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Prophet of a Third Way: The Shape of Kuyper's Socio-Political Vision

Peter S. Heslam


A century after Abraham Kuypers visit to the United States, the issue that dominated political discourse both in Northern Europe and in the United States was that of the so-called Third Way. This was reflected in a meeting that took place in Washington in the autumn of 1998 between Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, the serving governmental heads of the United Kingdom and the United States. It was a time of seemingly intractable crisis at the White House in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky affair, but the theme that pervaded the agenda of that meeting was that of a Third Way in politics, and it served to cement the Blair-Clinton relationship with bonds of solidarity. It even diverted the focus of media coverage of the United States president, which hitherto had been fixed on the unfolding scandal. Much debate ensured in the broadsheets as to what was meant by the term; was it a radical alternative to two opposing ideologies, one that bore no similarity to what it sought to replace? Or was it an amalgam of the best parts of each of them? Although Kuyper did not use the term, his sociopolitical vision was designed as a Third Wayan alternative to the ideologies of individualism, on the one hand, and collectivism, on the other.

Peter S. Heslam, "Prophet of a Third Way: The Shape of Kuyper's Socio-Political Vision," Journal of Markets & Morality 5, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 11-33

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