1. A Brief Overview of Dooyeweerd's Philosophy

23. In order to know how Dooyeweerd's transcendental critique of theoretical thinking can be applied as a cultural critique, it is necessary to understand his view of culture first. Dooyeweerd discusses his concept of culture from the perspective of modal and individuality structure. In order, therefore, understand his view of culture, it is necessary first to look at his theory of the modalities and individuality structures. To begin with, I will briefly sketch the basic picture of Dooyeweerd's Christian philosophy with some supplementary comments, to show how the theory of modal aspects and individual entities fit into his philosophy as a whole. This should clarify the place Dooyeweerd's concept of culture has within his philosophy as a whole.

(1) Reality as Meaning

24. The starting point of Dooyeweerd's thought centres around his adherence to the creation account as described in Scripture. His philosophical idea of meaning is meant to do justice to this creation motive. We read in the Bible that everything in the cosmos has been created and so finds its centre and focus in the Creator, the sovereign God, who governs over the whole universe from the beginning to the end and so is intimately present in his created world in the same manner as the writer in his writings or a sculptor in his sculpture.(13) God is the Arche [Origin] of everything. Human beings, created in the image of God, are called to rule and cultivate the whole creation to the glory of God the Creator (Gen. 1:28). This central motive forms the background to Dooyeweerd's characterization of reality as meaning (zin). This is well summarized in the beginning of his magnum opus A New Critique of Theoretical Thought as follows:

In this inter-modal cosmic coherence no single aspect stands by itself; every-one refers within and beyond itself to all the others. The coherence of all the modal aspects of our cosmos finds its expression in each of them, and also points beyond its own limits toward a central totality, which in its turn is expressed in this coherence. Our ego expresses itself as a totality in the coherence of all its functions within all the modal aspects of cosmic reality. And man, whose ego expresses itself in the coherence of all its temporal modal functions, was himself created by God as the expression of His image. This universal character of referring and expressing, which is proper to our entire created cosmos, stamps created reality as meaning, in accordance with its dependent non-self-sufficient nature. Meaning is the being of all that has been created and the nature even of our selfhood. It has a religious root and a divine Origin.(14)

25. It may seem strange at first glance to state, not that created temporal reality has meaning, but that it is meaning. With this idea, Dooyeweerd wants to indicate that a creaturely being is not self-sufficient but totally dependent upon the Origin, God, who is the meaning-Giver. Quoting from Rom. 11:36: "For from him and through him and unto him are all things" where the Origin, existence (or ground), and the goal of meaning is clearly revealed, Dooyeweerd says that "all meaning is from, through and to an origin".(15) J. van der Hoeven correctly explains this further:

26. Dooyeweerd introduces "meaning" as a basic and comprehensive term, on the one hand because he realizes that the older term "being", originating in Greek philosophy, is not sufficient any more as a most comprehensive term; on the other hand because he also feels the need to face the increasing experience of meaninglessness in modern and contemporary times, philosophically manifested in a certain preoccupation with the problem of "meaning", and more existentially in an awareness of inward and outward "alienation".(16)

27. L. Kalsbeek adds to this that Dooyeweerd uses the term "meaning" as a Christian substitute to the metaphysical term "substance" often used in traditional immanence philosophy, which is rooted in the autonomy of human reason and philosophical thought, a term which implies an independent character.(17)

(2) The Basic Structure of Reality

28. For Dooyeweerd, created reality as meaning is not chaotic nor contingent but a well-ordered, structural whole. He describes, from a Christian perspective the basic structure of the meaning of being (zin-zijn), viz. created reality, by making reference to what he calls the "three transcendental ideas":

29. The above three elements were referred to by Dooyeweerd at first as the "wetsidee [cosmonomic idea]" but later became referred to as the "transcendental ground idea".(19) This threefold idea determines the character of created reality as meaning.

30. One important point to be mentioned here is that Dooyeweerd distinguishes naive, concrete experience from scientific and theoretical thought. The former refers to an experience of daily life without the theoretical analysis of its structure, whereas the latter views temporal reality from a various number of abstract theoretical perspectives: the physical, biological, social, ethical, etc. When Dooyeweerd speaks of the meaning of being, he does this in the context of abstract and theoretical thought even though meaning itself refers to both concrete experience and theoretical thought. That means that each theoretical discipline studies the structural coherence of reality from its own perspective; philosophy investigates the coherence among these perspectives.

31. In this light, Dooyeweerd argues that our theoretical activity is never neutral but always dependent upon religious presuppositions. He defines philosophical thought as theoretical thought directed toward meaning-totality. The direction is decided by the human selfhood that precedes philosophical thought. Dooyeweerd emphasizes here the central significance of the heart as the religious root and concentration point of human existence. It is never self-sufficient but always dependent upon the Origin. Thus Dooyeweerd speaks about thought as the restless seeking for the Origin who gives its meaning. That is why immanent, humanistic philosophy is strongly opposed by Dooyeweerd. The starting point of philosophy, according to Dooyeweerd, is not immanent within philosophy but transcends it.(20)

32. The last point to be made has to do with the dynamic character of meaning. C.A. Van Peursen acknowledged this as one of the most important characteristics of Dooyeweerd's philosophy.(21) The meaning-dynamic character lies in the referring and expressing movement of the modal aspects and the individuality structures of things which are not static but always in the process of realizing their potential. This opening process, which will be discussed later, is closely connected to Dooyeweerd's view of culture.

(3) Law and Subject

33. The next two important key words to be looked at are law (wet), i.e., the boundary between the Creator and the creature, and subject, i.e., everything considered subjected to this creational law of God. Dooyeweerd says:

The origin of the Law and of individual subjectivity, according to their religious unity and temporal diversity in the coherence of meaning, is God's holy sovereign creative will. Our cosmos is equally the creation of God with respect to its law- and subject-side; the law is the absolute boundary between God and His creation, that is to say all creatures are by nature subject to the law, God alone is "legibus solutus" (sed non exlex, as in nominalism)... Christ [is] the root and fullness of meaning of the cosmos; Christ fulfilled the law and in Him all subjective individuality is concentrated in its fullness of meaning; nothing in our temporal cosmos is withdrawn from Him... The law in its modal diversity of meaning is the universally valid determination and limitation of the individual subjectivity which is subject to it. The subject is sujet, that is subjected to the law in the modal diversity of the law spheres. There is no law without a subject and vice versa.(22)

34. Dooyeweerd speaks of two sides in every modal sphere, namely, the law-side and the subject-side. The deepest essence of the law can be understood as an expression of God's love for His creatures and his demand that all creatures serve Him. Being subject means "the loving service of God".(23) Consequently, this law-subject relation implies that all of creation is invaluable before God and full of intrinsic meaning. This also means that fact and value are indissolubly interrelated with each other because each fact stands for an intrinsic value as a subject that answers its valid law.(24) In sum, this law-subject notion again demonstrates that God is intimately present in His created world.

