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CFR, the Creation-Fall-Redemption Ground-Motive

The Creation-Fall-Redemption ground-motive was held by culture that had been informed by the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and emerged from the Biblical idea that the Cosmos is separate from, created by, and depends on, a Divine being, God. In this view, the Divine is personal and good, and so all reality is intrinsically good, and may be enjoyed. In particular, (from point of view of Greek thought which was dominated by the Form-Matter ground-motive) both matter and form are Good, both dynamic and static, both body and soul, both hand-work and mind-work. Reliability is no longer founded on Form, but on a covenant-keeping God who upholds all. Evil is located, not in one or other half of reality, but in the heart of humankind; not in the structure of the cosmos but in the response that we make within it. The remedy for evil is that the Divine pro-actively steps in to save the Creation (such as the various rescues experienced by the people of Israel, but supremely by Jesus Christ). Christian versions add that the Divine indwells human beings to make them a 'new creation'.

If form no longer opposes matter, nor matter form, the mind-body dualism is annulled. Universality (which was located in form) and individuality (in matter) are reconciled, displaying "fullness and splendour" [NC,II:418].

Today, the influence of the CFR ground-motive is found more in everyday life than in academic life. Its lack of influence in academic circles may be partly because of the long influence, since 500 AD, of the NGGM, which kept faith and reason in separate compartments, and so faith has little part to play in genuine academic discourse except to pronounce dogma, so that attempts to work out a CFR-based theoretical approach have been sparse.

CFR is the ground-motive from which Dooyeweerd worked. Some others did also, such as Michail Polanyi and Franz von Baader, but none explored in philosophically in as much detail as Dooyeweerd did.

Some examples of the kinds of philosophical implications of presupposing CFR compared with those of immanence-philosophy are set out in the following table (Dooyeweerd's own longer and philosophically-oriented comparison is found in [NC,I,p.502 ff.]). If they are valid, then these may be taken as reasons for IS researchers and practitioners to take the CFR ground-motive seriously; some will be referred to in formulating frameworks for understanding IS.

Philosophical implications of CFR
CFR Immanence Philosophy
The whole cosmos has dignity Half is good, the other half evil or inferior
Nothing in cosmos is absolute (including Reason) One aspect is absolute, self-dependent
Diversity coheres. Coherence is diverse. Focus either on diversity or coherence
Self and world cohere with each other Kantian gulf between self and world
The foundation of all in the cosmos is cosmic meaning and law. The foundation is either (a) Being/process, (b) Autonomous ego or group
World reveals itself Can never know 'Ding an sich'
We can let everyday experience speak to us Everyday experience is reduced to a theory, or to one of its aspects, e.g. as in psychology
Theoretical thought has religious root Theoretical thought is absolute (neutral, dependenable)
Hope and destiny 'Towards death' (Heidegger)

I have found some of these implications of CFR helpful in stimulating practical discourse in both research and practice. By keeping in mind the alternative possible ways of seeing things under CFR, it is possible to pose questions that lead participants to question the usual (immanence-standpoint) assumptions.

This is part of The Dooyeweerd Pages, which explain, explore and discuss Dooyeweerd's interesting philosophy. Questions or comments are very welcome.

Compiled by Andrew Basden. You may use this material subject to conditions.

Written on the Amiga with Protext.

Created: 3 May 2007. Last updated: 22 September 2015 compare with immanence standpoint; new .end, .nav.