Original Research - Special Collection: Synod of Dordrecht (1618-1619) - Important missiological perspectives

The Synod of Dordt (1618–1619) and a theology of religions

Jaco Beyers
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 53, No 3 | a2441 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v53i3.2441 | © 2019 Jaco Beyers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 January 2019 | Published: 27 May 2019

About the author(s)

Jaco Beyers, Department of Religion Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


The Synod of Dordt (1618–1619) addressed particular theological concerns raised in a particular context. The broader context of the Synod needs to be accounted for. During the 16th and 18th century, Roman Catholic and Protestant relations in Europe were strained. During the same period, Christianity and Islam were in conflict. Europe was engaging with foreign cultures and religions exposed through a process of geographical discoveries. Within this context the question arises as to how Christianity relates to non-Christian religions. The contribution by the theologian, Gijsbertius Voetius (1589–1676), in creating a theological position on non-Christian religions is paramount in discerning a theology of religions (theologia religionum). The Synod of Dordt and the contribution of Voetius in creating such a theology of religions will here be the focus of the research. Voetius suggests an openness towards non-Christian religions, as all humans are corrupt in nature and in need of redemption. God elects and saves humans from all humankind.


Dordt; Missional; Theology of religions; Voetius; Inter-religious relations


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