Theology as the Science of God: Herman Bavinck's Wetenschappelijke Theology for the Modern World

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The revival of Calvinism in the nineteenth-century Netherlands entailed the neo-Calvinist movement. With Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck became a brand name of neo-Calvinism. Nonetheless, not until the first decade of the twenty-first century was scholarly interest in Bavinck’s work increasing. The conventional “two Bavincks” model used to read his work for much of the twentieth century argues that some contradictory and irreconcilable themes do exist in Bavinck’s system, which makes Bavinck a self-contradictory thinker. This dualistic reading characterised most of Bavinck scholars in the second half of the twentieth century. Since James Eglinton’s new reading of Bavinck’s organic motif, the conventional model became untenable, and scholars are seeking for a reunited Herman Bavinck. Bavinck as a holistic theologian has become the industry standard of Bavinck studies. Ximian Xu aims on the one hand to maintain “one Bavinck”, on the other hand, and more importantly, to fill in a notable gap in Bavinck scholarship – that is, no single work hitherto has focused on Bavinck’s idea of theology as the wetenschap (science) of God. This study demonstrates that the idea of scientific (wetenschappelijke) theology furnishes the meta-paradigm and cardinal model that incorporates the fundamental characteristics and themes of Bavinck’s dogmatic system. Moreover, it argues that Bavinck’s scientific theology makes an attempt to engage with the other sciences. Given this, Bavinck’s scientific theology is relevant today. That is, Bavinck’s theological insights can be deployed to advance theology’s engagement with the other sciences in contemporary secular universities.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGöttingen
PublisherVandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Number of pages272
ISBN (Electronic)9783647560687
ISBN (Print)9783525560686
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameForschungen zur Reformierten Theologie


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