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Conclusion: Kuyper’s Significance For Ecotheology And The Need For Further Reflection On Creation And Salvation

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Chapter Summary

Abraham Kuyper's social legacy provokes controversy among historians, sociologists and theologians to this day. This chapter proposes to study from a sociological and historical perspective how Kuyper related the ideas of social unity and social diversity. It hopes to show that Kuyper's early social activism may be construed as a project of expanding civil society rather than fracturing it. Alexander distinguishes between three broad phases of reflection on civil society. He dubs the first phase Civil Society I (CS I). Alexander's theory suggests why Kuyper's revival of Calvinism functioned to expand the civil sphere in nineteenth century Holland while "Kuyperianism" contracted the civil sphere in South Africa. The analysis of these two episodes in Kuyper's early career suggests the utility of Alexander's theory of CS III. Alexander's theory of CS III also helps to explain why Kuyperianism in South Africa went so badly off the rails.

Keywords:Civil Society I (CS I); Calvinism; Civil Sphere; Kuyperianism; social diversity; social unity



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