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Dr. Elisabeth Hense presents research on Initiatives of Renewal and Spirituality

Date of news: 30 January 2016

Recently, Dr. Hense presented two conference papers based upon her research on renewal initiatives and spirituality in the Netherlands.

At a mini-conference on Social Work at the HAN, Dr Hense explored the social aspects of spirituality as a contribution to addressing the ‘wicked problems’ facing society today. In her paper, Hense argued that renewal initiatives in the Netherlands involving food, care, and money are also spiritual matters and Hense offered an account of the origin, significance, and practical implications of these renewal initiatives. One key question that Hense explored was: What sparks these initiatives in the first place, and what importance is placed upon the new impetus for spiritual values in these initiatives?

At a Theology Symposium in Germany, Dr. Hense presented a paper on another aspect of her research which assesses the contributions that religious orders have made and continue to make to the ‘fullness of life’ or ‘the good life’. Religious orders embody the life style of the Gospel and base their work upon their ‘new life with Christ’. In her paper, Dr. Hense explored the important question: How do religious orders renew society, and what does this mean for religious life as they are faced with a sharp decline in the older organizational structures? Download the flyer here.

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Dr. Elisabeth Hense is Assistant Professor of Spirituality Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen