The Reformational Movement
Cast of Characters
Latest posting: March 28, 2006.
Click here to go to the contents page for the history of the reformational movement.
NOTE: This page provides information on the characters who appear in various roles in the drama on which this series comments. There is a separate web page with information on
institutions and organizations mentioned here.
As you study this web page, a question may occur to you: Why are some people listed in this cast of characters, and not others? For example, why is person so-and-so not listed here? Isn't he (or she) part of the story? The answer is that it has to do mainly with who gets mentioned in the series as posted to date. Perhaps so-and-so will pop up in a later essay and then make his appearance in the cast of characters. Another factor is whether I have been able to gather the kind of information on person so-and-so that I am looking for. Some of the people listed have cooperated by sending me the information I need, and some others whom I would like to list have not. Of course much of the information is derived from books, periodicals and internet sources.
In trying to respect the boundary between what can be made public and what ought to remain private, I have decided to include (if I have it) where the individual taught, what his doctoral dissertation (DD) dealt with, the supervisor (SP) thereof, where he took his graduate training (GT), and whether he is a student of (SO) any of the leading figures dealt with in this survey of the reformational movement. When I identify one of these characters as having been a student of so-and-so, I mean it in the literal sense: he took formal instruction under him (whether he fully agreed and considers himself as so-and-so's student in the strong sense of the term is another question). It is also helpful to know whether he is related as a family member to others in the case of characters. I include no information on friendships; they do not have as much of a factual character, and there are sometimes estrangements. I have resisted the urge to add bibliographical information: some reformational books already include copious bibliographies.
Please forgive my use of the past tense throughout. In writing, for example, that John Bolt taught systematic theology at Calvin Seminary, I am speaking the truth, but I do not mean to deny that he continues to do so. The point is rather that I do not promise to keep track of when someone identified on this web page retires or stops teaching altogether, even on a part-time basis. Bear in mind that some information inevitably becomes outdated. Finally, please note that the kind of information that is presented here is not easy to come by. Therefore the write-ups on various persons who appear in my narrative are being withheld for the present until I have a chance to do more checking. I will add to this web page from time to time. -Theodore Plantinga.
Taught philosophy and religious studies at Redeemer University College, and earlier taught biblical studies at the University of Cheltenham (England). An Anglican minister. SO Elaine Botha. GT Oxford University and Potchefstroom and Bristol University. DD on the book of Ecclesiastes.
Berkouwer, Gerrit Cornelis
(1903-96). Taught systematic theology at the Free University, where he succeeded Valentijn Hepp. SO Hepp. GT Free University. DD on faith and revelation in German theology. SP Hepp.
Taught systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. Has also taught at Redeemer University College and at Calvin College. A Christian Reformed minister. SO Runner and Henry Stob. GT Calvin Seminary, St. Michael's College of the University of Toronto. DD on Herman Bavinck. SP Herbert Richardson.
Botha, M. Elaine.
Taught philosophy at Redeemer University College, and at the ICS (adjunct), and earlier at Potchefstroom (the Christian university in South Africa) and at the Free University. At Redeemer she also served as academic vice president and as director of the Dooyeweerd Centre. GT Potchefstroom and the Free University. Doctoral degree in cultural studies (with C.N. Venter as SP) and another in philosophy (DD on the philosophy of the social sciences, with Hendrik Van Riessen and Andree Troost as SP).
Carvill, Robert Lee
(1943-74). Worked in communications and publishing for ICS and the broader reformational movement in Toronto. Editor of Vanguard magazine and also associated with Wedge Publishing Foundation. SO Hendrik Hart. GT Northwestern University and ICS. His field of academic specialization was English literature.
Taught apologetics and philosophy of religion at Calvin Seminary, and earlier taught philosophy at Calvin College. A Christian Reformed minister. Brother of Justin Cooper of Redeemer. SO Runner, Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Henry Stob. GT Calvin Seminary and University of Toronto. DD on Ludwig Binswanger. SP Charles Hanly and Henry Pietersma.
Served as president of Redeemer University College, and also taught political science while serving as academic dean. Brother of John Cooper of Calvin Seminary. Brother-in-law of Jacob Ellens. SO Calvin Seerveld, C.T. McIntire, Pete Steen, Maarten Vrieze, Rockne McCarthy, and Bernard Zylstra. GT ICS and University of Toronto. DD on international relations. SP Robert Mathews.
Dam, Roelf Jan
(1896-1945). Rector of the Reformed gymnasium (academic high school) in Kampen. Also taught in the seminary there. A supporter of Schilder. During the occupation he was involved in the resistance. Just before the end of the war he was shot.
De Bolster, Henry.
