Upcoming Conference in Germany -  Canceled due to insufficient registrations

Prison Ministry at the Cutting Edge

Ecumenics behind Bars * 19-21 November 2018

2017 Conference at the University of Leuven, Belgium: Faith in the Academy - Theology Among the Discipline

Postgraduate Conference of the Society for the Study of Theology: Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium – 28-30 August 2017

According to Thomas Aquinas, theology deals with everything sub ratione Dei, everything in view of God. Through the centuries, theologians have developed a specific and sophisticated language that signifies the particularity of Christian practices and reflections...


With his paper “Philosophy, theology and rock ‘n roll: A cry for pardon, grace and strength in imprisoned existence,” Dr Meins G.S. Coetsier aims to demonstrate how theology, philosophy and pastoral ministry, can be lived by incorporating the power of music. Coetsier refers to Karl Rahner, who speaks of “God” (Gott), as the mystery in human experience.

"Speaking or singing of the human, then, is to sing of the divine and vice versa."


According to Coetsier, "It’s the acknowledgement and respect of the Presence that allows for that human touch where heart speaks to heart (cf. Cardinal Newman’s Motto “cor ad cor loquitur“). United by the event character of music, it becomes an expression of living faith."



Theology and Pastoral Ministry (MTC 00.59)


Philosophy, Theology, and Rock 'n' Roll:

A Cry for Pardon, Grace, and Strength in Imprisoned Existence



2017 Book launch in Middelburg, the Netherlands

The Ethics and Religious Philosophy of Etty Hillesum Proceedings of the Etty Hillesum Conference at Ghent University, January 2014

On the 6th of April 2017, a book launch was held in the ancient town hall of Middelburg, presenting the congress volume 'The Ethics and Religious Philosophy of Etty Hillesum'. EHOC member Caroline Diepeveen gave the first copy of the book to professor Bert van den Brink, dean of University College Roosevelt. Professor Klaas A.D. Smelik and Dr. Dr. Meins G.S. Coetsier gave a lecture, and there was music of Dvorak played by students of the UCR. Professor Albert Clement announced that the third international Etty Hillesum congress will be held in September 2018.



-WELCOME Prof. Dr. Albert Clement (UCR/EHOC)

-LECTURE Perspectives of Research on Etty Hillesum’s Writing                               

Prof. Dr. Klaas A.D. Smelik

-MUSIC Sivan Traub, violin

-LECTURE Etty Hillesum’s Ethical Consciousness and the History of Jewish Philosophy

Dr. Dr. Meins G.S. Coetsier

-PRESENTATION of the first copy of the congress volume

to Prof. Dr. Bert van den Brink, Dean UCR

-CLOSURE official part, followed by RECEPTION

»Das denkende Herz der Baracke« –

Interdisziplinäres Kolloquium zum 100. Geburtstag von Etty Hillesum (1914-1943) - 28.-29. November 2014 Theologisches Seminar, Kirchgasse 9, 8001 Zürich, Schweiz

Organisation: Prof. Dr. Pierre Bühler, Institut für Hermeneutik und Religionsphilosophie,Universität Zürich; Dr. Marja Clement, Abteilung für Niederlandistik, Universität Zürich; Dr. Dr. Meins Coetsier, Etty Hillesum Forschungszentrum, Gent.

Samstag, den 29. November 2014

9:00 Dr. Marja Clement

Hineinhorchen und Schreiben –

Etty Hillesum als (werdende) Schriftstellerin

10:00 Gemeinsame Arbeit an Textausschnitten –

in Gruppen und im Plenum

11:15 Pause

11:45 Dr. Dr. Meins Coetsier

Internationale Forschung zu Etty Hillesum:

