Gloriously intertwined: A Bavinckian account of the single organism of dogmatics and ethics

Ximian Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent Bavinck studies show that Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) is not only a dogmatician but also an ethicist. This article seeks to demonstrate that, by intertwining dogmatics and ethics in a doxological way, that is, glorifying and exalting God in wonder and praise, Bavinck describes these two disciplines as inter-independent yet intimately related; together they compose a single organism. Yet, Bavinck does not fully explicate the organic interconnection between dogmatics and ethics. Given this, I would like to take a step further to propose a Bavinckian analogical account of the two disciplines: ethics is embodied dogmatics, and dogmatics is ensouled ethics; together they constitute the organism of systematic theology. As such, dogmatics and ethics are understood to be two sub-disciplines of systematic theology, which aims to promote flourishing life in light of God’s self-revelation. Such a systematic theology serves to validate the due place of Christian theology in the academy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80–99
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic Theology
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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