The Christian Philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd

Pierre Marcel

edited and translated by Colin Wright

Volume I: The Transcendental Critique of Theoretical Thought

Volume II: The General Theory of the Law-Spheres


Until now available only in typewritten manuscript, Pierre Marcel’s two-volume analysis of the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd has now been made available to the reading public in a magnificent English translation by Colin Wright.

The first volume provides a detailed analysis of Dooyeweerd’s critique of theoretical thought. Dooyeweerd analyzed the very basis of thought itself, its presuppositions; and then also the consequences of those presuppositions. The entire range of historical philosophy is taken into account, as are all the schools that manifested themselves up until the time of his writing.

The second volume provides an analysis of Dooyeweerd’s positive philosophy based on explicit presuppositions, those of Christianity. Dooyeweerd analyzes reality in the light of the framework of laws of thought embedded in the mind and in extant reality. The result is an audacious synthesis that provides a foundation for justified reason.

Marcel constructively criticizes both these areas of Dooyeweerd’s achievement in the two volumes now presented. They will occupy the top shelf of the works dedicated to the analysis and continuation of the great Dutchman’s philosophical magnum opus.


An edition of the French-language original, likewise edited by Colin Wright, will be published by Editions Kerygma, Aix-en-Provence, France

Pierre Marcel

As a young man in 1934 Pierre Marcel (1910-1992) set himself – under the inspirational leadership of his teacher Auguste Lecerf – to master the Christian philosophy of the Dutch professor of law from Amsterdam. His ultimate aim was to translate the Dutchman’s magnum opus – De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee – into French for the benefit of French-speaking Christians.

Other duties, and a world war, ultimately scuppered this plan and, when an American translation of the massive three volume work was eventually published in the 1950s, Marcel abandoned his initial plan.

During the fifties, however, he undertook a study of Dooyeweerd in two degree courses and produced what amounts to a brilliant summary in French of the Dutchman’s great work.

The first thesis (“The Transcendental Critique of Theoretical Thought: Prolegomena to Herman Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy of the Law-Idea”) was completed in 1956. For this he was awarded the Licencié en Théologie at the Faculté Libre de Theologie Protestante in Montpellier.

The second thesis (“General Theory of the Law Spheres: Introduction to the theory of the temporal structure of reality in Herman Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy of the Law-Idea”) was completed four years later and for which he was awarded the degree of Doctor en Theologie.

Book details:

Volume I:
ISBN/SKU: 9076660328
ISBN Complete: 978-90-76660-32-5
Book Type: B&W 6 x 9 in or 229 x 152 mm Perfect Bound on Creme w/Gloss Lam
Page Count: 342 bibliography, index, lists of terms
List price: $29.99,  £18.49
Download sample

Volume II:
ISBN/SKU: 9076660336
ISBN Complete: 978-90-76660-33-2
Book Type: B&W 6 x 9 in or 229 x 152 mm Perfect Bound on Creme w/Gloss Lam
Page Count: 480 bibliography, index, lists of terms
List price: $32.99, £21.49
Download sample

Publication date: October 25th, 2013


Volume I ebook available here
Volume II ebook available here


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