The years 1904–5 seemed to mark the birth of neo-Calvinist political economy in the Netherlands. It was then that three jurists affiliated with the Free University of Amsterdam, an institution founded by the theologian Abraham Kuyper, published their first economic writings. This article deals with the rise of neo-Calvinist political economy, which mirrored the emergence of Catholic economic thought that took place in precisely the same period, and seeks to explain where the ideal of this religious approach to economics came from. It describes the awakening of a socioeconomic commitment in Dutch Réveil circles, the influence of Thomas Chalmers's Christian political economy on the antirevolutionary statesman Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer, and the place of economics in Kuyper's neo-Calvinist worldview. It is shown that Groen van Prinsterer's desire to infuse economic science with biblical views was eventually replaced by Kuyper's vision of formulating a full-fledged Calvinist alternative to mainstream economics. Despite some attempts at Calvinist political economy at the dawn of the nineteenth century, this project never really got off the ground.

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