(4) Time and Reality

35. The idea of time is unique in Dooyeweerd's thought in that it is viewed as cosmic. That means, time embraces and penetrates all of reality in its aspects and structures. Time is given with creation. All of created reality exists within time. All structures of temporal reality, i.e., the modal structures of the various aspects as well as the typical totality-structures of individuality are grounded in the order of cosmic time.(25) "It [Time] is modalized in the modal structures, but ... it is also typicalized in the individuality structures."(26) In the modal structures, the 15 aspects are mutually irreducible. Temporal reality functions in a diversity of mutually irreducible modes of being. Furthermore, Dooyeweerd distinguishes between cosmic time on the law-side and on the subject-side. On the law-side time is order, whereas on the subject-side it is duration.(27) Van der Hoeven compactly and correctly explains cosmic time as the track or course in which meaning discloses itself in a diversity.(28) This course is a coherent one and comprises an order of succession and a duration of stages.

36. According to Dooyeweerd, we cannot possess a concept of time but only an idea of it because we know time by transgressing the coherence and diversity of time in our selfhood. The theoretical knowledge of time is impossible because in order to have any theoretical knowledge we have to abstract a certain aspect from the coherence of time and connect it with the analytical aspect. Thus it is impossible to define what time is. We obtain only an idea of it.(29)

37. The modal aspects differ from one another by the way in which they manifest themselves in time. Thus the modal aspects can also be called time aspects. To explain it in Dooyeweerd's terms: cosmic time expresses itself in the diverse time-aspects.(30) For example: the arithmetic aspect is qualified by the irreversible time order of earlier and later; the spatial modality is limited by simultaneity; in the kinematic aspect time is characterized by the succession of movements; in the analytic aspect time is expressed in the logical simultaneity of prius and posterius; the economic aspect of time can be seen in expressions such as "Time is money", etc.(31) In addition, the mutual relation among the diverse modalities is also a time order. For example, the kinematic aspect exists prior to the analytical one.

38. Each modal aspect is ordered and determined by its own peculiar laws. That is why Dooyeweerd also called modal aspects law-spheres. From the analytic to the pistical aspects, referred to by Dooyeweerd as cultural sides, laws are called norms because they need to be "acknowledged" and "positivized" by people and because they can be either obeyed or violated. "Natural laws" of the subanalytical spheres, referred to as the natural sides, on the other hand, are obeyed involuntarily. Each modal aspect is irreducible to the others, known as the principle of sphere sovereignty (souvereiniteit in eigen kring). Every modal aspect has its own "meaning-nucleus" or "kernel" which constitutes the peculiar nature of each aspect. For example, the meaning-nucleus of the biotic aspect is vitality or life. In each law-sphere other meaning moments which refer to the other law-spheres are to be distinguished, namely, the so-called analogies. If a meaning moment within a modality refers to an earlier one, it is called a retrocipation, whereas if one refers to a later modality, it is called an anticipation. This principle of the intimate connection and unbreakable coherence of all the modalities is called sphere universality (universaliteit in eigen kring).

39. Furthermore Dooyeweerd distinguishes two kinds of time-direction: foundational and transcendental. The foundational direction of time is the modal order beginning from the last pistic aspect to the earlier modalities. A later aspect presupposes and is grounded by its earlier one. Dooyeweerd connects this with retrocipation. The transcendental direction of time goes out from the first aspect. The earlier aspects are dependent upon the later aspects for the deepening of their meaning. This is connected with anticipation. It is especially this idea of the transcendental direction of time which plays a very important role in the cultural opening process. This point will be discussed further in the next section.

40. The last point that should be mentioned is that for Dooyeweerd, while the whole of reality is immanent within time, thus temporal, the religious root of human existence is not. Rather, this religious root, the human heart, transcends time; it is supratemporal. Dooyeweerd holds that the human "I" (the Ego, the selfhood, the concentration point, the heart, the soul)(32) functions in all aspects. The Ego feels, speaks, thinks, believes, etc. However, the Ego is transcendent with respect to the functions because it is not exhausted by a single aspect in which it functions, nor does it coincide with all of the modalities taken together. Dooyeweerd says, "[i]n time, meaning is broken into an incalculable diversity, which can come to a radical unity only in the religious centre of human existence. For this is the only sphere of our consciousness in which we can transcend time."(33)

2. Dooyeweerd's View of Culture

(1) The Concept of Culture

41. Given this background, we can now analyze Dooyeweerd's view of culture. His concept of culture can be analyzed from the two perspectives mentioned earlier, namely, that of (1) individuality structures and (2) modal structures.

42. Culture as a concrete phenomenon can be said to have its own typical structures of individuality. This means that the term `culture' can be used in the concrete and material sense.(34) Cultural phenomena have a great diversity of typical qualifications such as political, aesthetic, ecclesiastical, scientific, etc. In this section, however, we will discuss Dooyeweerd's notion of culture mainly from the modal point of view. His concept of culture from the perspective of individual structures will be dealt with in section (4).

43. In discussing Dooyeweerd's concept of culture from the modal perspective, the historical aspect is of great importance. He maintained that while the terms `history' and `historical', viewed only etymologically, do not have any specific sense, "only the cultural modality... can give them the pregnant meaning of an irreducible aspect of human experience."(35) Thus for him, an historical aspect of experience is the same as the cultural one.

44. Dooyeweerd describes the meaning-nucleus of the historical aspect as "formative power" or "the controlling manner of moulding the social process", i.e., "control" or "mastery" and explained it as "an irreducible modal manner of formation according to a free project".(36) For him, this is the original meaning of the term culture as the `Gegenstand' of historical science. "Mastery or control presupposes a given material whose possibilities are disclosed in a way exceeding the patterns given and realized by nature, and actualized after a free project of form-giving with endless possibilities of variation."(37) Culture is thus the "forming" activity of man whether that be the power of the craftsman over his materials or that of the statesman over the course of political events. Forming can also be found in the plant and animal world. But this natural formation is never historical or cultural because it proceeds instinctively according to fixed, unchangeable patterns and laws. In connection with this, Dooyeweerd further explains the two kinds of culture:

Culture discloses itself in two directions which in the modal structure of the aspect concerned correspond to the historical subject-object relation. On the one hand culture appears in mastery over persons by giving cultural form to their social existence [Personkultur]; on the other hand it appears in a controlling manner of shaping things of nature [Sachkultur]... [M]astery over persons is an essential requirement in the leading figures who are called `formers of history'... who give positive content to the cultural principles proper.(38)

45. According to Dooyeweerd, cultural formation is a task [Aufgabe], which man ought to accomplish according to creational norms. Its nuclear moment, control or mastery as such, "implies a vocation and task which can only be accomplished in a successive cultural development of mankind in its temporal social existence."(39) This means that culture or history exists on the basis of human formative power. This formative power is not neutral. The result of cultural formation can be good or bad, depending on whether the cultural agent, man, adheres to normative, historical principles, i.e., whether or not he cultivates the earth for the glory of God and to the service of his neighbours. Man has received from God this cultural mandate which belongs to the law side of the historical aspect. In sum, it can be seen that Dooyeweerd fully appreciates not only the dynamic character of culture but also the freedom and responsibility of man in his cultural activities.(40)

(2) The Idea of Historico-Cultural Development as The Opening Process

46. Closely connected to Dooyeweerd's concept of culture is the idea of historical or cultural development, which, according to Dooyeweerd, is an "opening process [ontsluitingsproces]".(41) The opening process refers to the process of development of something from a closed to an opened position. This happens in both modal and individuality structures.

