Etty Hillesum

Onderzoeks centrum



Overzicht Sprekers; foto, cv en titel lezing


Nancy J.P. Anderson, MA (St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA)

EDUCATION St. Catherine University M.A. in Theology 2017 Thesis: “The Undercurrent of Music in the Burgeoning Spirituality of Etty Hillesum”.

College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) B.A. in Theology and Women’s Studies 2001

EXPERIENCE Presentation Introduction to Etty Hillesum 2018 Developed and presented introductory information to Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Minneapolis MN USA adult education group.

Performance Narrator Spring, 2004 Live performance/reading from the day books and letters of Etty Hillesum. Stage performance of 7 persons at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality, Saint Paul MN USA

PAPERS Etty Hillesum: Nature Enriches the Outer-Space-Within Paper for Graduate Class on Spirituality 2004

Passages on the Feminine Spiritual Journey Paper nominated and selected for presentation at the Five-State Theology Undergraduate Conference, St. Mary’s University, Winona MN USA 2000

Dissident Daughters and The Sacred Feminine Paper nominated and selected for presentation at the Five-State Theology Undergraduate Conference, St. Mary’s University, Winona MN USA 1999

MEMBERSHIPS: Phi Betta Kappa Honor Society, Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society


Titel lezing: “The Undercurrent of Music in the Burgeoning Spirituality of Etty Hillesum”



Prof. Dr. Fernando Arriero Peranton (Facultad de Teología del Norte de España, Spain)

Professor of Theology in North Spain University (Vitoria, Basque Country)

–            Discernment according to St. Ignatius Of Loyola

–            Etty Hillesum and Dietrich Bonhoeffer: living with hopefulness in the suffering.

–        Award for the best academic record of the Theology Faculty at Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca in the courses 2008-2009 y 2009-2010.

–        Award for educative innovation at Chamberí School: “Telling tales for educating in values” (2007-2008).

–        Prize of researching in Madrid Marist Province about family evolution (1996), youth education (1997) and bioethics (1998).

–        Legal representative of Etty Hillesum Foundation – Spain, delegation of Etty Hillesum Foundation (Colombia).

Member of the executive team of the IEBA (Instituto Español Bíblico y Arqueológico) in Jerusalem.

Titel lezing: A “Staretz” in Westerbork: the influence of Orthodox Spirituality on Etty Hillesum


Prof. Dr. Emilio Baccarini (Università degli Studi Tor Vegata, Italy)


Titel lezing: “Etty Hillesum: Life as a Commitment”


Drs. Julie Benschop-Plokker (Etty Hillesum Research Centre, Middelburg, The Netherlands)


Titel lezing: “Is It You, Me? Etty Hillesum’s Power to Assimilate as an Act of Resistance and Liberation”


Drs. Lotte Bergen (Etty Hillesum Research Centre, Middelburg, The Netherlands)

Lotte Bergen studied History at Leiden University (Netherlands) with a specialization in Political Culture and National Identities. She obtained the Master of Arts in 2015 with a thesis on Etty Hillesum and her agency. In 2013 she wrote a book about the commander of Transit Camp Westerbork entitled Albert Konrad Gemmeker: Commandant van Westerbork (Soesterberg: Uitgeverij Aspekt, 2013). She wrote “Handelingsvrijheid binnen nazibegrenzing. Etty Hillesum en haar invulling van het ‘Massenschicksal”, in: Etty Hillesum weer thuis in Middelburg, (Antwerpen-Apeldoorn: Garant, 2015), “Etty Hillesum en Hélène Berr. Reflecties op het nazikwaad en de moed de eigen koers te varen”, in: Etty Hillesum in weerwil van het Joodse vraagstuk, (Antwerpen-Apeldoorn: Garant, 2016), and “Etty Hillesum & Albert Konrad Gemmeker. Een dubbele analyse van het daderschap van de commandant van Westerbork”, in: Etty Hillesum en het pad naar zelfverwerkelijking, (Antwerpen-Apeldoorn: Garant, 2017). At the moment, she is a PhD candidate at the faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University. Her thesis will focus on the relationship between Hillesum’s knowledge of the Jewish fate- Massenschicksal and her agency. She is working as a history teacher and student counsellor at a high school in The Hague.

