Document: L. Praamsma, Let Christ be King: Reflections on the Life & Times of Abraham Kuyper (Jordan Station, ON.: Paideia Press, 1985).

Excerpt: Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), the founder of modern sociology, was convinced that a society has a “collective consciousness,” which consists of the feelings and beliefs shared by the “average men,” by the majority. , He was not the first to propose that a society directs and is directed, that it acts and reacts, and that it is marked by a certain kind of spirit. A century before Durkheim, J.G. von Herder (1744-1803) had launched similar ideas in his book Ideas for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind. Herder, who was one of the first representatives of Romanticism, spoke of the Geist (spirit) of humanity, which comes to ever fuller expression in consecutive stages. He influenced the Groningen theology of The Netherlands in the first half of the nineteenth century. This theology, in turn, influenced the young Abraham Kuyper. It should not surprise us, then, that in Kuyper’s works we find many a reference to the “spirit of the time” or, as Isaac Da Costa, a poet greatly admired by Kuyper, put it, the “spirit of the age.” However, unlike Herder, who expected to witness the dawning of an age of true humanity, Kuyper detected dangerous tendencies toward deterioration and godlessness in the “spirit of the time.”

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Let Christ Be King: Reflections on the Life & Times of Abraham Kuyper – L. Praamsma.pdf