Biblical and Religious Psychology

Biblical and Religious Psychology

Reformed Free Publishing

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The great Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) was famous for his study of many disciplines, including psychology. The pinnacle of his studies in theological psychology is Biblical and Religious Psychology. The book is divided into two parts which work in harmony to cultivate a theological anthropology that attends to who man psychologically is, in relation to God, according to both special and general revelation. Both readers acquainted with Bavinck and new readers will be captivated by the author’s typically rich and erudite style. 

Biblical and Religious Psychology, translated by Herman Hanko and edited by Gregory Parker Jr, with revisions by Annemarieke Ryskamp, is an enlightening and stimulating work that will help all readers think more deeply about the relationship between theology and psychology and appreciate the theological complexities of being human.


HERMAN BAVINCK (1854-1921) was a Dutch Reformed theologian. He earned his doctorate from the University of Leiden in 1880. He taught at the Theological School in Kampen and Free University of Amsterdam. He is well regarded as the foremost theologian of neo-Calvinism.


In recent years there has been a renewal of interest in a “theological psychology.” While a rift may have existed in the recent past between theology and psychology, this has not always been the case. Herman Bavinck was one of many theologians who thought deeply about the connection between these two disciplines. He did this in a time when psychology was asserting itself as a science. For anyone interested in how one can put the words “biblical” and “psychology” together, this is an important work to consider. The readers will find themselves challenged and encouraged to take up the task of constructing a “theological psychology” anew. – Cameron Clausing, lecturer in applied theology and missional engagement at Christ College (Sydney, Australia)

This book showcases Bavinck’s attentiveness to the empirical granularity of biblical teaching on humanity. Further, the text represents Bavinckʼs mature writings on these topics, so readers who want a fuller picture of his reflections on the issue cannot neglect reading these texts. The editors and translators should be celebrated for bringing this accessible yet profound work to a wider audience, and the incisive introduction by John Bolt makes it all the more worthwhile. Take up and read! – N. Gray Sutanto, assistant professor of systematic theology of Reformed Theological Seminary (Washington D.C.), author of God and Knowledge: Herman Bavinck’s Theological Epistemology, cotranslator and coeditor of Herman Bavinck’s Christian Worldview

Bavinck spent his career as a theologian thinking about the human subject. Here you get his final thoughts on the psyche, consciousness, and particularly what the Bible teaches about human beings and how we respond to God’s presence. This is the work of the mature Bavinck, which makes it worth paying attention to. – Cory Brock, minister in the Free Church of Scotland at St. Columba’s (Edinburgh) and lecturer in systematic theology and preaching at Edinburgh Theological Seminary

As the 20th century dawned, the discipline of psychology celebrated its emancipation from the Bible and theology. As the new psychology was explaining more and more of the human experience, the rich, previously theologically informed constructs such as soul, spirit, and heart were being reduced to mere consciousness that could be measured in a laboratory. The divorce between psychology and theology seemed to be final. However, thanks to the work of Hanko, Ryskamp and Parker, we now know this was not the case. In their very readable translation of Bavinckʼs Biblical and Religious Psychology, we see that Bavinck was still trying to carve out a place for a theological informed psychology. Not only will this volume be of historical benefit, but Bavinck’s treatment of the human soul in all of its fullness can and should inform contemporary psychology-theology integration discussions. – Bryan N. Maier, associate professor of Psychology and Counseling at Cairn University

When framed in a biblical anthropology, psychology as the study of human soul activity is a necessary and valuable tool for educating children. – John Bolt, "Introduction," professor emeritus of Calvin Theological Seminary and editor of Herman Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics (Gereformeerde Dogmatiek)

I consider this material to be of such interest and help, especially to those who are engaged in the work of teaching covenant children, that a translation and publication of it is worthwhile in spite of elements with which I disagree. Bavinck did work in the area of Christian psychology which is not to be found in any English writings.  Herman Hanko, "Translator's Foreword," professor emeritus of Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary

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