Überblick und Evaluation

12:45 Prof. Dr. Pierre Bühler

Rückblick und Ausblick

13:00 Ende des Kolloquiums

Adobe Acrobat Document 1.3 MB

Second International Hillesum Congress



Abstract Paper


Generations of thinkers have been at variance on the question of existence, and of consciousness. Correspondingly, scholars have tried to unravel what the “essence” of Judaism is. Subsequently, numerous philosophies have changed, disappeared, and revived again. This process of human thought, not only leaves traces behind of unclarity but is also a testimony to man’s unquenchable longings for a reconsideration of the nature and foundations upon which our lives are built. In a time of technological advancement and new media everything seems unsettled. Little wonder, then, that this study on “Etty Hillesum’s Ethical Consciousness and the History of Jewish Philosophy,” appears particularly timely. The question before us—what is Hillesum’s place in the History of Jewish Philosophy?—demands sound and subtle scholarship, and an unique inquiry of the history of Jewish philosophy. This study discusses Hillesum’s existential thought in this wider philosophical context. The paper proposes the argument that her writings are a lasting monument of a significant moment in the history of the Jewish people. Her worldview, her 'ethics,' and her ongoing reflection on paper, however, elucidate not only some aspects of Judaism, but also of philosophy itself: the search and love for wisdom in a complex and disturbing age.




14 January 2014, Het Pand


Onderbergen 1, 9000 Ghent, telephone 09-2648262


Chairperson: revd. canon Patrick Woodhouse (Wells Cathedral, UK)


09.30 – 10.30 hr: paper by prof. dr. Klaas A.D. Smelik (EHOC, Ghent, Belgium), “Etty Hillesum’s reaction to the persecution of her people.”


10.30 – 11.10 hr: paper by prof. dr. Pierre Bühler (Zürich University, Switzerland) “‘Le Seigneur est ma chambre haute’ - un théologien protestant lit Etty Hillesum.”


11.10 – 11.30 hr: Coffee break in ‘de Kloostergang’


11.30 – 12.00 hr: paper by prof. dr. Anna Aluffi Pentini (Roma Tre, Italy), “The pedagogical legacy of Etty Hillesum: A woman’s all-embracing search of ‘the Other’.”


12.00 – 12.30 hr: paper by dr. dr. Meins G.S. Coetsier (EHOC, Ghent, Belgium), “Etty Hillesum’s Ethical Consciousness and the History of Jewish Philosophy.”


12.30 – 13.30: Lunch break in ‘de Kloostergang’ (for speakers only)


Monument and Memory

4th Nordic Conference in Philosophy of Religion, 16-18 June 2013, Stockholm School of Theology, Sweden.


Remembering Augustine


Throughout his famous work Confessions, Augustine searches for knowledge of God through self-knowledge. In line with the Platonic tradition, he relies on memory and the whole work is concentrated on the function of memory in the process of the divination of the soul. One of the interesting questions in this context is the relation between Augustine’s Platonism and his Christian notions of Incarnation and Grace.


His reflection on memory is crucial in this context. Another is the question of possible relations between Augustine and later philosophies on subjectivity, existence, and cognition. This session opens up for papers on Augustine and the Augustinian tradition of philosophy of mind and memory. How do we remember Augustine through the history of philosophy, how can re-readings of his basic writings on memory reframe philosophical issues today? 




Monument and Memory: Program

Sunday June 16

13.00-14.00 Registration

14.00-15.00 Hent de Vries, Total Recall: Reflections on the Religious Archive in an Age of New Media, room 219, chair Hans Ruin

15.15-16.15 Parallell sessions: A + B

16.30-17.30 Parallell sessions: C + D

 Buffé at Stockholm School of Theology


Monday June 17

10.00-11.00 Amy Hollywood, Saints, Hysterics, Survivors: The Politics of Orality and the Limits of Testimony, room 219, chair Jonna Bornemark

11.15-12.45 Parallell sessions: E + F

12.45-13.45 Lunch

13.45-14.30 NSPR Business meeting (all are welcome!)

14.45-15.45 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Scriptual Memory: Its Uses and Abuses, room 219, chair Mattias Martinsson

16.00-17.30 Parallell sessions: G + H

 19.00 Conference Dinner at Åkeshofs slott


Tuesday June 18

10.00-11.00 Andreas Nordlander, Remembering Mind: Augustinian Moves in Recent Continental and Analytic Philosophy, room 219, chair Jayne Svenungsson

11.15-12.15 Parallell sessions: I + J

12.15-13.15 Lunch

13.15-14.15 Parallell sessions: K


K:Rembering Augustine/Love, room 220, chair Jonna Bornemark

Time, Memory, and Restless Hearts: Notes on Augustine in Voegelin and Hillesum, Meins G.S. Coetsier  


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The 2013 Bonhoeffer Day in London: "In Prayer and Righteous Action. Bonhoeffer´s Spirituality and Ethics".