47. He explains the opening process of the modal structure as follows: "In this process, anticipatory structural moments come to be developed; and these moments disclose their inner coherence of meaning with the modal aspects that are later in order."(42) For example, "by the `opening' or disclosure of the ethical anticipation in the juridical, the modal meaning of justice is deepened and society can move from the principle of `an eye for an eye' to the consideration of extenuating circumstances in the administration of justice."(43)

48. For Dooyeweerd, the historico-cultural aspect plays a very important role in the opening process since it serves "as the foundation of the entire opening process of the normative anticipatory spheres of the modal aspects."(44) All the law-spheres following the historical aspect are founded in this aspect because their disclosure depends on cultural form-giving. The deepening of the anticipatory moments in the historical aspect takes place in the opening process.

49. Because Dooyeweerd discusses the opening-process in connection with his view of culture, he pays his first attention to the opening of the normative meaning moments. Here the modal laws of the normative aspects are given merely as regulative principles which cannot be realized without rational consideration and distinction on the part of humans. Human formation, therefore, plays a constitutive role. Thus the positivizing of norms and the opening of normative aspects are closely related to each other. Both are grounded in the historical aspect as free formation: the normative principles require human formation and this occurs in the historical aspect. Thus he says, "every positivizing formation of the modal norms of these later law-spheres is founded in the original formation of the cultural principles."(45) Geertsema correctly sums this up with these words: "in the positivization the opening of the normative meaning-moments takes place (cf. NC II 336)."(46)

50. This opening process can be seen from two directions, namely, from the transcendental and the foundational direction of time. From the viewpoint of the transcendental or anticipatory direction of time, as mentioned before, the earlier law-spheres are guided by the later ones for the opening of their anticipating moments. But the leading law-sphere itself must also be opened if it is to open the anticipation of the earlier modalities. The opening process of culture then, according to Dooyeweerd, is ultimately led by the last pistic aspect. For instance, by the opening of the pistic anticipation in the ethical, the modal meaning of love is deepened and we can understand the sacrificial love of God who sent His Son to redeem us. From the perspective of the foundational or retrocipatory direction of time, it can be said that the opening of a law sphere presupposes the opened substratum. For example, the opening of the social aspect is possible only on the basis of the already opened historical aspect.

51. To sum up, the cultural-historical aspect plays a fundamental role in the normative-meaning-dynamic whereas the pistic aspect guides its development. In this faith aspect, the whole opening process is directly related to the religious fullness of meaning and to the Origin of history.(47)

(3) Religious Ground Motive(48) and the Opening Process

52. Here of importance is that for Dooyeweerd, the pistic aspect is opened up by or remains closed under the religious ground motives which work in the religious root of the cosmos in which the heart of man participates as the concentration point. Thus the religious ground motives decide the ultimate direction of the opening process through the pistic aspect. This pistic aspect always needs the revelation of God as the Origin. "According to the order of creation this terminal aspect was destined to function as the opened window of time through which the light of God's eternity should shine into the whole temporal coherence of the world."(49) If the heart remains closed to God's revelation, the pistic aspect cannot but seek its alternative absolute ground in the creation itself, an act which results in the idolatrous absolutizing of meaning itself. And then the opening process unfolds in an apostate direction.(50)

53. In this context, Dooyeweerd distinguishes two states of faith: a restrictive or closed state and a deepened or disclosed state. If the unfolding process takes place in a world without sin, being open to the revelation of God as the Origin, then the pistic aspect is in a deepened or disclosed state. It then leads the whole process of cultural development into a harmonious and right direction. In fact, however, the actual process of human history has been dominated by the apostate motive. Thus when the pistic aspect functions in deifying something created, it is in a closed or restrictive state. This results in the disharmony and antinomy in the whole opening process since the principle of cultural economy, a norm for historico-cultural development, is violated.(51)

54. Moreover, Dooyeweerd relates the normative disclosure to self-knowledge and the knowledge of God in order to explain the possibility of the opening of the pistic aspect as the condition for the normative disclosure as such. For him, it is "the innate tendency of the human ego to transcend itself in the central relation to its Divine Origin, in order to discover itself in the image of God."(52) When the faith aspect functions in a disclosed state toward the Word revelation of God, man can achieve the correct knowledge of himself as well as that of God. But if the pistic aspect functions in a closed state, then "man arrives at transcendental self-consciousness in his falling away into the absolutization of the relative."(53) Thus true self-knowledge as well as that of God is impossible because "the apostate selfhood ... arrives at self-knowledge through its idols."(54) Here again, we can see that the three transcendental basic ideas mentioned above are again interrelated and play an important role in his discussion of cultural development.

(4) The Norms of the Opening Process

55. In discussing a notion of culture from the viewpoint of individuality structures and the process of disclosure in the individual entities, Dooyeweerd emphasizes that all of temporal reality is subject to this unfolding process through which every (law-)sphere is fully developed. The ultimate result of this process is the completion of irreversible sphere sovereignty. In order for this to take place, Dooyeweerd says that the following normative principles are to be satisfied, namely, those of historical continuity, differentiation, integration, and individualization.

56. In the process of historical development, the power struggle between the force of progress and that of conservation is inevitable. The progressive will of the shaper of history should not disregard the past tradition but respect historical continuity.(55) Dooyeweerd presumes here that the traditional party ought to act as "the guardian of the positive norms" and that "the task of tradition is only to guarantee the continuity in cultural development."(56)

57. Differentiation is the process of increasing diversity. It refers to the normative and dynamic process of cultural development from an undifferentiated stage to an increasingly differentiated level as the deepening of the meaning of a `primitive' culture via, for instance, contact with other groups of a higher cultural level.(57) Integration, as the counter-part in the process of an increasing differentiation, refers to the normative process of increasing coherence in a differentiated culture. Dooyeweerd thinks that modern technological progress is one of the most powerful integrating factors in contemporary society.(58) He places emphasis on the principle of cultural differentiation and integration by calling it "a fundamental norm of historical development" without which "a free unfolding of the structures of individuality in human society" is unthinkable.(59)

58. Individualization alludes to the historical process of forming new individual entities such as churches, states, schools, and so on. Dooyeweerd relates this particularly to "the founding of nations and the multiplication of nation states in our times."(60) Individualization also refers to the development of man from an impregnated cell to a highly differentiated individual and "to an ascending series of undifferentiated and more or less differentiated living beings in nature."(61) In addition, the individualizing process in social relations is for him also a rationalizing process in the sense that if this process is accomplished harmoniously, it is not "a symptom of apostasy and decadence" but "destined to disclose and realize the potentialities and dispositions inherent in the social relations according to the divine world-order."(62)

59. Dooyeweerd argues that differentiation, integration and individualization are unbreakably interrelated so that each can never be conceived of without the others.(63) For Dooyeweerd, these norms are founded in the divine world order, since they indicate the necessary conditions of the unfolding process, without which mankind cannot fulfill its historico-cultural task.(64) Dooyeweerd's articulation of these normative principles result from his elaboration of Kuyper's sociological principle of sphere sovereignty from a world-historical perspective. While Kuyper claimed sphere sovereignty of state, church, family, school, etc., Dooyeweerd develops this idea and describes the history of human society in normative terms as the development from a traditional, undifferentiated society to a civilized, differentiated one. An undifferentiated society refers to a society in which the entire life of its members is enclosed by the traditional, undifferentiated bonds of kinship, tribe or folk and possesses an exclusive and absolute religious sphere of power. A differentiated society is a society in which various relations, such as family, company, trade, state, church, school, art, voluntary organizations, and science become separate and independent and take on a limited and specific task.

