Scholars from Calvin Theological Seminary, Calvin College, and Kuyper College, all in Grand Rapids, Mich., have helped form a new organization whose focus will be to translate and promote books, articles and other materials written by Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper.
Kuyper (1837-1920) was an influential figure in the history of the Netherlands and modern Protestant thought. He founded a political party and a university, and served as the prime minister of the Netherlands from 1901-1905.
In his writing, Kuyper worked to develop a Reformed theology for the general public, arguing that God’s creation is good and emphasizing Christian involvement and service in all fields of human activity.
Called the Abraham Kuyper Translation Society, the new organization includes scholars from across North America and abroad. Also deeply involved in formation of the society is the Acton Institute, a Christian research, educational and outreach organization in Grand Rapids.
Several of the scholars recently met at Calvin Theological Seminary to discuss and form the society. The society is in the process of identifying other scholars who have an interest in Kuyper.
“The society promises to be a major influence on English-language Kuyper scholarship as well as having a huge impact on the next generation of Christian leaders who desire to engage culture,” says Melvin Flikkema, provost of Kuyper College, which has agreed to administer the work of the society.
“Many decisions will have to be made over the years dealing with selections to be made, whether translations should cover the complete text or be in paraphrase form, or whether only certain sections or chapters should be included.”
To help launch the new society, the Christian’s Library Press will release copies of its new book, Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art, a freshly-translated, newly-produced, collection of newspaper pieces written by Kuyper. The book launch is set for 10 a.m. on Dec. 10 at Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS).
The book launch will feature a talk by Vincent E. Bacote, a professor theology at Wheaton College and the author of the introduction to Wisdom and Wonder.
The event at CTS will also feature a Q&A panel discussion with Bacote, Nelson Kloosterman (the volume’s translator), and Mike Wittmer of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.
The publication of Wisdom & Wonder represents the first published English-language selection from a broader project, led by the Acton Institute and Kuyper College in collaboration with other institutions, to publish a complete translation of Abraham Kuyper's three-volume work on common grace, totaling over 1,700 pages.
Volume one of Common Grace is scheduled to appear in fall 2012, says an Acton Institute press release.
Meanwhile, an annotated bibliography of Abraham Kuyper has recently become available through translation and editing spearheaded by Princeton Theological Seminary.
In addition, several new books on Kuyper are or will soon be available. These include Calvin College historian Jim Bratt’s biography of Kuyper and Fuller Theological Seminary President Richard Mouw’s book on Kuyper’s main ideas.