In the Twilight of Western Thought

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* Book: In the Twilight of Western Thought. Herman Dooyeweerd.

URL = study guide


Version history

Via Steve Bishop: [1]

"Dooyeweerd’s book In the Twilight of Western Thought had its origins in a series of lectures that Dooyeweerd delivered in the United States during 1958. The lecture tour was sponsored by the Reformed Fellowship. Dooyeweerd’s original handwritten lectures notes were typed and edited for publication by Dr Henry van Til.

The book comprises eight chapters. The first two chapters examine what Dooyeweerd called the ‘pretended autonomy of theoretical thought’; the next two look at ‘historicism’ (an example of apostate thought); the next three examine the relation between philosophy and religion; and the final one examines anthropology.

Twilight has been published in three editions. The first in 1960 by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company. An errata sheet was distributed with this edition identifying a number of typographical mistakes. In 1965 a second edition appeared, published by Craig Press (this was reprinted in 1968, 1972, 1975 and 1980), this book took into account the errors identified in the first edition including a mislaced paragraph.

The most recent edition, of 1999, was edited by James K. A. Smith and incorporated into the Collected Works of Herman Dooyeweerd (Series B, Volume 4), published under the general editorship of D. F. M. Strauss by Edwin Mellen Press. Unfortunately, this edition did not take into account the errors found in the first edition.

Paul Otto (2005) has traced the development of the book from its first incarnation in 1960 to the most recent in 1999. He has identified a number of variations (see"

More information

Introductions to Dooyeweerd

Via Steve Bishop: [2]

There are a number of useful introductions to Dooyeweerd’s WdW. (A fuller list is available here.) These include:

* Books sympathetic to Dooyeweerd’s approach

L Kalsbeek Contours of a Christian Philosophy: An Introduction to Herman Dooyeweerd’s Thought. Wedge: Toronto, 1975. The sub-title accurately describes the book.

J M Spier An Introduction to Christian Philosophy. Craig Press: Nutley , NJ, 1973 (orig 1954). The Christian philosophy in the title is WdW.

S Wolfe A Key to Dooyeweerd. Presbyterian and Reformed: Nutley, NJ, 1978. This introduces Dooyeweerd’s modal theory only and consequently it is much narrower in scope than the other books.

Roy Clouser The Myth of Religious Neutrality. University of Notre Dame Press: Notre Dame, 1991. Somewhat more than an introduction to Dooyeweerd’s thought. In it Clouser expounds and defends some of Dooyeweerd’s views.

Peter Steen The Structure of Dooyeweerd’s Thought. Wedge: Toronto, 1983.

Yong Joon Choi Dialogue and Antithesis.

* Books critical of Dooyewerd’s approach

Robert A Morey. The Dooyeweerdian Concept of the Word of God. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1974. A polemic criticising Dooyeweerdian uses of the Word of God.

Vincent Brummer. Transcendental Criticism and Christian Philosophy. T. Wever, 1961.

Ronald H Nash. Dooyeweerd and the Amsterdam Philosophy. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1962. This book aims to introduce readers to Dooyeweerd and point out what he perceives as problems that need clarification or revision.

J Douma Another Look at Dooyeweerd: Some Critical Notes Regarding the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea. Premier Publishing, Manitoba, no date.

John M. Frame and Leonard J. Coppes The Amsterdam Philosophy: A Preliminary Critique.