Served as president of Redeemer University College. A Christian Reformed minister who served various churches in Canada. SO Herman Hoeksema, Runner, Henry Stob. GT Knox College (University of Toronto), Protestant Reformed Seminary (Grand Rapids), Calvin Seminary. Honorary doctorate from McMaster University Divinity School.
De Graaf, Simon Gerrit
(1889-1955). A minister in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, assocated especially with the emphasis on a redemptive-historical understanding of the Bible. Runner translated his magnum opus under the English title Promise and Deliverance (published by Paideia Press).
De Graaff, Arnold.
Taught psychology and education at ICS, and earlier taught psychology at Trinity Christian College.
GT Free University. DD on the church's educational task.
(1894-1977). Brother-in-law of Vollenhoven. Taught law at the Free University. GT Free University. DD on the cabinet in Dutch constitutional law. SP D.P.D. Fabius.
Served as academic vice-president of Redeemer University College and also taught history there. Earlier taught at Northwestern College in Iowa. Brother-in-law of Justin Cooper. SO Calvin Seerveld, C.T. McIntire and Bernard Zylstra. GT ICS and University of Toronto. DD on nineteenth-century British history. SP Richard J. Helmstadter.
(1924-2004). Taught systematic theology at the seminary of the Canadian Reformed denomination in Hamilton, Ontario. Was a minister in that denomination and earlier in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands ("liberated"). GT Kampen. SO Schilder. DD on the doctrine of the church.
Taught philosophy of education at ICS and served as its president for fifteen years. Then became president of the King's University College in Edmonton. GT ICS and University of Toronto. DD on the religious foundations of moral education. SP Dwight Boyd.
Friesen, J. Glenn.
A lawyer and religious studies scholar in Calgary with an interest in Dooyeweerd and mysticism. SO Hart, James Olthuis and Van Riessen. GT ICS, Free University, University of Western Ontario, McGill University, University of South Africa. DD on Christian mysticism. SP J.S. Krüger.
Taught worldview studies at Trinity Western University (Langley, B.C.) and earlier taught at Redeemer and Dordt. A Christian Reformed minister. SO Albert Wolters. GT Westminster Seminary (Philadelphia), ICS and University of Utrecht. DD on Lesslie Newbigin's approach to missions and ecclesiology. SP J.A.B. Jongeneel and George Vander Velde.
Haan, Bernard John
(1917-94). The first president of Dordt College. A Christian Reformed minister.
Taught philosophy at ICS. SO Runner, Tunis Prins, William Harry Jellema, M.C. Smit, J.P.A. Mekkes, Vollenhoven, S.U. Zuidema. GT Free University. DD on John Dewey's theory of verification. SP S.U. Zuidema.
(1882-1950). Taught philosophy at the Universities of Göttingen, Marburg, Berlin, Cologne, and Marburg. Some scholars maintain that Dooyeweerd drew on his ideas.
(1879-1950). Taught systematic theology at the Free University, where he succeeded Herman Bavinck and was succeeded by G.C. Berkouwer. Also served as editor of De Reformatie, which later became the mouthpiece of Schilder, whom Hepp opposed. SO Bavinck. GT Free University. DD on the general testimony of the Holy Spirit. SP Bavinck..
(1909-52). Taught Old Testament studies at the "liberated" seminary in Kampen. Served as a minister in the Reformed Churches. SO Schilder. A leader in the movement that promoted the redemptive-historical understanding of the Bible.
A publisher. Founder of Paideia Press (St. Catharines, Ontario). Worked for ICS in promotion and development. SO Evan Runner.
(1890-1960). Principal of the Christian school in Biggekerke and an amateur philosopher. One of the founders of the Association for Calvinistic Philosophy, and also one of Hepp's targets (along with Dooyeweerd, Vollenhoven and Schilder). Author of controversial writings about body and soul.
Jellema, William Harry.
(1893-1982). Taught philosophy at Calvin College, and also for some years at Indiana University and Grand Valley State University (near Grand Rapids). Father of Dirk Jellema (1924-82). GT University of Michigan. DD on Josiah Royce.
(1903-95). A schoolteacher and principal in Katwijk aan Zee. An amateur philosopher. Wrote an introduction to Dooyeweerd's philsoophy.
Taught philosophy at the Free University of Amsterdam. DD on historicism.
Kok, John H.
Taught philosophy at Dordt College and also served as Dean of Humanities. SO Seerveld, Maarten Vrieze, Hendrik Van Riessen, and Johan van der Hoeven. GT Free University. DD on Vollenhoven. SP Abraham Bos and Hendrik Hart.
