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Abraham Kuyper

1837-1920. Dutch Calvinist theologian and political leader, a major figure in recent Dutch history. Born in Maassluis, his father a minister in the Reformed Church, Kuyper was brought up in a perhaps naïve version of orthodoxy. As a student at Leyden, he rebelled against it and turned to the prevalent “modern” theology. A brilliant student, he went on in theology, studying under the “modernist” Scholten and others. This proved not to satisfy him emotionally. As a young preacher at Beesd, he was attracted by the deep-seated Calvinistic pietism of the villagers; this along with other influences led him to embrace orthodox Calvinism. At thirty a rising preacher, he moved to Utrecht, and soon to Amsterdam. Attracted by the “anti-revolutionary” political views of the Calvinist theorist Groen Van Prinsterer, whom he finally met in 1869, Kuyper's thoughts turned to politics. The aging Groen's protégé, as an “Anti-Revolutionary Party” made its first appearance, he ran for parliament.