spiritual

Linked Glossary of Terms
(references to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, unless indicated. See concordance for correlation with pages in the New Critique. The concordance is in pdf format.)

spirit [‘geest‘] I, 56
spiritual [‘geestelijk‘] I, 6

NC I, v (”spiritual’ aspects), 4 (so-called spiritual functions)

NC II, 585 (spiritual acts; full spiritual individuality)

Encyclopedia of Legal Sciences (1946), 9

De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer, in het licht eener Calvinistische kosmologie en kennistheorie (1931), 87) ( zoowel natuurlijke als geestelijke)

“spiritual” side I, vi.

The ‘spiritual’ meaning-sides of reality are distinguished from the ‘natural’ sides.

For example, in Encyclopedia of Legal Sciences (1946), he says,

For full temporal reality, which I experience in everyday life, is given to me as an inseparable coherence of all meaning-sides, both of the natural-sides (the mathematical, mechanical, biotic and psychical), as well as from the spiritual sides (the logical, historical, linguistic, social, economic, aesthetic, juridical, moral and faith sides). (p. 9)

Dooyeweerd does not use these terms very often, since usually they are placed in dualistic opposition to each other. Nevertheless, we do find instances where Dooyeweerd speaks of the normative aspects as being the ‘spiritual’ ones. When he does this, we must realize that the ‘spiritual’ is part of temporal reality. The spiritual should therefore not be confused with the religious, which is the supratemporal horizon of our experience. This religious horizon encompasses the temporal, and therefore is wider in scope than the spiritual.

Dooyeweerd’s distinction between ‘religious’ and ‘spiritual’ is therefore the reverse of common usage today, where ‘religious’ is identified with the institutional, and the spiritual is seen as more encompassing.

Like any other aspect of temporal reality, the spiritual can be absolutized. He refers to the modern hypostatization of spirit [‘geest’] in the present temporal logical and post-logical functions of consciousness (I, 55). Dooyeweerd is opposed to any spiritualization that would deny the importance of embodiment in the temporal.

The religious is the unity of both the spiritual and the natural. Dooyeweerd’s goal was to relate the whole temporal cosmos, in both its ‘natural’ and ‘spiritual aspects (I, vi; NC I, v). Baader had this same goal. Baader says that religion (the so-called ‘spiritual’ domain), and science (the ‘natural’ domain), have a common religious root. Baader wanted to overcome the opposition between religion and philosophy (Elementarbegriffe 534), and the opposition between religious faith and knowledge (Zeit 49).

Dooyeweerd sets out the idea of the heart as the supratemporal integral religious root of the whole of our temporal existence, including all of our temporal functions. The heart therefore unites both the “spiritual” and the “material” aspects of our temporal reality. Such an idea of the supratemporal heart is also found in Kuyper and Baader.

Revised May 1/06; Dec 24/16