Reijer Hooykaas

Reijer Hooykaas (August 1, 1906 - January 4, 1994) is one of the leading Christian historians of science in the world. For many years, Hooykaas played an active role in the Christian Society of Scientists and Physicians in the Netherlands. Trained as a Chemist, in 1945 Hooykaas was appointed first chair in the history of science at the Free University of Amsterdam. He later served as professor of the history of science at the University of Utrecht from 1967 until his retirement in 1976, after which he focused on his writing and lecturing activities. Much of his work addressed the scientific fruits of a Reformed Christian faith.

He is remembered fondly, respectfully, and professionally by fellow historians. His countryman H. Floris Cohen dedicated his magnus opus The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry (University of Chicago Press, 1994) to Hooykaas and its treatment on religion deals mostly with Hooykaas.^[1]^ British Historian Malcolm Oster remembers him as a loveable curmudgeon who would become "personally irritated" when other historians would attempt to portray the strong religious beliefs of an early modern such as Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, or Isaac Newton as indicators of some sort of mental disorder.^[2]^

Selected publications

  • Religion and the Rise of Modern Science. (2000 and 1973)
  • Fact, Faith, and Fiction in the Development of Science. Volume 205 in the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Kluwer Academic Publishers. (1999)
  • Robert Boyle: a study in Science and Christian belief (1997)
  • Natural Law and Divine Miracle: The Principle of Uniformity in Geology, Biology, and Theology. EJ Brill. (1958)


  1. ? Richard S. Brooks and David K. Himrod. Science and Religion in the English Speaking World, 1600-1727 A Biliographic Guide to the Secondary Literature, Scarecrow Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8108-4011-1, page 61
  2. ? Malcolm Oster. Sep. 1999, The British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 32, No. 3, pages 366 to 368