Theological Division


Historical Theology


John Bolt

Reader 1

John W. Cooper


Mariano Avila


Joan Beelan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


Psychology, Bavinck, Doctrine of faculties, Ninteenth century


Bavinck completed his first psychology book, Principles of Psychology (Beginselen der Psychologie, 1897) in the middle of his theological writings from his interaction with the nineteenth century psychologies. In 1920, Bavinck published another psychology book entitled Biblical and Religious Psychology (Bijbelsche en Religieuze Psychologie) on the basis of solid exegesis and biblical principles. In Principles of Psychology, Bavinck intended that his psychological principles would be as worthy as the empirical psychology of his day. Kuyper also stressed the doctrinal value of faculty psychology to Bavinck’s first psychology book in his review. Yet, these two psychology books were virtually neglected both in the field of psychology and in Reformed anthropology. What is more, scholars like Hepp and Jaarsma demonstrated that in his later years Bavinck rejected the scholastic faculty psychology defended in his first psychology book. It, however, is shown that Bavinck does not change his views on faculty psychology, but elaborates on the doctrine of faculties for a more integrated view of the soul, even while interacting with the modern psychology of his day. Throughout his writings, Bavinck consistently advocates the unity of the soul in a more balanced way by presenting the supremacy of the heart, the central organ of all human faculties. Beyond scholastic psychology, Bavinck also properly embraces the new ideas of nineteenth century psychologies like the unconsciousness theory, the psychology of religion, and child psychology.



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