Few men in modern Dutch history have played such a significant role as Abraham Kuyper. A theologian of European renown, a church reformer whose activities lastingly changed the existing church order in his country, a statesman who during five decades of an active political career combined his religion with a unique theory of government, and last but not least, a journalist and outstanding man of letters, Kuyper, during the course of his long life, placed a stamp upon the civilization of the Netherlands which it never was to lose. The immense breadth of his intellect, sustained by a tremendous energy, allowed him to speak with authority on subjects ranging from Calvin's concept of grace, through Islamic architecture, to the future of colonial reform, and earned him the epithet of Abraham de Geweldige (Abraham the Magnificent). His greatest achievement, however, was the foundation of a system of religious dogma upon which he erected a political and social philosophy which in the Protestant Netherlands since 1850 was the only one of lasting influence.1
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