Dooyeweerd – Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Romanticism reacted to the over-extension of humanism’s science ideal. Instead of defining individuals by the rationalism of the Renaissance, Romanticism defended the autonomous freedom of man in regard to his individual disposition. To prevent anarchy, individual communities were also ascribed dispositions that individuals were to honor as members. This resulted in the ideology of temporal community as the totality of all societal relationships. Furthermore, Romanticism honored historicism in place of science as the guiding force of life. History’s inertia was commonly referred to as “divine providence.” Like the science ideal, historicism both originated from the freedom motive of humanism, and overextended itself in a similar fashion. For only in a true culture of differentiation (involving the unity of creation, fall, and redemption in Christ) is there truly room for rights of individuals independent of community membership. Universalistic historicism has been mistakenly identified with Christianity and has hampered the scriptural motive.

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