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Balkenende receives sixth annual Abraham Kuyper Prize

Prime Minister of the Netherlands

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

PRINCETON, New Jersey - Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has received the Abraham Kuyper Prize Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. The award is instituted by the Princeton Theological Seminary.

The award ceremony at Princeton was followed by Balkende’s lecture on “Solid Values for a Better Future”.

Established in 1998 through the generosity of Dr. Rimmer and Mrs. Ruth de Vries, the Kuyper Prize honours a scholar or public leader who has contributed to the development of Reformed theology, particularly as it bears on the spheres of public life, such as law, business, technology, education, government, the economy, and the arts.

Balkenende is a fitting recipient, since Kuyper, for whom the prize is named, was not only a theologian and church leader, but also a former prime minister of The Netherlands. Kuyper (1837–1920) also founded the Free University of Amsterdam, from which Balkenende received three degrees. Kuyper as a politician headed the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) which long fought against the ideals of the French revolution by promoting a Christian alternative. Kuyper in 1898 gave his famed Stone lectures at Princeton which still are being referenced.

Balkenende, who headed his first government as prime minister in 2002, returned to serve in the same capacity in the second government to bear his name in May 2003. He is a member of the Christian Democratic Party, which was formed by the ARP and two other merger partners.

The Princeton appearance coincided with Balken-ende’s second visit to the U.S. as Dutch premier. He called both times on U.S. President Bush.