Original Research

H.G. Stoker (1999–1993) as Christelike filosoof: ’n Historiese legende en ikoon, of nog steeds ’n kontemporêre mentor?

Barend J. van der Walt
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 47, No 1 | a86 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v47i1.86 | © 2013 Barend J. van der Walt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 July 2012 | Published: 19 March 2013

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Barend J. van der Walt, School for Philosophy, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

’n Tradisie, wat ’n filosofiese tradisie insluit, kan alleen lewend bly as die verhaal daarvan aan die jonger geslag oorvertel word. Daarom bied hierdie inleidende en oorsigtelike artikel aan die leser iets oor die unieke filosofie van die Suid-Afrikaanse denker, Henk Stoker. Ter inleiding behandel dit die moontlike redes waarom sy denke in Suid-Afrika en elders vandag relatief onbekend is en minder invloedryk was in vergelyking met dié van die twee ander vaders van ’n reformatoriese filosofie, naamlik Dirk H.Th. Vollenhoven en veral Herman Dooyeweerd. Daarna word aandag geskenk aan die Suid-Afrikaanse milieu waarbinne sy filosofie gebore is. Die moontlike interne en eksterne teologiese en filosofiese invloede van veral Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) en Max Scheler (1874–1928) word behandel. Vervolgens word op enkele van Stoker se oorspronklikste bydraes tot die Christelik-filosofiese tradisie gewys. ’n Vlugtige blik word op die wedersydse kritiek tussen Stoker, Dooyeweerd en sekere leerlinge van Dooyeweerd gewerp. Ten slotte kan daar, in die lig van hierdie onderlinge verskille, sekere wanopvattings reggestel word, byvoorbeeld dat ’n Reformatoriese filosofie ’n statiese en geslote sisteem is.

H.G. Stoker (1899–1993) as Christian philosopher: historical legend and icon, or still a contemporary mentor? Tradition which includes a philosophical tradition, can only been kept alive when its story is told to younger generations. This is the motivation behind this introductory overview of the unique philosophy of the South African philosopher, Henk Stoker. In comparison with the two other founders of a reformational philosophy, Dirk H.Th. Vollenhoven (1892–1978) and especially Herman Dooyeweerd (1994–1977), Stoker’s ideas are in South Africa, as well as abroad, less well-known among reformed people. The introductory part of this article, therefore, investigates the possible reasons for the relatively small impact of his thinking. The next section requires attention for the South African context in which his Christian philosophy was born. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the possible internal and external theological and philosophical influences of especially Herman Bavinck
(1865–1921) and Max Scheler (1874–1928) on the emergence of Stoker’s philosophy of the idea of creation. A few of Stoker’s original contributions to a Christian philosophy are then highlighted. Next the debate between Stoker and Dooyeweerd and some of Dooyeweerd’s followers is reviewed. Finally, in the light of these differences between two of the fathers of the triumvirate already at the origin of a Reformational philosophy, the misconception that this kind of philosophy is a static and closed system, should be corrected.

Keywords

Dooyeweerd, H. (1894-1977); Philosophy of the creation idea; Reformational Philosophy; Stoker, H.G. (1899-1903); Vollenhoven, D.H.Th. (1892-1978)

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