Kuyper, Herman Huber
(1864-1945). A son of Abraham Kuyper. Taught church history and church law at the Free University. Served as editor of De Heraut (The Herald), where he succeeded his father. An opponent of Schilder.
(1897-1973). Taught theology at Reformed Bible College (Grand Rapids). A Christian Reformed minister. GT Princeton Seminary and the Free University. DD on J. Gresham Machen. SP Valentijn Hepp.
Taught history and the foundations thereof at ICS, and earlier taught history at Trinity Christian College. Left ICS for the University of Toronto.
Served as president of Fuller Seminary and taught ethics and philosophy there. Earlier taught philosophy at Calvin College and at the Free University as a visiting professor. SO Ronald Nash. GT Western Theological Seminary (Holland, Michigan), University of Alberta and University of Chicago. DD on behaviorism and other minds. SP Alan Donagan.
Taught ethics, theology and philosophy at ICS. Brother of John Olthuis. SO Runner, Henry Stob, Bastian Van Elderen, Johan van der Hoeven. GT Calvin Seminary and the Free University. DD on G.E. Moore's ethics. SP Hendrik Van Riessen.
Served as executive director of the AACS/ICS. A lawyer specializing in aboriginal law. Later worked for Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ). Brother of James Olthuis.
Taught philosophy at Notre Dame, and earlier at Calvin College (where he succeeded William Harry Jellema) and Wayne State University. Brother of Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. (president of Calvin Seminary). SO William Harry Jellema, Henry Stob, William P. Alston, and William Frankena. GT University of Michigan and Yale University. DD on the metaphysical foundations of ethics. SP Paul Weiss.
Distantly related to Alvin Plantinga (third cousin). Taught philosophy at Redeemer University College, and earlier at Calvin College and Bishop's University. SO Alvin Plantinga, Runner, Gordon Spykman, Lewis Smedes, Henry Stob, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Bernard Zylstra. GT Johns Hopkins (Baltimore), the University of Freiburg (Germany), ICS, and the University of Toronto. DD on Dilthey's philosophy of history. SP Thomas Langan and Emil Fackenheim.
(1897-1993). A minister and theologian in the Reformed Churches. Not related to Berk Polman. An opponent of Schilder, he helped to persuade the synod of 1936 to undertake action on the "doctrinal differences," thereby preparing the way for the schism of 1944. He wound up occupying the chair in theology at Kampen from which Schilder was expelled.
Taught music at Calvin College, and earlier at Redeemer and at Ontario Bible College (which is now Tyndale University College). Not related to A.D.R. Polman. SO Calvin Seerveld and Nicholas Wolterstorff. GT ICS and University of Minnesota. DD on Christian Reformed hymnology. SP Johannes Riedel.
Popma, Klaas Jan
(1903-86). A classicist who taught philosophy at the Universities of Utrecht nd Groningen. SO A.J. De Sopper. GT University of Leiden. DD in classics. SP B.A. van Groningen.
Runner, H. Evan
(1916-2002). Taught philosophy at Calvin College. SO Cornelius Van Til, Schilder, Vollenhoven. GT Westminster Seminary (Philadelphia), Theological School in Kampen, Harvard University, Free University of Amsterdam. DD on Aristotle. SP Vollenhoven.
(1890-1952). Taught systematic theology at Kampen. GT Kampen and the University of Erlangen (Germany). DD on the concept of paradox. SP Eugen Herrigel.
Taught philosophical aesthetics at ICS, and earlier taught philosophy and German at Trinity Christian College, and philosophy and English literature at Belhaven College (Mississippi). SO Runner, William Harry Jellema, Henry Stob, Henry Zylstra, S.U. Zuidema, Vollenhoven, and Carlo Antoni. GT University of Michigan, University of Basel, University of Rome, and Free University. DD on Croce's aesthetics. SP Vollenhoven and Carlo Antoni.
Served as President (and originally as Executive Director) of the Center for Public Justice in Washington. Earlier taught political theory at Dordt College. GT Westminster Seminary, Free University, Duke University. DD on Dooyeweerd's political thought. SP John Hallowell.
(1911-81). Taught philosophy of history at the Free University. SO Vollenhoven and Dooyeweerd. GT Free University. DD on the contemporary Roman Catholic understanding of history. SP Hendrik Smitskamp.
(1926-93). Taught theology at Calvin College. A Christian Reformed minister. GT Calvin Seminary and the Free University. DD on the Council of Trent. SP G.C. Berkouwer.
(1935-84). Taught philosophy at Trinity Christian College in the days of Seerveld and worked for the Coalition for Christian Outreach in his later years. Distantly related to John and Justin Cooper. GT Westminster Seminary. DD on Dooyeweerd.
