Program for 1 and 2 december 2022

The first post-corona annual conference of the Mystical Theology Network will be held in Nijmegen (Netherlands) on 1 & 2 December 2022, hosted by the Titus Brandsma Institute (associated with Radboud University).

Note: this is the preliminary program, the final program will follow as soon as possible.

Thursday 1 December


Keynote Lecture Veerle Fraeters, Defining Orewoet [Madness of Love] from Hadewijch to Today.


Echoes of Mysticism in Modern Literature

Janneke Van der Leest, The Concept of the Romantic Artist in the Footsteps of the Mystical Passions

Jéssica Costa Bispo,  Mystic Blood Ties: Achieving Connection to the Earthly and the Supernatural through Bonding with Vampires in British and Irish Literature

Liesbeth Eugelink, The Will to Surrender: The Mystical Way in Histoire d’O

Eqbal Khalifa,  Le Livre des Illuminations de Ghitany. Quand le récit de vie s’épiphanise en un voyage spirituel

Lieven De Maeyer, Mystical Passivity and écriture automatique

Middle Dutch Mysticism

Panel: Passions and Being Affected in the Middle Dutch Mystical Tradition

Michiel Vandenbroucke, John of Ruusbroec on Passions and Affects

John Arblaster, Jan van Leeuwen on Mystical Desolation

Rob Faesen, Affectus and Pati Divina in Henry Herp

François Manga, The Passion of Pascha: Minne and Liefde on the Way to the Unio Mystica

Lieke Smits, Lovesickness as Cure: The Song of Songs and Late Medieval Mystical Narratives


Mysticism and the Image

Elliott Daniel Wise,  Jan van Ruusbroec and the Passions of Mystical Artistry in Early Netherlandish Painting

Marion Beaufils, Hostia Viva : don et abandon de soi dans deux bel composti par Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Katrin Janz-Wenig & Lenka Panušková, The Passional of Abbess Cunigunde: Emotions and Ekfrasis

English Mysticism

Louise Nelstrop,  Affect and Passion in the Meditations of the Monk of Farne

Rowan Wilson, Hooked on a Feeling: Striving for Passion in the Works of Walter Hilton

Liz MacWhirter, My herte can thinke: exploring the intersections between the embodied Christian mysticism of Julian of Norwich, trauma theology, and the emotions, through interdisciplinary creative practice research

Richard Norton, Doing All That Makes for Peace and Builds up Our Common Life: Mystics on Pandemics and War


Philosophical Reflection on Mysticism in the 20th Century

Martyna Iwanicka, Intentionality of Mystical Passion

Daniel Fishley, The Mystical Element in John Caputo’s Thought: A Passion for the Impossible Call

Austin Kopack, Seeing the World Aright: Mysticism in the Later Wittgenstein

Bianca Ioan, Is There Room for Passion in Mystical Experience? A Response from Michel de Certeau

Mysticism and Mendicant Thinking

Anne-Gaëlle Cuif, Per desiderium suavitatis internae. From Passio to Dulcedo : the Powers of Affects and the Sweetness of Conversion in Saint Bonaventure

Michael Hahn, Christ’s Passion and the Mystic’s Co-Passion: Suffering, co-Suffering and Affective Piety in the early-Franciscan Tradition

Fedor Nekhaenko, Meister Eckhart: malevolent passions versus benevolent passive intellect. The influence of Albertus Magnus

Axel Oaks Takacs, Being Affected to Affect the World: Suffering and Imagination in the Franciscan Traditions (Christianity) and the School of Love (Islam)




Sander Vloebergs e.a., The Wolf of Gubbio (performance)


Conference dinner

Friday 2 December


Keynote Lecture Marc De Kesel, Jean Genet: a Modern Mystic?


Creative Practice and mysticism

Sander Vloebergs, Dancing St. Francis’ Passion: An Artistic and Mystical-Theological Analysis of the Performance The Wolf of Gubbio

Harri Hudspith, Getting Into Her Habit: recollection and artistic practice as method for mystical research

Nathalia Bell, Ziggurettes

Gregory Stark, Epistemologies of Extravagance: Beguine Mysticism, Poetic Passion, and Gay Subjectivities

The Foundations of Mysticism I

Matteo Poiani, Syriac Ascetic Vocabulary: an enquiry starting from Evagrius

Miklos Vassanyi, The Role of the Heart in the Book of Steps (4th century)

Lina Vidauskytė, Passions within Oral and Written Mystical Tradition

Stefaan Neirynck, Passions in the early Latin monastic tradition


Mysticism and Gender

Francesco Catanzaro, En-gendered Passion: An analysis of gender construction in relation to Christian mystical experience

Federica Doria, A Mediation of Female Passion: Christian Mystical Writing

Genevieve Caulfield, Desire or surrender? Virtues, emotions and styles of mystical seeing in the late Middle Ages

The Foundations of Mysticism II

Beatrice Wyss, Philo of Alexandria and the Desire for God

Vladimír Hrabal, The Paradox of Passions in Philokalic Spirituality

Abbey Murphy,  Eros and the Mystical Ascent


Mysticism, Activism and Politics in the 20th Century

Thomas Sojer, Sentir d’une manière nouvelle. Simone Weil’s translational reading of affective strategies in religion, war, and propaganda.

Edda Wolff, A passionate “no” to suffering – passion and compassion as connection points between mysticism and political activism

Matt Rosen, Dissent and Mystical Passions in the Society of Friends

Luca Siniscalco, The Passion of Christ: metaphysics and metapolitics in Guido De Giorgio

Medieval Mysticism in Germany and Austria

Hannah Johnson, Feeling Minne: Embodied Emotion in Mechthild von Magdeburg’s Mystical Devotions

Alice Lamy, Les passions clivantes de terreur et d’amour dans le salut mystique de l’âme : le rôle du corps abîmé dans Livre des mérites de la vie de Hildegarde de Bingen

Lorenzo Pompeo, Embodiment of Perfection. The christic Roots of Hildegard of Bingen’s Mysticism of Passion

Amanda Langley, Those who venerate His Passion: Enduring, Witnessing, and Celebrating Christ’s Passion in The Life and Revelations of Agnes Blannbekin


Mysticism and/as philosophy

Tom Giesbers, Dwelling forms and instrumental forms of the soul and mind: Obereit’s mystic passions as a transformative model within late 18th century philosophical discourse

Jacob Zellmer, Paths to God in Spinoza

Michaël Bauwens, They knew each other and she conceived a son. Desire of God in Duns Scotus

Early Modern Mysticism

Roman Gruijters, François de Sales’ and Jeanne de Chantal’s understanding of La sainte indifférence: Indifference as a mystical virtue and a Christian way of life

Kitty Bouwman, Divine Pedagogy in the Works of John of the Cross

Paula Almeida-Mendes,  Montrer par mots l’amour pour le Christ souffrant dans l’hagiographie et la biographie dévote au Portugal (XVIe-XVIIe siècles): textes et contextes


Concluding remarks Louise Nelstrop - Closing