Titel lezing: “Etty Hillesum & Albert Konrad Gemmeker: A Twofold Analysis of the Perpetration of the Westerbork Commander”


Prof. Dr. Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer (University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Maria Clara Bingemer is a Brazilian theologian. She is married, mother of three and grand mother of five. For almost 40 years she is professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Her PhD is from the Gregorian University about the trinitarian mystic of St. Ignatius Loyola.  She teaches Fundamental Theology and the Theology of God in the department of Theology of PUC-Rio.  Her researches include theology and mystic, Women and theology, Religion and modernity.  She has books, chapters and articles in many languages, the most recent being:

A face for God, Miami, Convivium, 2014

Simone Weil, a mystic with passion and compassion, Oregon, Wipf & Stock, 2015 (also in italian by Citta Nuova, Roma and in Spanish by Ciudad Nueva, Madrid and Buenos Aires)

Latin American Theology: roots and branches, New York, Orbis, 2016

The mystery and the world, Oregon, Wipf & Stock, 2016 (in Portuguese by Rocco, Rio de Janeiro; in spanish by San Pablo, Madrid, 2017)

Titel lezing: «In the shadows of the past a witness of the future».


Dr. Ria van den Brandt (Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)


Senior onderzoeker Vergelijkende Godsdienstwetenschap aan de Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen, Radboud Universiteit

Titel lezing: “A Little Gandhi: Etty Hillesum’s Sources of Non-Violent Resistance in Her Booklet ‘Levenkunst’ Revisited”


Prof. Dr. Pierre Bühler (Zürich University, Switzerland)


Titel lezing: “The Cares of the Pagans: The Reading of Matthew 6,25-34 by Søren Kierkegaard and Etty Hillesum”


Dr. John Cartner (Academic Enabling Support Centre, Australia)


Dr John Cartner has been a member of the English Literature academic staff at the University of Notre Dame’s Fremantle campus since 2004, teaching across the literature program including World Literatures Today, The Western Tradition, Australian Literature, The Novel in English, Children’s Literature, Irish Literature and Literary Theory. In recent years John has joined the Academic Enabling Support Centre where he teaches a variety of units; he is also a tutor for AL100: Academic Writing, Communication and Research. John’s most recent research activity has been in the field of Holocaust Literatures, with a specific focus on the writings of Dutch-Jewish author, Etty Hillesum. He has also researched in the area of refugee representations and self-representations and has an ongoing interest in postcolonial literatures.

Titel lezing: “Dialogising Life Amidst a Culture of Death: Etty Hillesum, Her Literary Companions and Nazi Reductionism”


Dr. Stephen Cherry (Dean King’s College, Cambridge UK)



Dr. Marja Clement (Amsterdam University, The Netherlands)

Marja Clement received her PhD from the University of Amsterdam with a linguistic thesis on the prose of the female Jewish Dutch writer Josepha Mendels. For ten years she was Lecturer and Senior Assistant in Dutch Studies at the University of Zurich. At the moment she is Lecturer at the Institute for Dutch Language Education of the University of Amsterdam.

Titel lezing: “The Girl Who Could Not Kneel: Etty Hillesum and the Turn Inward”


Dr. Dr. Meins Coetsier (The Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)


Confederal School of Religions, Peace Studies and Theology
Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

Titel lezing: “That Little Tent of Blue’: Prophecy and Poetic Inspiration in the Writings of Etty Hillesum and Oscar Wilde”


Dr. Denise de Costa (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)

Denise de Costa works as an independent writer. She is a Dutch specialist in the works of Anne Frank and Etty Hillesum. The English translation of her dissertation was published in 1998 at Rutgers University Press: Anne Frank & Etty Hillesum. Inscribing spirituality and sexuality.

