The article traces the articulation of the principle of distributed authority, or sphere sovereignty, and its background in politics and theology. It considers the two Dutch national leaders who used and developed it most as well as noting some of its earlier sources. An account is given of the way the principle of distributed authority arose and what it meant to the thinkers and leaders of the Anti-Revolutionary (movement and) Party in the Netherlands. The principle and its articulation is chronicled through the long struggle for the distribution of educational, ecclesiastical, and political authority (sovereignty) to those people active in various areas, each understood as sovereign spheres. The article shows the crucial role played by Kuyper in the step by step formulation of the principle, thereby laying to rest rival claims. Finally, the article suggests that the principle had great importance in Herman Dooyeweerd’s thought and in the development of his philosophy.
Philosophia Reformata – Brill
Published: Apr 20, 2017
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