by Steve Bishop
There is a wide range of varieties of what has loosely been termed Calvinistic philosophy. This family tree is an attempt to identify some of these strands and their relationships. Inevitably, it is an oversimplification.
Most of the branches stem from Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), the Dutch statesman, institution builder and theologian. The three main branches are:
- Reformed epistemology as in the work of Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff
- Reformational Philosophy this is philosophy in the line of Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven and Antheunis Janse (1890-1960)
- Reconstructionism/ Theonomy arising from the work of R.J. Rushdoony and the influence of Cornelius Van Til.
Missing from the tree is the branch of presuppositionalism – which is primarily an apologetic rather than a philosophy as such and is based on the work of Van Til.
This family tree is an updated version of one by Bas Hengstmengel from his Herman Dooyeweerd & Alvin Plantinga: Philosophy and Rationality in the Reformed Tradition. Thesis. Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
WTS – Westminster Theological Seminary, USA
AACS – Association for Advancement of Christian Scholarship
ICS – Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, Canada
IARFA – International Association for Reformed Faith and Action
WYSOCS – West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies, Leeds, UK
Apologies to all the Calvinistic philosophers omitted from this (over)simplified tree.
If there are any glaring omissions and/ or errors, please let me know.
CC Steve Bishop 2021
Steve Bishop is an independent researcher based in Wales, UK. He maintains the neo-Calvinist website www.allofliferedeemed.co.uk. He is a trustee of Thinking Faith Network. He earned his doctorate at the North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa (2019), supervised by Renato Coletto. He is the co-editor of On Kuyper: A Collection of Readings on the Life, Work & Legacy of Abraham Kuyper (Dordt Press, 2013). He has had articles on Kuyperian neo-Calvinism published in Foundations, Koers, Pro Rege, and the Journal for Christian Scholarship. He blogs here and you can follow him on Twitter