Reformational Philosophy



Following the advice of the jury, the board of the Foundation for Christian Philosophy has decided to award the Herman Dooyeweerd Prize 2022 to Prof. dr. Gerrit Glas for his book Person-Centered Care in Psychiatry. Self-Relational, Contextual and Normative Perspectives (Routledge 2019). Gerrit Glas is psychiatrist, philosopher and holder of the Dooyeweerd-chair at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

The price was awarded during the Christian Philosophy Conference on 25 June 2022. Prof. Dr. Renée van Riessen delivered a laudatio on behalf of the jury. The text of her speech can be found below.

The Herman Dooyeweerd Prize was established by the board of the foundation on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Herman Dooyeweerd’s birthday (October 7, 1894). The price consists of a silver medal with inscription and a certificate.

The Board thanks the jury, consisting of Tricia Van Dyk, Jan Hoogland, Robert Joustra, and Renée van Riessen, for their work in assessing the nominated works.


Laudatio on the occasion of awarding the Herman Dooyeweerd Prize 2022


The Dooyeweerd Prize is an award for work in the field of philosophy that promotes the development of and reflection on the ‘Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea’. This prize is awarded by the Board of the Foundation for Christian Philosophy. In selecting the winning work, the Board is assisted by a jury. This time the jury consisted of Tricia Van Dyk (Lithuania), Jan Hoogland (Netherlands) and Robert Joustra (Canada), and I had the honour of chairing this committee.


The prize is awarded every five years. This is the sixth time that a work has been awarded. The first winner was Tapio Pulimatka (Finland); he received the prize in 1994. In 2000, Kor Bril and Piet Boonstra (Netherlands) followed, then John Kok (United States, 2005), Danie Strauss (South Africa, 2011) and Jonathan Chaplin (United Kingdom, 2016).

This list of prize-winners indicates the international character of the community of those engaged in the further development of Reformational Philosophy. Moreover, there is great diversity. Previous winners have written about a wide range of subjects: Dooyeweerd’s ethics or political philosophy, philosophy as a comprehensive discipline, or the systematic aspects of Vollenhoven’s thinking. The Herman Dooyeweerd Prize thus also shows how the practice of Christian philosophy in the line of Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven has been developing over the years, in a way that the founders probably never foresaw.


Thirteen publications were submitted in response to the Board’s call to nominate works for the Dooyeweerd Prize. These works varied in character and form, including collections of articles, monographs, dissertations, and journal articles. We saw works that explored in depth a single aspect of Dooyeweerd’s systematic philosophy as well as analyses of a current problem from the perspective of Reformational Philosophy.

It was not easy to make a choice, not least because of the excellent quality of many of the nominated works. There is no shortlist for the Dooyeweerd Prize, at least not an official and published one. However, the jury deems it appropriate to mention in this laudatio a number of works that would certainly have been included in such a list. There are five titles in total:

  • Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation, the 2016 collection of essays by Lambert Zuidervaart (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
  • Homo Respondens, the collection of essays by Henk Geertsema published in 2021 by Paideia Press
  • Foundations and Practice of Research. Adventures with Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy by Andrew Basden (Routledge 2021)
  • Naar behoren by Bart Cusveller; a study of philosophical ethics in the neo-Calvinist tradition (Buijten en Schipperheijn 2021).

One book has not yet been mentioned, and that is the publication which the jury has awarded for the Herman Dooyeweerd Prize 2022:

  • Person-Centered Care in Psychiatry. Self-Relational, Contextual and Normative Perspectives by Gerrit Glas (Routledge 2019).

A few words now about the award-winning text. Person-Centered Care in Psychiatry is a surprisingly layered book. It begins with the practice of psychotherapeutic care and the questions that arise from it. But along the way, philosophical themes come up, such as the nature and meaning of personhood and the question of the intrinsic normativity of the practice of care. What does this mean for the person who provides care and the person who receives it? Both perspectives, being a person and the question of intrinsic normativity, are carefully analysed in this book, and it is striking that Dooyeweerd’s philosophy and the Normative Practice Approach derived from it play an illuminating and ultimately decisive role in these analyses. In addition, the book sheds new light on the current significance of Dooyeweerd’s vision of the central place of the heart in human life.