60. To give an example to illustrate the opening process of both in the modal and in the individual structures, we might imagine the historical process of development of a traditional family. At first it was an undifferentiated unit of a traditional society, possessing all kinds of functions such as biological, economical, juridical, educational, ethical and religious. As the process of disclosure takes place both in its modal aspects and in its individual structures, and the opening of the pistical anticipation in the juridical, ethical and the other earlier aspects occurs, the typical structure of a traditional family distinguishes itself from other social institutions such as company, school, court, and church.

61. "Historical development," Dooyeweerd concludes, "is nothing but the cultural aspect of the great process of becoming which must continue in all the aspects of temporal reality in order that the wealth of the creational structures be concretized in time."(65) Furthermore, against the humanistic idea of cultural development, he refers to his Christian idea of cultural development as an eschatological struggle:

The Christian Idea of cultural development cannot be guided by an optimistic faith in the steady progress of civilization. It cannot be sacrificed to pessimistic relativistic Histori[ci]sm either. It remains ruled by the religious basic motive of the struggle between the civitas Dei and the civitas terrena in the temporal course of history, though eschatologically it remains directed to the ultimate victory of the kingdom of God in Christ, to Whom has been given the fullness of power in the religious fulfilment of history.(66)

62. In brief, Dooyeweerd conceives of culture as a normative disclosure driven by a religious basic motive via the pistic aspect. Of importance here is that not merely the pistic law-sphere leads the opening process or cultural formation but so too does the religious ground motive, as the community motive found within a certain concrete cultural context.(67) The crisis in Western culture which Dooyeweerd saw in the 1940s was due to nothing other than the disregard for the mutual coherence of the religious ground motive with the culture driven by it. Furthermore, the humanistic motive found itself in a crisis. Accordingly, it can be said that Dooyeweerd's concept of culture does more justice to culture as such because of the two ways from which he approaches culture, namely, with respect to the normative unfolding of the historical aspect as the foundational aspect and with respect to the religious determination of the pistic law-sphere as the leading aspect in the disclosure. Dooyeweerd's view helps to understand the meaning-dynamic in creation, and it offers insight with regard to the whole of human cultural-historical development.(68) In connection with this, it is understandable why he was strongly opposed to historicism which does not acknowledge the normative significance of the post-historical aspects.

3. The Development of the Idea of a Religious Ground Motive

63. We have already seen that Dooyeweerd's idea of a religious ground motive plays a very important role in his view of culture. Actually, this idea is one of the key-words needed to understand his whole philosophy. Dooyeweerd distinguishes four kinds of religious ground motives which have played a fundamental role in Western philosophy and culture. The first one is the ancient Greek form-matter motive. The second one is the Christian motive of creation, the Fall of man into sin, and redemption through Christ Jesus. The third motive is nature-grace in Roman Catholicism which tried to synthesize the former two motives. The last one is the modern humanistic nature-freedom motive. It is remarkable, as J. Klapwijk points out, that these four motives of Dooyeweerd are parallel with A. Kuyper's four worldviews which were the starting points for his reflections in his Stone lectures: Paganism, Calvinism, Romanism, and Modernism.(69) This means that initially Dooyeweerd was influenced by Kuyper's Calvinistic life- and worldview. However, Dooyeweerd's notion of religious ground motive is not the same as Kuyper's worldview idea. For Kuyper, philosophy is to be worked out from a worldview, whereas for Dooyeweerd, both worldview and philosophy are manifestations of the fundamental religious basic motive.(70) Moreover, in Kuyper's world and life view, there is no inner dialectic which is characteristic in Dooyeweerd's notion of the three non-Christian ground motives.(71) Now it seems necessary here to discuss in detail how his idea of the religious ground motive developed.

(1) Transcendental Critique and Religious Ground Motive

64. Dooyeweerd's idea of a religious ground motive can never be thought of apart from his transcendental critique of theoretical thought.(72) As he developed the latter, he also gradually elaborated the former. The idea of a religious basic motive had already germinated in the series of his articles entitled "In den strijd om een Christelijke staatkunde" [The struggle for Christian politics] in Antirevolutionaire Staatkunde [Antirevolutionary politics], an organ of the Kuyper Institute. Though Dooyeweerd at this point did not use the term "religious ground motive", the idea is implied when he discusses the nature and grace schema in medieval thought(73) and the development of the basic antinomy in the law-idea of humanistic immanence philosophy, i.e., the inner polarity between the science- and personality ideal.(74) These two themes are again mentioned in Dooyeweerd's inaugural address as professor of the Free University.(75)

65. In his first major work, De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, Dooyeweerd refers to the religious root of theoretical thought as the "religious a priori" and the "Archimedean point",(76) terms which were later changed into "religious basic motive". In the third part of the first book of De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, Dooyeweerd gave a schematical comparison between the basic structure of humanistic philosophy and Christian philosophy. After comparing the archimedean points and the religious attitude of the philosophical thought of both philosophies, he states the basic problem and polar tensions of humanistic philosophy against the ground motive of Christian philosophy. At this moment Dooyeweerd understands the basic motive of Christian philosophy as "the conflict between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness in the root and the temporal coherence of the meaning-diversity of our cosmos."(77) This can be compared with the Christian motive developed later of creation, the Fall of man, and redemption in Jesus Christ in communion of the Holy Spirit. However, both are not contradictory at all, says Dooyeweerd, but rather the latter implies the former.(78)

66. In his article published in Synthese, Dooyeweerd introduces his idea of religious ground motive in a full sense when he argues that "the community of modern [non-Christian] philosophy was more deeply rooted in a common last starting-point of philosophical thought."(79) Here he also points out that the Thomistic schema of nature and grace is a "dialectic ground motive" because of the unsolvable tension between the Christian doctrine of creation and the Greek theory of nature.(80) As to modern humanistic philosophy, Dooyeweerd also regards its religious ground motive of autonomous freedom and nature-control (beheersing) as "dialectical" because "nature" in its new scientific conception was placed dialectically over against the "anima rationalis [rational spirit]" of the personality-ideal.(81) In light of this schema, Dooyeweerd analyzes the main history of modern Western philosophy. Remarkable is that in this article, Dooyeweerd does not mention the religious motive of Greek thought yet.

