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Taking Up #blacklivesmatter

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A Neo-Kuyperian Engagement with Critical Race Theory

image of Journal of Reformed Theology

Even though theology and Critical Race Theory (CRT) have yet to partner with one another in earnest, neo-Calvinism of the Kuyperian variety shares with CRT some important commitments. Kuyper and CRT both problematize liberalism. For Kuyper, French Revolutionary liberalism was a humanistic revolt against the God from whom originate individual freedoms and before whom all people stand as equals. For CRT, legal liberalism and constitutionalism purport to guarantee the rights of individuals, but far more often fail to enfranchise the weaker parties in society. Their shared critique is no solution. However, CRT’s insistence on race-consciousness is a major contribution to what would otherwise be Kuyperian abstract-ness. In turn, theology offers mature reflection on anthropology as well as eschatology that would otherwise not appear in CRT. Bavinck’s doctrine of the image of God grounds race-consciousness in a future where the human community of covenant promise is richly and concretely diverse.

Affiliations: 1: Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, USA


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