Saturday 2nd - Sunday 3th of February 2013, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Church, London, UK


For many decades Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian and martyr, has been an inspiration to generations of theologians and lay people alike, especially in the United Kingdom. In the 1930s Bonhoeffer lived for 2 years in London, working as a parish priest in German communities in Forest Hill and Whitechapel. Today the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Church in Forest Hill tries to keep his legacy alive at the place of his ministry. As part of that effort the Bonhoeffer Church invited everybody to their first Bonhoeffer Day on February 2, 2013. The event ran from 2 till 10 p.m., and it featured talks, discussions and workshops as well as fellowship, food and music. The theme of the day was: "In Prayer and Righteous Action. Bonhoeffer´s Spirituality and Ethics". The speakers included Rev. Sam Randall from Cambridge and Dr. Dr. Meins G.S. Coetsier from Zürich. The Bonhoeffer Day was held in English and was addressed at everyone interested in Dietrich Bonhoeffer: scholars and non-scholars, theologians and parish members, people from all backgrounds and churches. Music was provided by the Cave King Project. Admission was free.


For more information on Bonhoeffer initiatives in the UK contact
Pastor Dr. Ulrich Lincoln: 



14.00 Welcome
14.15 Sam Randall, Cambridge: Bonhoeffer´s Spirituality


followed by discussion
Coffee Break


16.00 Meins Coetsier, Zürich: Bonhoeffer´s Ethics and its Relevance Today

followed by discussion
Coffee break


17.30 Workshops: Reading Bonhoeffer
19.00 Dinner
20.00 Music: The King Cave Project


Sunday, Febr 3, 11.00, Christuskirche, Knightsbridge: Lutheran Service
Preacher: The Right Rev. Dr. Michael Ipgrave, Bishop of Woolwich

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XI. International Bonhoeffer Congress, Sigtuna, Sweden

A Spoke in the Wheel. Reconsidering the Political in the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Wednesday 27th of June - Sunday 1st July 2012, Sigtuna Sweden

Due to his Christology and ecclesiology, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's theology is intrinsically political. On the one hand, his theological convictions make possible opposition to government authority. Early on, in his critical engagement against the Nazi regime, in "The Church and the Jewish Question" (1933), Bonhoeffer expected the church to oppose the state when the rights of those disdained by the state were violated. Ultimately, this stance resulted in Bonhoeffer's participation in the resistance and his violent death. On the other hand, Bonhoeffer advocated a conservative, non-democratic political order for Germany after the war. How can one explain these seeming contradictions? How should we understand Bonhoeffer's political theology?

The aim of the XI. International Bonhoeffer Congress is to encourage reflections on the continuing relevance of Bonhoeffer's political theology and ethics for the Christian church in a world that is now characterized by an increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Is the church once again expected to put up political resistance?



Theme of the Day: How do We Live Responsibly?

9:00-10:00 Prof. Dr. Nico Koopman (Stellenbosch): How Do We Live Responsibly?

10:00-11:00 Plenary discussion

11:00 -11:30 Coffee break

11:30-12:30 Seminar papers

  • Seminar room: Toleransen

Meins G.S. Coetsier: “Humanity’s Secret Code”: Bonhoeffer and Hillesum and
the New Science of Political Theology


12:30-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-16:00 Seminar papers continue. Coffee break during afternoon

15:15-16:00 News IBS

16:00-17:00 Prof. Dr. Christiane Tietz (Mainz): Harvesting from the Congress

20:00 Banquet

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ProgramAfternoon sessions.pdf
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Ter gelegenheid van de promotie van EHOC-medewerker Meins Coetsier op vrijdag 13 januari 2012 en het verschijnen van het derde deel van de Etty Hillesum Studies bij uitgeverij Academia Press Gent organiseerde het Etty Hillesum Onderzoekscentrum (EHOC) een symposium op zondag 15 januari 2012 in het Pand, Onderbergen 1, 9000 Gent. Die dag was het 98 jaar geleden dat Etty Hillesum in Middelburg werd geboren.