67. In 1941 Dooyeweerd published another article entitled, "De vier religieuze grondthema's in den ontwikkelingsgang van het wijsgeerig denken van het avondland [The four religious ground themes in the process of development of philosophical thinking in the Occidental world]" with the subtitle, "Een bijdrage tot bepaling van de verhouding tusschen theoretische en religieuze dialectiek [A contribution to determining the relationship between theoretical and religious dialectic]."(82) Here we find for the first timmention of all four religious ground motives of Western philosophy.(83) That might be why in this article Dooyeweerd makes the significant remark that "with the discovery of the religious ground theme of Greek philosophy... the transcendental critique of the history of Western philosophy, begun in Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee I, is provisionally completed."(84) Here, we see clearly that the development of Dooyeweerd's idea of the religious basic motive is closely connected with that of his transcendental criticism.(85)

68. As Dooyeweerd continued to study the ground motives of Scholastic philosophy and the Reformation, he found it necessary to reflect more on the Greek motive which the Scholastics had attempted to synthesize with the biblical one. This work was published in 1949 with the title, Reformatie en Scholastiek in de Wijsbegeerte.(86) Being convinced that from the religious ground motive of Greek thought, an essential transcendental critique of Greek philosophy as well as Scholastic thinking was possible, Dooyeweerd offered in this book his own transcendental critique of Greek thought from its form-matter motive (with an emphasis on the anthropological question).

(2) The Development of Terminology

69. Dooyeweerd did not fix the term, "ground motive (grondmotief)" until 1949, because he interchanged it with another term, "ground theme (grondthema)". In fact, Dooyeweerd had already used the former in De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee(87) and more frequently in another article published in Synthese in 1939.(88) Another notion was also used, namely, "schema" with the same meaning. For example, as we have already seen above, Dooyeweerd often mentioned "the schema of nature and grace". In his article of 1941, Dooyeweerd used all three terms interchangeably. Since then, he did not use the term "schema" any more. While in 1942, he only used the term "ground theme" in his article, "De leer der analogie in de Thomistische Wijsbegeerte en in de Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee [The theory of analogy in Thomistic philosophy and in the philosophy of the law-idea]",(89) in another article published in 1943, Dooyeweerd preferred to use the more dynamic term "ground motive".(90) When Dooyeweerd published Reformatie en Scholastiek(91) and A New Critique of Theoretical Thought, he finalized his term as ground motive, emphasizing its vital and comprehensive impact on both theoretical thinking and cultural activities. Moreover, later in 1958, Dooyeweerd uses two other dynamic notions, viz. "central driving force (centrale drijfkracht)" and "divine dynamics (goddelijke dunamis)" in order to explain the Christian ground motive.(92)

70. Explaining the reason for the shifts of terminology, Geertsema rightly points out that it shows a clear transition, i.e., it became more dynamic; schema and theme become motive and later, driving force and dynamic.(93) At the same time, he also observes the continuity of the basic idea by saying that while the term "theme" implies the "principle of knowledge" (religious, not theoretical), "motive" or "driving force" place accent on `motivation' without losing that element of the principle of knowledge.(94)

4. Religious Ground Motive as a Cultural Motive

71. In order to understand the cultural significance of Dooyeweerd's transcendental criticism, his idea of the cultural opening-process alone is not enough. We need to further investigate his idea of the religious basic motive which plays a crucial role in his critique of Western culture. The post-war situation in Holland, and especially Dooyeweerd's confrontation with the Dutch National Movement, stimulated him to work out this idea of the religious ground motive as a cultural community motive.

(1) Historical Background

72. After the second world war, on May 12, 1945, the Dutch National Movement (Nederlandse Volksbeweging) appealed to the Dutch people in a manifesto which, for the sake of the renewal of the nation, was meant to eliminate the spiritual antithesis between Christian belief and humanism, a manifesto which would serve as a principle in public life.(95) Actually, however, this meant "the replacement of the principle of pluriform democracy by the new community ideal of `personal socialism' which entailed decentralized government and supposedly was based on both humanist and Christian world views."(96) In order to attack this idea of synthesis, Dooyeweerd became the editor of a weekly paper called Nieuw Nederland [New Netherlands] and contributed to it regularly between August 1945 and May 1948.(97)

73. In these articles, Dooyeweerd points out that those who propagate the unification of two absolute opposing views have been uprooted by the chaos of the post-war Western world.(98) They could not, therefore, give proper answers to the question concerning the direction of postwar renewal. To counter this, Dooyeweerd argues that the antithesis was not a simple dividing line between Christian and non-Christian groups but the fundamental and unrelenting battle between the spirit of darkness and the revitalizing power of the spirit of God. He could not, therefore, compromise with the Dutch National Movement. But for the sake of genuine and fruitful communication, Dooyeweerd insisted that both points of view should be fundamentally examined with respect to their roots of difference. That is, one must examine thoroughly the basic roots of one's culture, the ultimate sources of the communal way of life. In addition, Dooyeweerd emphasized that "it is the way of self-examination and not the way of abstract theoretical inquiry."(99) Concerning the issue of antithesis, Dooyeweerd also made it clear that it is not a purely theoretical matter of interest among theoreticians. Rather it is a problem for everyone because it touches the deepest level of our existence as human beings.(100) The difference, therefore, between the dialogue in his transcendental critique of theoretical thought and that of his cultural critique lies in the fact that the former was intended merely for a debate among a select company of "intellectuals" whereas the latter was aimed at a broader public. In other words, Dooyeweerd's initial distinction between the pre-theoretical and the theoretical attitude is now overcome by his idea of the religious ground motive which determines the contents of his transcendental criticism of both theoretical thought and culture.

(2) Religious Ground Motive as a Cultural Community Driving Force

74. In this context, Dooyeweerd presents publicly the results of his research concerning the religious ground motives of Western civilization. He points out three important points in this regard.(101)

75. First, a religious basic motive is a spiritual force, functioning as the absolutely central mainspring of human society. It gives ultimate meaning and leads cultural direction. For Dooyeweerd, religion is not one area or sphere of life, but the whole of it. He believes that religion is the dynamic of life and that there is nothing more basic than this religious dynamic in human history. Religion is an affair of the heart, the concentration point of man's existence, and so directs all man's functions, theoretical thoughts and cultural endeavours. Thus the religious antithesis between the ground motives does not allow a higher synthesis because the opposites are absolute.(102) Thus Dooyeweerd holds that the spiritual crisis of the postwar period was caused by spiritual uprootedness, not being able to represent this kind of leading cultural power in society.

76. Second, a religious ground motive is a communal driving force. A ground motive establishes community and governs its members. From the transcendental and cosmonomic perspective, Geertsema explains that "the supra-individual root-unity of created reality has a religious-spiritual character."(103) The "I-ness" has a "innate tendency towards origin (ingeschapen oorsprongsdrang)" and as the religious centre of human existence, this "I" must be seen in the central community-relation with the "we" and in its relationship with the "You" of its Divine Origin.(104) The human root-community is of a religious nature and comes to expression in the religious ground motive that is characteristic for the spirit of the community. Thus "the religious community" is maintained by its common spirit, which as a dynamic and central motive-power, is active in the concentration-point of human existence.(105) And a religious motive is manifested in the process of cultural development. Consequently Dooyeweerd maintains that this motive can give the hermeneutic key for understanding and interpreting the patterns of Western history and culture.

