. My own journey in recent years has led me to explore the rich resources of Ignatian spirituality, in an effort to compensate for this one-sidedness. In this connection I am also reminded of a remark once made by my friend and colleague George Vandervelde (who incidentally is one of the authors of the CRC Contemporary Testimony) after he had read the manuscript of my book Creation Regained. He observed that it did not pay much attention to the practice of piety. In the twenty years since the book was published I have come to recognize that this omission is indeed telling.

On the other hand, I must confess that I continue to be startled by the apparent inability of many devout Christians to connect their faith in anything but a moralistic way to the cultural and political issues of the day. For example, in my experience there are many Christian students who are deeply committed to prayer evangelism (for example in the charismatic movement) but who are who are woefully weak in relating their faith to their scholarship. They lack a worldview which can help them do that.

In my opinion it is high time that the personal experience of God, in prayer, in tongue-speaking, in being “filled with the Spirit,” and so on, to be more fully integrated into the Christian appropriation of Weltanschauung. Perhaps I should say “re-integrated,” since it was a mark of Abraham Kuyper, the great Dutch champion of the notion of a Christian worldview, that he had an intense devotional life.

Perhaps there is something appropriately symbolic about the fact that I came to Grand Rapids, Michigan in September 2004 to attend two gatherings. One was the academic conference on worldview at Cornerstone University, an institution rooted in the Baptist tradition. The other was the initial meeting of a synodical study committee on “Third Wave Pentecostalism” of the Christian Reformed Church, the chief conveyor of the Kuyperian emphasis on Christian worldview in North America. Perhaps there is a way in which the so-called “third wave” of the pentecostal-charismatic movement and the Neocalvinist tradition of worldview thinking can learn from each other. The fervent spirituality which characterizes the one, and the worldview-mediated cultural engagement which characterizes the other, are not, in my opinion, ultimately incompatible.

                                                              Footnotes

1. David Naugle, Worldview: The History of a Concept (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002).

2. A. Wolters, “On the Idea of Worldview and Its Relation to Philosophy,” in Stained Glass: Worldviews and Social Science (ed. Paul Marshall et al.; Lanham MD: University Press of America, 1989) 14-25.

3. Anne Marie Malingrey, Philosophia; étude d’un groupe de mots dans la littérature grecque, des Présocratiques au 4e siècle après J.-C. (Paris: Klincksieck, 1961).

4. A. Wolters, “Herman Bavinck on Faith and Science,” in Facets of Faith and Science (4 vols.; ed. J. Van der Meer; Lanham MS: Pascal Centre–University Press of America, 1996) 4.347-52.


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