Monday, January 18, 2016

A Ground Motive Symposium on Lambert Zuidervaart's "Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation"

In April 2016, ICS Professor of Philosophy Lambert Zuidervaart's book, Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation: Essays in Reformational Philosophy, was published with McGill-Queen's University Press. To celebrate, Ground Motive hosted a blog symposium inviting a wide variety of authors to respond to the book essay by essay. At the end of the symposium, Dr. Zuidervaart provides a response to the event as a whole. Though the symposium is now over, we invite our readers to follow along and participate in this exciting conversation through the comment sections of each post. Below is a table of contents for the symposium, followed by the publisher's information about the book. Some of the essays are available in ICS's Institutional Repository and are linked.*

Table of Contents

Introduction: Transforming Philosophy

1 The Great Turning Point: Religion and Rationality in Dooyeweerd’s Transcendental Critique (2004)

2 Reformational Philosophy after Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven (2006)

3 Dooyeweerd’s Conception of Truth: Exposition and Critique (2008)

4 Dooyeweerd’s Modal Theory: Questions in the Ontology of Science (1973)

5 Fantastic Things: Critical Notes toward a Social Ontology of the Arts (1995)
[read, hosted at Philosophia Reformata]

6 God, Law, and Cosmos: Issues in Hendrik Hart’s Ontology (1985)

7 Artistic Truth, Linguistically Turned: Variations on a Theme from Adorno, Habermas, and Hart (2001)

8 The Inner Reformation of Reason: Issues in Hendrik Hart’s Epistemology (2004)

9 Metacritique: Adorno, Vollenhoven, and the Problem-Historical Method (1985)

10 Defining Humankind: Scheler, Cassirer, and Hart (1988)

11 Good Cities or Cities of the Good? Radical Augustinian Social Criticism (2005)
12 Religion in Public: Passages from Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (2010)

13 Macrostructures and Societal Principles: An Architectonic Critique (2011/2015)

14 Unfinished Business: Toward a Reformational Conception of Truth (2009)

15 Science, Society, and Culture: Against Deflationism (2007)

Epilogue: Earth’s Lament: Suffering, Hope, and Wisdom (2003)

Concluding Responses | Lambert Zuidervaart

Publisher's Overview

Reformational philosophy rests on the ideas of nineteenth-century educator, church leader, and politician Abraham Kuyper, and it emerged in the early twentieth century among Reformed Protestant thinkers in the Netherlands. Combining comprehensive criticisms of Western philosophy with robust proposals for a just society, it calls on members of religious communities to transform harmful cultural practices, social institutions, and societal structures.

Well known for his work in aesthetics and critical theory, Lambert Zuidervaart is a leading figure in contemporary reformational philosophy. In Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation - the first of two volumes of original essays from the past thirty years - he forges new interpretations of art, politics, rationality, religion, science, and truth. In dialogue with modern and contemporary philosophers, among them Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, J├╝rgen Habermas, and reformational thinkers such as Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven, and Hendrik Hart, Zuidervaart explains and expands on reformational philosophy’s central themes. This interdisciplinary collection offers a normative critique of societal evil, a holistic and pluralist conception of truth, and a call for both religion and science to serve the common good.

Illustrating the connections between philosophy, religion, and culture, and daring to think outside the box, Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation gives a voice to hope in a climate of despair.
*Essays in the final publication may not be exactly the same as essays linked in the repository.


  1. A great series, Ground Motive! I'm especially looking forward to reading DeMoor's response to "Science, Society, and Culture: Against Deflationism".

    Just one question: if any of the original essays are available as preprints or such online, could we have the links to them? It would be nice to be able to read what people are responding to. I don't think that would cut into book sales too much.


    1. Hello again, DZ. I've updated the post to reflect some of the links we have in the IR. Unfortunately we don't have the particular essay you're looking for, but our librarian is on the hunt for editorial permissions for the rest of these essays, so keep checking back as we'll update this table of contents with more links as they roll in. Thanks for the suggestion!

    2. Just an update on this. I've included links to all the essays we're able to link legally. The other essays have not been published before, so there's no way for us to make them available. However, the book will be released close to the end of our symposium, so hopefully especially enthusiastic readers could follow along, and engage retroactively with earlier posts.

      Thanks a lot for reading and for the suggestion, dz!