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Dr Elisabeth Hense presents research in Amsterdam, Ghent, and Rome

Date of news: 1 October 2015

On 3 July 2015, Dr. Elisabeth Hense gave a lecture on the value of spiritual simplicity at the International SPES conference on Spirituality.  Living in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) can easily provoke feelings of unease and dissatisfaction. It has led many people to develop alternative realities and to rearrange their worlds. Against the background of the VUCA world in the Netherlands, many rearrangements have been established in society—some of them relating to food, care, or money. In her lecture, Dr Hense presented a short description of nine Dutch rearrangements in the areas of food, care, and money to explore two important questions: What forms of simplicity can be found in these initiatives? What benefits does the implementation of simplicity confer on our societies? Dr Hense concluded with some evaluative remarks about a cultural shift that is at hand in Western societies.


On 25 August 2015, Dr. Elisabeth Hense gave a lecture on Maria Petyt at Drongen Abbey, which sits outside Ghent in Belgium. The annual summer course on mystics in 2015 was dedicated to Teresa of Avila in celebration of her 500th birthday. In her lecture, Dr. Hense argued that Maria Petyt considered herself as a spiritual daughter of Teresa of Avila and her spiritual life was shaped by the seven mansions described by Teresa of Avila in her Interior Castle. The fruit of this research has blossomed in Dr Hense’s co-edited book entitled, Maria Petyt: A Carmelite Mystic in Wartime (Brill 2015).

On 17 September 2015, Dr Elisabeth Hense presented a paper on “Spirituality in the German Speaking World, in Holland, and Belgium after Vatican II” for the conference on Spiritual Theology and Vatican II at the Gregorian University in Rome. In this paper, she informed her Italian colleagues about the development of the theology of spirituality in the German and Dutch speaking countries after Vatican II. Dr Hense presented the important centers for spirituality research, the main chairs, journals, and trends in Spiritual Theology, and contemporary topics of debate. Along with her Italian colleagues, Dr Hense’s research is providing more opportunities for exchange between the Italian, German, and Dutch speaking researchers in the field of Spirituality.

Read more about Dr Hense's research