77. Lastly, since the religious basic motive is a spiritual power that inspires all understanding, interpretation, and every other kind of action, it can never be the object for a specific science which deals with exclusively a certain temporal aspect of reality. Rather, the point of departure for each science is determined by its religious basic motive.

78. In brief, Dooyeweerd seeks the deepest motives or presuppositions of Western culture and the background of its cultural crisis. From the transcendental perspective, he investigates the roots of Western cultural development and points out the causal relation between the struggle for human autonomy and the cultural crisis. Through his Christian point of view, Dooyeweerd attempts to give the renewing significance of the gospel for secularized Western culture. In this way, he develops his transcendental critique as a cultural critique.

5. The Christian Character of Culture

79. According to Dooyeweerd, the Christian ground motive can be formulated as creation, fall into sin, and redemption through Jesus Christ in communion with the Holy Spirit. Accordingly his view of the Christian character of culture is qualified by this ground motive. I will discuss this briefly so that we will be able to better understand his transcendental cultural critique dealt with in chapter 4.

(1) Creation and Culture

80. Emphasizing the integrality (embracing all creatures) and radicality (penetrating to the root of created reality) of creation, Dooyeweerd is fully aware of the biblical cultural mandate, or creation mandate, as mentioned above. Kalsbeek gives a succinct description of Dooyeweerd's view of creation and culture:

God has revealed himself as the Creator, as the only and absolute Origin (Arche) of all things. God created man in his image, that is as a person, not a thing. Before the fall, man stood in close-knit fellowship of loving service to God and his neighbour. This intimate bond of fellowship centered in man's deepest core - his heart, the religious root or center of his existence. This loving service is expressed in all aspects or issues of life. Thus, when man subdues nature (in the biblical sense), he obeys the call to service; for through the work of human culture, man is called to develop and bring to fruition all the latent powers and possibilities of creation which wait to be opened up for the glory of God and the good of mankind.(106)

81.The creation story as described in the first chapter of Genesis indicates that the cultural mode of formative activity is grounded in God's creation order. Creation is not static but dynamic. Dooyeweerd understands this cultural activity as "power". God charged man with cultural power at creation. This power implies a historical calling and task of formation of which the bearer of power must give account.(107) According to Dooyeweerd, "power is the great motor of cultural development."(108)

82. An important element here is of course the direction in which this power is applied. Since man is a responsible being, cultural power can be used either positively or negatively. Man can cultivate the earth for the sake of God's glory or for his own interest. But as a person, man is responsible for the result of his cultural activity. Dooyeweerd explains this further by stating that God's created order consists of two kinds of laws: natural laws and cultural laws, as we have seen before. The formation and exercise of power are not subject to natural laws but to norms, i.e., to the rules of what ought to be. Norms are given in the creation order as principles for human behaviour and these principles require formation not only by the individual but also by competent human authorities such as the government, church, family, company, etc. In sum, "the powers and potentials which God had enclosed within creation were to be disclosed by man in his service of love to God and neighbour."(109) In this sense, it can be said that Dooyeweerd also implies the responsive character of human culture. Human cultural activity is a way of answering to the divine cultural command.

(2) The Effect of the Fall into Sin in Culture

83. Dooyeweerd claims that the Fall into sin is the apostasy of the centre, the radix of human existence. Since the Fall is the apostasy from the absolute Source of life, it meant spiritual death. In Adam's Fall into sin, the entire temporal world fell away from God. This is what apostasy means. The whole cosmos was cursed because of man. A spirit of apostasy began to govern the whole of mankind along with all of temporal reality. The existence of man, created in the image of God, is integrally and totally concentrated in his heart, soul, or spirit. This centre of existence is the religious root unity of all man's functions in temporal reality. Hence, when man fell away from God, so did all of temporal reality. That is why Dooyeweerd emphasizes that the Fall is radical, involving all of temporal reality.

84. Dooyeweerd holds, however, that the structure of creation, viz., the cosmic law-order, remains intact even after the Fall because it is anchored in God's law of creation. Sin affects creation but cannot destroy its structure. For example, prostitution is sinful but it cannot destroy the original goodness of sexuality. Dooyeweerd says, "[n]either the structures of the various aspects of reality, nor the structures which determine the nature of individual creatures, nor the divine principles which regulate human action, are altered by the Fall."(110)

85. Sin, however, breaks creational harmony as men develop culture. In other words, sin leads the opening process of culture in the wrong direction. Because of the Fall, the position of cultural power to which God called man in the development of culture was directed toward apostasy, as we have already discussed. "The fall into sin, which brought about the spiritual death of man, exerts its influence on temporal reality only as a consequence of the radically evil directedness of man's heart."(111) Dooyeweerd explains more technically that the norm of cultural economy is violated by sin, resulting in the appearance of a strident disharmony in cultural life.(112)

(3) Redemption and Culture

86. Since the character of the Fall into sin is so radical, redemption by Jesus Christ must also be radical. Redemption through Jesus Christ in the communion of the Holy Spirit is the redirecting of man's heart through regeneration. This allows man to share in the full renewal of creation and to enter once more into fellowship with God. Dooyeweerd writes:

The Divine Word, through which... all things were made, became flesh in Jesus Christ. The Word has entered into the root and the temporal ramifications, in body and soul, of human nature. And therefore it has brought about a radical redemption. Sin is not dialectically reconciled, but it is really propitiated. And in Christ as the new root of the human race, the whole temporal cosmos, which was religiously concentrated in man, is in principle again directed toward God and thereby wrested free from the power of Satan.(113)

87. This redemptive power restores apostate culture by changing its direction from an idol toward God. The reformation or transformation of secularized culture, however, cannot be fulfilled until the end of this age. The Christian whose heart is renewed and redirected through redemption still shares in the apostate root of mankind and so finds himself engaged in an eschatological struggle to make all of his cultural activities an expression of his love for God and neighbour. Until the return of Christ, the power of sin still works in regenerated believers. Thus the spiritual battle of the kingdom of God continues to be waged against the kingdom of Satan until the final consummation.

88. In this vein, while in principle Dooyeweerd firmly holds that Christians should transform human centred thinking and secularized culture as its result, he also fully acknowledges the actual possibility of error on the part of Christians simply because they are still under the influence of sin and thus can be as limited and shortsighted as non-Christians. In other words, it is not totally correct to claim that the antinomy and disharmony in modern secular culture would disappear if Christians were to become the leading formers of history.(114) In connection with this, Dooyeweerd fully appreciates, for example, the relative merits of the Enlightenment on the biblical ground of common grace even though he strongly holds to the antithesis idea. Consequently, Dooyeweerd stresses that the Christian idea of cultural development and transformation should not be "narrow-minded". "It recognizes any relative meaning-disclosure of civilization, even though positivized by anti-Christian powers."(115)

(4) The Consummation of Culture

89. Dooyeweerd does not separately mention the consummation of culture. Actually, this motive is not so much emphasized by him. Rather, it seems that this motive is included implicitly in the redemption motive. He briefly states that "God maintains the fallen cosmos in His gratis communis [common grace] by His creating Word. The redeemed creation shall finally be freed from its participation in the sinful root of human nature and shall shine forth in a higher perfection."(116)

90. Schuurman rightly sums up, "[o]nly when the whole of reality... is seen as a unity founded in the creation, disturbed in the Fall, recreated as God's intervention, will a meaningful development of culture be possible."(117)

6. Critical Responses

91. Dooyeweerd's view of culture has been critically assessed by many other Christian philosophers. I would like to mention the four major responses to this view: those of H. Geertsema, S. Griffioen, N. Wolterstorff, and C.T. McIntire.

