27-11-'08 | A. de Vos
‘Go forth and don’t forget’. Life and thoughts of Gerardus Horreüs de Haas (1879-1943)
Life and thoughts of the ‘Bolshie minister’ Gerardus Horreüs de Haas
Ton de Vos has written a PhD thesis on the life and thoughts of Gerardus Horreüs de Haas (1879-1943), a well-known figure in the circle of liberal church ministers who were actively involved in the Socialist movement in the early twentieth century. He called for a merger between Christianity and Socialism. He considered his social involvement, which was rooted in a strong philosophical and academically sound theology, to be an essential aspect of his work as a minister. His life and his thinking were inextricably linked, De Vos states.
De Haas was convinced that every human being has a calling for self-actualization and the task of building a structured society based on law and justice. This implies a struggle between the lower and higher aspects in every person and the question of whether they will be slaves to delusion and desire or learn to despise the selfish and sensual. De Haas’s life and philosophy reveal a religious idealism that regards the question about the future of humanity as more than a theoretical contemplation. It also harbours the question of whether people are willing to make an effort for good, which is only possible if we truly believe in it. De Haas was well aware of the sharp distinction between what is good and valuable and that which we experience in life every day. He felt a constant tension in this regard, says De Vos, which, however, he considered to be very useful and viable. It is precisely the distinction between good and evil, between holy and unholy, which lends religion its prophetic character. It was this ‘religious thought’ that inspired De Haas in many of his writings, although a ‘dark remainder – the evil and the unnamed suffering in humans and animals in this world’ was always present for him, to which he had no answer. The only thing that was crystal clear in his eyes was that people had to fight for good.
Ton de Vos (Leiderdorp, 1929) studied theology at Leiden University. He worked as a minister and a teacher and conducted his PhD research at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies. A commercial edition of the thesis will be published by Uitgeverij Waanders in Zwolle.
A. de Vos
Date and time
27 November 2008, 2.45 p.m.
Voorwaarts en niet vergeten. Leven en denken van Gerardus Horreüs de Haas (1879-1943) [Go forth and don’t forget. Life and thoughts of Gerardus Horreüs de Haas (1879-1943)]
Prof. E.H. Cossee
Prof. Th.M. van Leeuwen
Read the press release
|Last modified:||30 March 2017 2.57 p.m.|