(1908-96). Taught ethics and apologetics at Calvin Seminary, and earlier taught philosophy at Calvin College. A Christian Reformed minister. SO William Harry Jellema, Ralph Stob, Louis Berkhof, Clarence Bouma, Dietrich Kromminga, Otto Weber. GT Calvin Seminary, Hartford Theological Seminary and the University of Göttingen (Germany). DD on Max Weber's sociology of religion. SP Eduard Baumgarten.
Stoker, Hendrik G.
(1899-1993). Taught philosophy at Potchesfstroom. GT Potchefstroom and University of Cologne. DD on conscience. SP Max Scheler.
(called Danie). Not related to Gideon Strauss. Taught philosophy at Redeemer University College where he also served as director of the Dooyeweerd Centre. General editor of the Collected Works of Dooyeweerd. Both before and after his Redeemer period he taught philosophy at University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa). SO Van Riessen. GT University of the Orange Free State (South Africa) and the Free University. DD on Dooyeweerdian philosophy. SP Van Riessen.
Vander Stelt, John.
Taught philosophy and theology at Dordt College. Earlier in his career he worked for the AACS as Director of Development and Student Affairs and also served briefly as a Christian Reformed minister. SO Runner, William Harry Jellema, Clifton Orlebeke, Henry Stob, Fred Klooster, S.U. Zuidema, Vollenhoven, G.C. Berkouwer, G.E. Meuleman. GT Calvin Seminary and the Free University. DD on old Princeton theology. SP Berkouwer and Jan Veenhof.
Vander Velde, George.
Taught theology at ICS. A Christian Reformed minister. GT Calvin Seminary and the Free University. DD on original sin in Roman Catholic theology.
Van Dyk, John.
Taught education, philosophy and history at Dordt College. Not to be confused with the John Van Dyk who serves as editor of Christian Renewal (no relation). SO Runner. GT Cornell University.
Van Dyke, Harry
(signs his Dutch publications as Arie or A.J. van Dijk). Brother-in-law of Al Wolters. Taught history at Redeemer University College, and earlier at the Free University. GT Free University. SO Runner, M.C. Smit. DD on Groen van Prinsterer. SP M.C. Smit.
Van Til, Cornelius
(1895-1987). Taught apologetics at Westminster Seminary (Philadelphia). An Orthodox Presbyterian minister. Uncle of Henry Van Til (Calvin College) and Nick Van Til (Dordt College). SO William Harry Jellema. GT Princeton University and Seminary.
(also called Kees, 1902-83). Father of Jan Veenhof. Served as a minister in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands ("liberated" after the 1944 split). Became part of the Nederlands Gereformeerd ("buiten-verbanders") denomination after 1970. Served as a professor of practical theology at the "liberated" seminary in Kampen.
Vollenhoven, Dirk Hendrik Theodoor
(1892-1978). Brother-in-law of Dooyeweerd (married to his sister). Taught philosophy at the Free University and served as a minister in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands before becoming a professor. SO F.J.J. Buytendijk, G.H.J.W.J. Geesink and Jan Woltjer. GT Free University. DD on philosophy of mathematics. SP Woltjer and Geesink.
Wolters, Albert M.
Taught religion at Redeemer University College, along with classical languages. Earlier in his career he taught philosophy at the ICS. Brother-in-law of Harry Van Dyke. SO Runner, Gordon Spykman, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Vollenhoven. GT Free University (philosophy) and McMaster University (religious studies). DD on Plotinus. SP G.J. de Vries.
Taught philosophy at Yale, and earlier at Calvin College. SO William Harry Jellema and Henry Stob. GT Harvard University.
Zuidema, Sytse Ulbe
(1906-75). Taught philosophy at the Free University, and earlier held a chair of Calvinistic philosophy at the University of Utrecht. Still earlier he was a minister in the Reformed Churches and then served as a missionary in Indonesia. DD on William of Occam.
Taught philosophy at ICS and at the University of Toronto. Earlier taught at Calvin College and the King's University College (Edmonton, Canada). SO John Vander Stelt, John Van Dyk, Calvin Seerveld, Hendrik Hart, and Johan van der Hoeven. GT ICS, Free University of Berlin and Free University of Amsterdam. DD on Adorno's aesthetics. SP Calvin Seerveld and Johan van der Hoeven.
(1934-86). Served as Principal of ICS and taught political theory there. Brother of Uko Zylstra ofCalvin College. SO Runner, Henry Stob, Dooyeweerd. GT Calvin Seminary, University of Michigan, Free University. DD on Harold Laski. SP Dooyeweerd.
Go to the
contents page for the history of the reformational movement.