(1) H.G. Geertsema

92. In his doctorandus thesis, "Transcendentale Openheid [Transcendental openness]" published bipartitely in Philosophia Reformata, 1970, Geertsema points out some difficulties in Dooyeweerd's idea of the opening process. To begin with, Geertsema finds it ambiguous that Dooyeweerd presupposes the closed structure of modal aspects in the foundational direction of time, whereas from the perspective of the transcendental direction of time, the closed aspect is regarded as the result of the Fall into sin, the deviance of the heart from God. Thus the Fall seems to be a necessary condition for the opening process.(118) Rather, Geertsema holds that the created world is given to be disclosed and sin directs its process into an apostate direction, rather than closing all the aspects.

93. The next significant question that Geertsema raises is whether Dooyeweerd can maintain the close connection of the opening in the transcendental direction with the real historical development. Geertsema rightly points out that the origin of this problem lies in the combination of the opening process in the transcendental direction towards the expression of the fullness of God's creation and the concrete development in the power struggle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness.(119) These two cannot be the same, he maintains. "It would seem rather difficult to equate the development in the opening process towards an increasingly fuller actualization of the possibilities in the creation with the history of the struggle between the civitas Dei and the civitas terrena."(120) The original reason for this problem, Geertsema presumes, is Dooyeweerd's effort to give a view of history in which creation, fall into sin and redemption are absorbed in one connecting conception. But Geertsema doubts whether this is possible. He distinguishes, therefore, the `historical' modality as formative law-sphere, and the historical point of view under which the total extent of the opening process of human culture and society is studied as historical science.(121)

94. Geertsema's last critique concerns Dooyeweerd's notion that the task of positivization and opening originally lie in the historical aspect. Geertsema is convinced rather that this task is founded deeper in the human being as created in the image of God rather than in one modal aspect.(122)

(2) S. Griffioen

95. Griffioen explores Dooyeweerd's view of cultural development in relation to the issues of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism.(123) His main critique is that Dooyeweerd's view of `primitive' or traditional culture is unduly negative and the norm for development seems to be derived from the highly differentiated societies of the West.

96. Comparing Dooyeweerd's idea of development with nineteenth century cultural evolutionism, Griffioen holds that Dooyeweerd, like cultural evolutionists, places traditional culture within the bounds of nature. Abraham, to name a counter-example from the Bible, lived in a traditional and undifferentiated society but his belief stood out against the natural religions around him. Griffioen also criticizes Dooyeweerd's one-sided interpretation of differentiation as a criterion for the judgment of cultural development. Traditional societies can also have a cultural richness without being so differentiated. In other words, Griffioen argues, differentiation means on the one hand the opening of the possibilities in creation with respect to modal structure and the structure of society but on the other hand it can also imply the impoverishing of them.(124)

97. Whether or not the cultural-historical development is arbitrary depends upon the direction in which the opening process takes place. And this direction is again determined by its religious basic motive. In this context, Griffioen finds Dooyeweerd's distinction between structure and direction significant: "[T]he emphasis on structural differentiation is balanced (on principle) by the weight given to the unremitting battle between conflicting directions."(125) Consequently, Griffioen holds that Dooyeweerd has a more mixed attitude towards the development of Western culture than would seem to be the case when viewed solely from the theme of differentiation: positive as to the opening of a structure, but negative concerning its religious direction. For Dooyeweerd, the norms for cultural development are given as structural principles which suggest the direction of formation. But in reality, various formations are possible within this creational structure depending on cultural differences, historical situations, etc. Therefore, according to Griffioen, if this distinction is well maintained, the problem of ethnocentrism would be resolved.

(3) N. Wolterstorff

98. Wolterstorff also raises some fundamental questions concerning Dooyeweerd's theory of the cultural norm of differentiation.(126) First, he argues that Dooyeweerd fails to give any serious consideration to what has caused the increase in differentiation and its cognates in the modern Western world, while most of the other world societies have remained statically traditional. Believing that the answer is the rise of the capitalist world-economy, Wolterstorff argues that Dooyeweerd has failed to see this phenomena and even failed to consider this question of causation seriously. Thus he regards Dooyeweerd's thought as "a version of modernization theory". Of course for Dooyeweerd, the process of differentiation as an opening process is led by the faith aspect whether it is Christian or non-Christian. But he might also maintain that the ultimate cause of this process lies in the will of God toward his creation, i.e., the principle of sphere sovereignty.

99. Another critique of Wolterstorff is that if Dooyeweerd's theory of differentiation is correct, then it would imply that human misery and suffering is a symptom of something having gone wrong in the opening of culture.(127) And the remedy is then to try not to set out to combat misery as such but, instead, to try to bring about a proper unfolding of the spheres, in which case misery would be relieved as an incidental (though no doubt desirable) by-product. In connection with this, Wolterstorff points out that the modern Afrikaners, often making use of Dooyeweerd's thought, insisted that we must not pay much attention to social misery since in the long run if we just see to it that structures are unfolded properly, misery will vanish. Too often, Wolterstorff continues, Dooyeweerd gives the impression that mankind was created to unfold social structures, rather than that social structures have no justification unless they serve mankind. In short, the fullness of human life is the decisive element for Wolterstorff, not the proper realization of each sphere's inner nature.(128) I would argue, however, that here both Wolterstorff and the Afrikaners have somewhat misinterpreted Dooyeweerd's view. For Dooyeweerd, the proper disclosure is to be led by normative principles, for instance, by justice, love, and faith. It is then clear that the unfolding process is directed into a wrong direction if it does not take the problem of suffering and injustice into consideration.

(4) C.T. McIntire

100. C.T. McIntire has written a critical article on Dooyeweerd's philosophy of history and Van der Hoeven has responded to this.(129) Even though Van der Hoeven agrees that Dooyeweerd's expositions on this subject need to be clarified and corrected, he still holds that they are not as implausible and feeble as McIntire claims they are.(130) Concerning the historical aspect, to begin with, McIntire's main point of critique is that what Dooyeweerd selects as his nuclear moment for the historical aspect does not fit historical study and a modal treatment of history is improper and needs to be replaced by a transmodal one.(131) Against this, Van der Hoeven defends Dooyeweerd's view by saying that Dooyeweerd's concern was to find the characteristic viewpoint of the historical field with explicit recognition of the complexity within that viewpoint on account of the universality within each mode, the multimodal nature of the phenomena which the historian embraces in his enquiry, and the high variability in the phenomena suitable for historical investigation.(132)

101. When McIntire argues for the transmodal character of the historical mode by calling attention to the growing importance of `(cultural) development', Van der Hoeven holds that Dooyeweerd dared to make this special connection between the broad meaning-dynamics and `historicity'.(133) Concerning the structural norms of the opening process, McIntire interprets Dooyeweerd as a naive and modern Western-centred optimist. Against this, Van der Hoeven points out the other facet of Dooyeweerd who also acknowledged the danger of capitalism and the possibility of stagnation, regression, and `repristination'.(134) Here again, McIntire seems to neglect the cardinal distinction between structure and direction. As Griffioen did later, however, McIntire criticizes Dooyeweerd's too one-sidedly negative view of primitive societies, with which I agree.