The philosophical analyses in Person-Centered Care in Psychiatry are innovative and original. They show how Reformational Philosophy can be of significance in considering problems in the contemporary practice of mental health care. At the same time, the ideas of Reformational Philosophy are made accessible to a new audience in a very lucid way.

Finally, Person-Centered Care in Psychiatry is an encouraging book. Glas is open about the major problems facing mental healthcare today, but he does not leave his readers without hope. This perspective of hope is also inspired by the principles of Reformational Philosophy and the religious inspiration that resonates therein.


Because of the above-mentioned qualities: innovative application of Reformational Philosophy, the topicality of its application and the perspective of hope it conveys, the jury is of the opinion that Person-Centered Care in Psychiatry should be awarded the Herman Dooyeweerd Prize 2022.


This laudatio was delivered by prof. dr. Renée van Riessen – on behalf of the jury of the Herman Dooyeweerd Prize 2022 – during the Christian Philosophy Conference of 25 June 2022 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands.

After the international Reformational Philosophy Conference 2021, several new initiatives arose. More information about those activities can be found on this page.

Every five years, the Foundation for Christian Philosophy organizes a competition for the Herman Dooyeweerd Prize. The prize is an award for work in the field of systematic philosophy or the history of philosophy that most furthers the cause of Reformational philosophy (the philosophy of the cosmonomic idea). The prize was established by the board of the foundation on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Herman Dooyeweerd’s birthday (October 7, 1894).


The prize was previously awarded to Tapio Puolimatka (Finland) in 1994, to Kor Bril and Piet Boonstra (the Netherlands) in 2000, to John Kok (United States) in 2005, to Danie Strauss (Republic of South Africa) in 2011, and to Jonathan Chaplin (United Kingdom) in 2016.


The board hopes to award the prize again in 2022. A jury of four members will look at all eligible works published between 2017 and 2021 that are submitted to the secretary of the board before 1 January 2022. On 1 May 2022, the jury will advise the board on whether any of the submitted publications—and if so, which one—should be awarded the prize. The prize consists of a medal and a certificate. If the prize is awarded, this will take place at an appropriate occasion in the months after the board’s decision.


We warmly invite you to submit titles of published works that you believe to be eligible for the Herman Dooyeweerd Prize. Suggestions can be sent to the board’s secretary at before 1 January 2022.

In Memoriam: John Kok (1949-2020)

On the 5th of July 2020, John Kok passed away at the age of 71. He worked the largest part of his career at Dordt University in Sioux Center (Iowa, USA) as teacher of philosophy and also as Dean at various levels.

John Kok was actively involved in reformational philosophy, and represented the Association for Reformational Philosophy in the United States. In 1971, he came to The Netherlands to study philosophy at the Free University Amsterdam, where he obtained a PhD in 1992. During his time in Amsterdam, John Kok worked together with Hendrik van Riessen and Jacob Klapwijk.

John Kok was also active for the Vollenhoven Foundation, as member of the board. He did a lot of research to the early work of this founding father of reformational philosophy, and also translated parts of Vollenhoven’s work to English.

Click here to read a more extensive in memoriam on the website of the Institute for Christian Studies in Canada.


In Memoriam: Elaine Botha (1938-2020)

On the 8th of July 2020, Elaine Botha passed away. She was also internationally very active for reformational philosophy. She studied philosophy at the Free University Amsterdam, advised by Hendrik van Riessen and André Troost. Between 1995 and 2004, she was respectively vice-president and director of the Dooyeweerd Centre at Redeemer University in Canada. She also taught philosophy at different universities.

Later in life, Elaine Botha married the Dutch economist Bob Goudzwaard, with whom she lived in South-Africa.

Click here to read a more extensive in memoriam on the website of the Institute for Christian Studies in Canada.


A Portuguese translation of the book Philosophy of Technology, written by Maarten Verkerk, Jan Hoogland, Jan van der Stoep and Marc de Vries, has just appeared. For more information and to order the book, please visit