Het eerste deel van de bijeenkomst stond in het teken van Coetsiers onderzoek naar de verbindingslijnen tussen Etty Hillesum en het denken van Martin Buber, Dietrich Bonhoeffer en Emmanuel Levinas.


Daarna kwamen nieuwe vondsten in verband met Etty Hillesum aan de orde. Want het blijkt dat steeds weer nieuwe archiefstukken opduiken, die door ons onderzoeksteam nader worden bestudeerd en tot nieuwe inzichten leiden.




13.30-14.15        Lezing dr. dr. Meins Coetsier, Etty Hillesum en Martin Buber

                              ("The Life of Dialogue: Etty Hillesum and Martin Buber")

14.15-15.00        Lezing prof. dr. Jurjen Wiersma, Etty Hillesum en Dietrich Bonhoeffer

15.00-15.30        Lezing prof. dr. Klaas Smelik, Was Etty Hillesum een martelaar?

15.30-16.00        Pauze thee + koffie


16.00-16.15        Introductie van Etty Hillesum Studies deel 3 door dr. Ria van den Brandt


16.15-17.30        Nieuwe vondsten:

16.15-16.30        Een vondst in een vuilniszak uit Amsterdam (Klaas Smelik)

16.30-17.00        Het protocol van Etty Hillesum (Alexandra Nagel)

17.00-17.30        Brieven van Louis Hillesum (Gerrit Van Oord)

17.30-19.00        Receptie

Eric Voegelin Society
Panel 2   Mysticism and the Politics of Resistance in Voegelin’s Philosophy


Date: Friday, Sep 3, 2010, 10:15 AM-12:00 PM  

Chair: Ellis Sandoz
Louisiana State University,
The Leap in Being in Voegelin’s Philosophy
Thomas A. Hollweck
University of Colorado, Boulder,

The First Mystics? Some Recent Accounts of Neolithic Shamanism
Barry Cooper
University of Calgary,

Does God Have a History?
Jerry L. Martin
University of Colorado at Boulder,

No God on the Horizon? Voegelin, Buber and Bonhoeffer & the Moment of Surrender
Meins G.S. Coetsier
Ghent University EHOC,
Discussant(s): John F. von Heyking
University of Lethbridge,
Macon W. Boczek
Kent State University,
Eric Voegelin Society Program 2010.pdf
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Eric Voegelin Society
Panel 8   Anamnetic Literature


Date: Thursday, Sep 3, 2009, 2:00 PM  
Chair: Charles R. Embry
Texas A&M University, Commerce,
A Heaven-Gram for World Politics: Hillesum, Heschel and Rilke Rescuing God in Exile
Meins G.S. Coetsier
Ghent University EHOC,

J. M. Coetzee and Eric Voegelin on Remembrance and the Private and Public Dimensions of Guilt.
Polly Detels

W.B. Yeats and the Formation of the National Consciousness
J. Patrick Dowdall

Anamnesis in the Work of Stefan George
William Petropulos
Eric Voegelin Archive, Munich,

The Persistence of Symbol and Sacrament in Albert Camus
Matthew Charles Connell
Louisiana State University,
Discussant(s): David Palmieri
Auburn University,
Ron Srigley
Thorneloe University,
2009 APSA Program.pdf
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Afternoon session 2

  November 26, 2008

Place of meeting

"zaal Rector Blancquaert, Het Pand"

Onderbergen 1

9000 Ghent


The spirituality of Etty Hillesum


Dr. Ria van den Brandt


14.00 - 14.30 hr:   

Paper by Canon Patrick Woodhouse, ‘The Roots of the Chaos: Etty Hillesum and the Process of Change'

14.40 - 15.10 hr:

Paper by Dr. Meins Coetsier, ‘"You-Consciousness". Towards political theory: Etty Hillesum's experience and symbolization of the divine presence' 

15.10 - 15.40 hr:

tea break in "de Kloostergang"

15.40 - 16.10 hr: 

Paper by Prof. Dr. Brendan Purcell, ‘On Judging the Holocaust'

16.20 - 16.50 hr:   

Paper by Prof. Dr. Maria Filomena Molder, ‘Why is Etty Hillesum a great thinker?'