7. Conclusion

102. Dooyeweerd's philosophy is an attempt to understand temporal cosmic reality in the light of the Christian Word-revelation. Firmly holding to the Creator/creature distinction, he defined all of created reality as meaning, as non-self-sufficient and as totally dependent being. Hence his emphasis on the religious presuppositions of both theoretical and cultural activity. Neither philosophical thought nor cultural endeavour is neutral and autonomous with respect to the Origin. That is why his philosophy of culture is also determined by his theory of the religious ground motives.

103. Dooyeweerd discusses culture as the normative unfolding process which is guided by a religious ground motive via the pistic aspect. In addition, Dooyeweerd understands cultural formation as a task which man must accomplish in line with creational norms in order to disclose the abundant potentiality in creation. In this sense, it can be said that Dooyeweerd is fully aware of both the dynamic and the responsive characters of culture. The unfolding process happens both in modal and individuality structures. In the opening of the normative moments of meaning, the historical and pistical aspects are of cardinal importance since the former plays the foundational role in the opening process and the latter, the leading or guiding function. Moreover, Dooyeweerd argues that the opening of this pistic aspect is determined by the religious ground motive. This means that for him the whole development of culture is totally dependent upon religious belief. If the faith aspect is in a disclosed state by virtue of God's revelation, then it leads cultural development in a harmonious direction. But if it is in a closed state because of other apostate ground motives, e.g. when something relative is deified, then the development produces disharmony and antinomy in the whole unfolding process, violating the principle of cultural economy. For Dooyeweerd, the conflict between the Christian ground motive and the other motives is called antithetical, referring to the spiritual struggle between civitas Dei and civitas terrena. The final result of this unfolding process, according to Dooyeweerd, if directed harmoniously by the Christian ground motive, is the full realization of sphere sovereignty both in modal and individuality structures. In the unfolding of individual structures, Dooyeweerd argues, the four normative principles are to be positivized, viz. the norms of historical continuity, differentiation, integration, and individualization.

104. As the strong points of Dooyeweerd's normative concept of culture as the opening process, I want to mention the following:

First, it enables us to see the whole dynamic of created temporal reality. Thus it covers the total meaning of being, from the beginning of creation to the final consummation, from the garden of Eden to the new Jerusalem. Its wide scope and vast range is amazing and impressive. It also shows the concrete development of the created order in its modal functions and individuality structures. In the modal structure, the latent modal anticipations are opened and so deepened. In the individuality structure the potential elements come to be realized or actualized toward full maturity.(135)

105. Second, Dooyeweerd emphasizes human positivization of norms which corresponds to a biblical anthropology that understands man as a responsible person created in the image of God and given a cultural mandate as his normative task. Human beings are supposed to disclose the potentiality in created reality and so reveal the richness of creation which reflects the power, wisdom, and glory of God. This point is also immediately connected with his important distinction between structure and direction. The created structure with all its potential is given by the Creator. It is the task of man to unfold it in the right direction. Here the faith aspect, heart and religious ground motive play crucial roles. The human heart should be dominated by the Christian religious ground motive which leads the process of disclosure into a harmonious whole via the pistic function. It can be said, consequently, that the opening process in the normative sense has an answering character. The human being is created to respond to the Creator, by fulfilling the given cultural task. He can answer affirmatively by obeying the law of creation and by disclosing the hidden abundance in the created world or he may respond negatively by refusing to listen to God's promise and commandment. In this sense, the opening process can also be said to have a covenant character as well.

106. Concerning the Christian character of culture, Dooyeweerd emphasizes the integrality, consistency and radicality of the creation-Fall-redemption motive. He was fully aware of the cultural mandate in creation. For him the Fall into sin is radical, affecting the whole of cosmic reality and cultural activity, but at the same time the creational structure remains intact. Redemption through Jesus Christ is also radical, restoring apostate culture from its root by changing its direction toward God. For Dooyeweerd, the consummation motive is not separately discussed but included in the redemption motive.

107. It is clear that here also our main theme of dialogue and antithesis plays an essential role. Through his transcendental critique, Dooyeweerd ultimately intends to make an inner reformation of Western secular thought and culture. Fully admitting the possibility of making mistakes on the part of Christians, however, he is of the opinion that when Christians try to transform human autonomous thinking and culture, they should do so by the light of God's Word with great care and humility, always remaining open to others, including non-Christians who might have a better alternative. The antithetic struggle between the two kingdoms will continue until God ultimately brings about the final victory, consummation, and the transformation of all kinds of immanent thought and worldly culture.

108. Some weak points in Dooyeweerd's theory should be pointed out as well:

To begin with, as Griffioen, McIntire, and Seerveld rightly point out, Dooyeweerd's view of `primitive' (rather traditional) culture appears to be too negative and one-sided. Not all traditional societies are necessarily closed and limited by nature. The belief and life style of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as described in the Bible are good examples of this.

109. A closely related problem is Geertsema's critique that for Dooyeweerd the Fall of man into sin becomes a necessary condition for the opening process. I think that Dooyeweerd could have avoided falling into this kind of dilemma if he had stressed the opening process as the unfolding of the latent potentiality in creation itself,(136) rather than starting from the closed state due to sin. The Fall is not the necessary condition for the opening process but a crucial factor to explain the ground of a possible apostate development of culture.

110. The question of ethnocentrism or eurocentrism is also intimately connected with this problem. On the one hand, it is to be acknowledged that there are some Western-centred elements in Dooyeweerd's thought because his interpretation of differentiation is too one-sided as many critics have pointed out. On the other hand, it is also to be remembered that Dooyeweerd clearly distinguishes between structure and direction. Thus it is not entirely correct when we say that Dooyeweerd was merely Western oriented, for he stated clearly that in the West, concomitant with historical development, the spiritual struggle between the `two cities' intensifies. More properly speaking, he reacts positively to the structural development of modern Western culture but at the same time very critically against its human centred direction. In addition, he fully acknowledges the various possibilities of positivization. Thus we might say that he is ethnocentrist in the sense that he preferred modern differentiated culture to the traditional societies but not in the sense that he regards Western culture as better than Eastern culture. What is important in his theory is not the distinction between east and west but that of structure and direction. Therefore, we can be justified in trying to apply his thought to the Korean context, which will be done in the last chapter.

111. With this understanding of Dooyeweerd's view of culture, we now turn our attention to in the following three chapters a critical discussion of Dooyeweerd's theoretical explication and actual execution of his transcendental critique as both a thought critique and a cultural critique.

Copyright (c) Yong-Joon Choi, 2000, All Rights Reserved.

Prepared as part of The Dooyeweerd Pages web site by Andrew Basden 2002, with the kind permission of Yong-Joon Choi.

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