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Dutch Calvinists And Darwinism, 1900–1960

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes the main events in the Calvinist struggle with Darwinism during the first part of the twentieth century. The determining factor in the reception of evolutionary thinking was the interaction between theologians and scientists, biologists in particular. For chronological reasons the chapter deals first with the theological and then with the biological actors. The chapter examines the breakthrough of 1956 and some of its consequences. Dutch Calvinists were relatively slow to accept Darwinism. The process was laborious and the demand for an unavoidable readjustment of biblical exegesis met with considerable resistance. The promising start made by Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck in renewing theological thinking was eclipsed by their successors? need to safeguard theology from all kinds of liberalizing influences, science included. Unlike De Gaay Fortman, Lever did not leave it to theologians to deal with the discrepancies between Darwinism and Calvinist theology.

Keywords: Abraham Kuyper; Darwinism; De Gaay Fortman; Dutch calvinists; Herman Bavinck; Lever; Scientists; theological system



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