Introduction to Philosophy

Front Coverby Dirk H.T. Vollenhoven (1892-1978)

Paperback, 204 pages, published by Dordt Press

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An English translation of Vollenhoven's university lecture syllabus (1930-1945) that gives a tightly formulated introduction to Calvinist philosophy. Translated by John H. Kok. Introduction by Anthony Tol. Preface by Calvin Seerveld.

The publication of Vollenhoven's Introduction to Philosophy is an important step forward in making the work of the Protestant-Christian Dutch philosopher, Dirk H. Th. Vollenhoven (1892-1978), more generally available. While the text does not fully summarize his whole thought at the time it was written nor adequately represent his later thought, it nevertheless touches on the central themes of his thought. It has a unique place in his oeuvre, both in its content and its style. No serious study in Vollenhoven can afford to ignore this text.

Besides illuminating the thought of its author, the text also reflects in many ways the context in which it arose. Vollenhoven worked at the Free University of Amsterdam, and at that university he, along with his brother-in-law, Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977), initiated a development in philosophy usually referred to as Reformational philosophy. The text portrays something of the atmosphere of the Free University in the 1930s and 1940s. Thus, this publication will also help the reader gain a better view of Dutch (Neo-)Calvinism in the twentieth century, particularly as this concerns the Free University in the interbellum period.