Original Research - Special Collection: Impact of Reformed Theology

Die impak van die gereformeerde teologie op die moderne staatkundige denke in Suid-Afrika

Jacobus M. Vorster
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 54, No 2 | a2539 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v54i2.2539 | © 2020 Jacobus M. Vorster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 September 2019 | Published: 17 March 2020

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Jacobus M. Vorster, The Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

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The impact of the Calvinist Reformed theology on the constitutional reflection in South Africa is overshadowed by the perception that Calvinist social ethics, as argued and practised in the colonial era in South Africa, was responsible for apartheid and must therefore be perceived as immoral and unacceptable. This research focuses once again on the political philosophy that resulted from the social-ethical reasoning of Calvin and his followers such as Althusius, Voetius, Groen van Prinsterer, Kuyper and other reformed political philosophers in the 20th century. The investigation attempts to indicate how these exponents founded and defended republicanism and fundamental human rights. The traditional idea of the Calvinist Reformation such as the political covenant, sovereignty in own sphere in bodies of authority, religious freedom and the justice of the kingdom of God, developed in the 20th century in the ethos of human rights which became apparent in the South African constitutional democracy. This constitutionalism, and not apartheid, is the real legacy of Calvinism. This pattern of reasoning should be seen as the real tradition of the Calvinist Reformation, and social ethics of this tradition should be refined and developed in order to promote constitutionalism for the benefit of emerging democracies.


Impak; Gereformeerde teologie; Politieke verbond; Menseregte, Grondwetlike bedeling; Konstitusionalisme


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