Eric Voegelin Society
(Panel 4   Mysticism and Philosophy in Voegelin’s Work)
Date: Friday, Aug 29, 2008, 10:15 AM

Chair: Ellis Sandoz
Louisiana State University,
Man's Response to Wrongdoing: Is War Natural to the Human Condition
Henrik Syse
Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO),

Meister Eckhart and Voegelin’s Mystic Philosophy
Macon W. Boczek
Kent State University,

The Relationship between Mysticism and Science in Voegelin's Work
William Petropulos
Eric Voegelin Archive, Munich,

God the Creative Ground of Existence in Voegelin, Etty Hillesum and Martin Buber: A Response to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion
Meins G.S. Coetsier
Ghent University EHOC,
Discussant(s): Glenn Hughes
St. Mary`s University, San Antonio,
Marie Baird
Duquesne University,
Brendan Purcell
University College Dublin,
Thomas A. Hollweck
University of Colorado, Boulder,

November 3rd 2008, 6-8 pm, Seminar Room of the Moore Institute Dr. Meins Coetsier, Ghent University



Etty Hillesum and the Experience of Reason


{Voegelin, Buber & Levinas}

November 17th 2008, 6-8 pm, Seminar Room of the Moore Institute Dr. Aislinn O' Donnell, NCAD/Postdoctoral Fellow with GRADCAM On Impersonal Love: Spinoza and Simone Weil
January 26th  2009, 6-8 pm, Seminar Room of the Moore Institute Dr. Clive Cazeaux, University of Wales Institute Cardiff The Aesthetics of the Scientific Image
February 2nd 2009, 6-8 pm, Seminar Room of the Moore Institute Dr. Jim O' Shea, University College Dublin A Priori Transcendental Laws and Contingent Empirical Realities: Causality and Kant's Two Regulative/Constitutive Distinctions
February 23rd 2009, 6-8 pm, Seminar Room of the Moore Institute

Dr. Noel Kavanagh, St. Patrick's, Carlow College 

In what sense can you have a Philosophy of Love? An Investigation of Marion's/Erotic Phenomenon

Postacademische Vorming


Vliebergh-Sencie Leergangen 2008


Vliebergh-Sencie Afdeling Catechese – 19 & 20 augustus 2008

Wil er iemand mijn Messias zijn?
Nieuwe verlossers en hedendaagse spirituele meesters


Woensdag 20 augustus, 2008 – Hedendaagse spirituele meesters binnen de verschillende wereldreligies

09:00 Bezinning (samen met afdeling bijbel)
09:45 De betekenis van spirituele meesters vandaag
(Johan Verstraeten – Faculteit Godgeleerdheid, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
10:45 Koffiepauze
11:15 Etty Hillesum als hedendaagse spirituele figuur voor joden en christenen
(Meins Coetsier – Etty Hillesum Onderzoekscentrum, Universiteit Gent)
12:00 Middagpauze
13:45 De spirituele brieven van Dom John Chapman
(Dirk Boone – Oude Abdij Drongen)
14:30 Koffiepauze
15:00 Spirituele inzichten en ervaringen op weg naar Mekka
(Jan Leyers - singer, songwriter, and television personality)
16:00 Slotlezing; Dalai Lama: spirituele wijsheid uit het Boeddhisme
(Frans Goetghebeur – Nationaal voorzitter van de Boeddhistische Unie van België)
17:00 Receptie ter gelegenheid van 40 jaar Vlaamse Bijbelstichting
2008_KU Leuven.pdf
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23rd Annual International Meeting

Chicago, Aug.30-Sept. 2, 2007


Organizer: Prof. Ellis Sandoz, Louisiana State University

                Secretary, Eric Voegelin Society

                Director, Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies



Panel 6. Mysticism, Philosophy, and Holocaust Studies  



Chair: Macon Bozcek, John Carroll University




"Faith and Reason Reconsidered”

Macon Bozcek, John Carroll University  


"Voegelin and Bonhoeffer: History, Transcendence and the Holocaust”

Jeremiah Russell, Louisiana State University


"Heaven in Hell: A Voegelinian Exploration of the Life and Writings of Etty Hillesum”

Meins G. S. Coetsier, University of Ghent



"The Space of Politics: Voegelin, Arendt, and Wolin Compared”

Thomas Heilke, Kansas University


Disc.: Marie Baird, Duquesne University



         John von Heyking, University of Lethbridge