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Van Der Kooi, Cornelis 1952–

Van Der Kooi, Cornelis 1952–


Born 1952.


Office—Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Godgeleerdheid, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands. E-mail—[email protected]


Free University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, professor of systematic theology; has served as a pastor in Leimuiden, Holland, Netherlands.


Anfängliche Theologie: der Denkweg des jungen Karl Barth (1909 bis 1927), C. Kaiser (Munich, Germany), 1987.

(With M.E. Brinkman) Het Calvinisme van Kuyper en Bavinck/Teksten bijeengezocht en ingeleid door, Meinema (Zoetermeer, Netherlands), 1997.

(Editor, with Jan de Bruijn) Kuyper Reconsidered: Aspects of His Life and Work, VU Uitgeverij (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1999.

Hinkelen binnen de lijnen: enkele krijtstrepen voor een christologie, Kok (Kampen, Netherlands), 1999.

Als in een spiegel: God kennen volgens Calvijn en Barth: een tweeluik, Kok (Kampen, Netherlands), 2002, published in English as As in a Mirror: John Calvin and Karl Barth on Knowing God: A Diptych, translated by Donald Mader, Brill (Boston, MA), 2005.


Writer and educator Cornelis van der Kooi was born in 1952. Over the course of his career, he has served on the faculty of the Free University of Amsterdam in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as a professor of systematic theology, and he has also served as a pastor in Leimuiden, Holland. His areas of research and academic interest include Christology, pneumatol- ogy, charismatic renewal, teachings related to John Calvin and Neo-Calvinism, as well as Karl Barth and Abraham Kuyper, dogmatic theology, the knowledge of God, and the overall history of theology. He is the author of a number of works, only some of which have been translated into English, including Kuyper Reconsidered: Aspects of His Life and Work, which he wrote with Jan de Bruijn, and As in a Mirror: John Calvin and Karl Barth on Knowing God: A Diptych.

In As in a Mirror, van der Kooi addresses the thought processes of two theologians well known for the complexity of and challenges inherent in their ideologies: Calvin and Barth. Van der Kooi's goal is to grasp the total knowledge that these two individuals held regarding God—an enormous task—and synthesize the material into a manageable volume for his readers. He approaches this project by associating the work of Calvin and Barth to the ideas of Immanuel Kant, using Kant as a counterpoint to illustrate the ways in which the Enlightenment was responsible for various alterations in traditional theology. Van der Kooi divides his book into two sections, one devoted to Calvin, the other devoted to Barth. He delves deeply into both scripture and literature to discuss the various issues of the period, touching on topics such as doctrine, the Lord's Supper, and disputes between various thinkers that paralleled Calvin's works. Critics of As in a Mirror had mixed feelings regarding the success of van der Kooi's work, pointing out inconsistencies between the sections on Calvin and Barth, as the structure of the arguments on Barth do not match the approach taken with Calvin. R. Ward Holder, however, in a review for Renaissance Quarterly, concluded that "the book is both an excellent challenge to historians of doctrine and theologians, and a fine example of closely argued consideration of doctrinal points. At times, van der Kooi's points may invite critique and engagement—but that is the cost of being audacious enough to write a book worth reading." Paul Helm, in a review for the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, declared that "this is not another run-of-the-mill ahistorical treatment of the two theologians, but one that is sensitive to the distinctive intellectual circumstances of each."



Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April 1, 2006, Paul Helm, review of As in a Mirror: John Calvin and Karl Barth on Knowing God: A Diptych, p. 376.

Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2005, review of As in a Mirror, p. 26.

Renaissance Quarterly, March 22, 2006, R. Ward Holder, review of As in a Mirror, p. 202.


Calvin Conference Program Web site, (June 29, 2008), author profile.

Free University of Amsterdam Web site, (June 29, 2008), faculty profile.

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