Original Research

Reason’s dead end in David Faure: why the Cape’s earliest liberal minister embraced spiritualism

B. A. Zuiddam
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 43, No 2 | a224 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v43i2.224 | © 2009 B. A. Zuiddam | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 July 2009 | Published: 26 July 2009

About the author(s)

B. A. Zuiddam, School for Biblical Studies & Ancient Languages, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

Full Text:

PDF (110KB)


This article deals with nineteenth-century liberal thought in the Cape Colony. It argues that both orthodox rationalism and liberal reason failed to provide the liberal minister the Rev. D. Faure with a satisfactory source and standard for theological thinking. As a basis for this conclusion serves the correspon- dence between Faure, the first liberal minister who was born in the Cape, and the Rev. Peter Huet. The latter initially was an evangelical preacher and poet. Towards the end of their re- spective ministries, however, both Faure and Huet evidence high hopes regarding communications with the spirits of deceased. This article concludes that although Faure tried his best to base his theological thinking on human reason only, he arrived at a dead end and revelation was desperately needed. His theological framework collapsing, Faure looked to spi- ritualism for answers. The collapse of his theological thinking reflects unpromisingly on the present New Reformation (Nuwe Hervorming) movement in South Africa.


Faure DP; Huet P; Liberalism South Africa; Modern Theology; Spiritualism


Total abstract views: 3213
Total article views: 2758

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.