Titel lezing: “Etty Hillesum and Charlotte Salomon: Pregnancy as Theme in Their Lives and Works”


Dr. Patricia Couto (Lisbon University, Portugal)

Patricia Couto is an integrated member of the Centro de Estudos Comparatistas Universidade de Lisboa. She was born in the Netherlands, studied Germanic Philology in Coimbra (FLUC 1975) and holds a MA in Comparative Literature (FLUL 1996) and a PhD in Translation Studies (FLUL 2012). She has taught Dutch Language and Culture at the University of Lisbon and has translated authors such as Jan Slauerhoff, Gerrit Komrij, Cees Nooteboom and Etty Hillesum.

Titel lezing: “Wandering Beyond Words: Clarice Lispector and Etty Hillesum”


Prof. Dr. Maria Essunger  (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Maria Essunger (1972) is associate professor of Systematic Theology and Studies in Worldviews, Uppsala University, Sweden. Essunger’s research is in the field of cultural theology and continental philosophy, focusing the relation between worldviews and literature. She is currently working on the French-Algerian philosopher and poet Hélène Cixous and questions concerning representation, animals, humanity, languages and writing within the framework of a larger research project on Hannah Arendt and Hélène Cixous: “The Politics of Writing. Membership, Testimony and Representation”. Her two most recent articles are entitled: “The Phantom of God in the (Auto-) biographical Writings of Hélène Cixous and Etty Hillesum” and “To Hear the Unheard. Or Reimagining Representation with Hélène Cixous and Primo Levi”.

Titel lezing: “Verbalize, Vocalize, Visualize: Creative Death and Performative Writing in the Testimonies of Etty Hillesum and Primo Levi”


Dr. William Peña Esquivel (Pontifical Javeriana University, Bogotá, Colombia)

Philosopher and Theologian of the Pontifical Javeriana University in Bogotá, Colombia. Mg. in philosophy

Thesis entitled: Fraternity and communion: the political proposal of Gabriel Marcel in the secular era.
Chaplain and teacher at The Non-Commissioned Officer Marines Academy.
Teacher of Philosophy since 2010 in the areas of anthropology, aesthetics and politics.
Currently, I am leading the program “Transcendental formation of the human being” at the NCO Marines Academy. I am an active member of the “The seminary of mystical research and humanism” which belongs to the faculty of theology at the Universidad Pontificia Javeriana.

Academic distinctions:
Medal to the academic order Javeriano, 2010
Graduated honours Cum Laudem in Masters in philosophy, 2016

Titel lezing: “Am I Really a Woman? A Question about Female Identity in Etty Hillesum”


Laura Fasani, MA (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Como, Italy)


Titel lezing: “Etty Hillesum and Simone Weil Against Force: A Similar Look at Reality”


Prof. Dr. Maria Luísa Ribeiro Ferreira (Lisbon University, Portugal)

Full Professor of Modern Philosophy at Universidade de Lisboa.  Taught   Modern Philosophy,  Didactics of Philosophy, Women’s Studies, and several Seminars on Spinoza and Hume. Chief coordinator of several  projects. Last publication: Marginalidade e Alternativa. Vinte e Seis Filósofas para o Século XXI, Lisboa, Colibri, 2016. Besides this  she has published more twenty eight books, and  many articles in the areas of Teaching Philosophy, Gender Philosophy, Modern Philosophy (mainly on Spinoza). Searcher of Centro de Filosofia of Universidade de Lisboa,  vice director of Sociedade Científica of Universidade Católica Portuguesa, member of GT Benedictus de Spinoza,  Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Brasil; of Seminário Spinoza, Spain, of  Association des Amis de Spinoza, France and of  Accion Integrada Hispaña-Portugal , Leibniz. She also belongs to the Boarding  Direction of Sociedade de Ética Ambiental.

Titel lezing: “A Powerless God – Etty Hillesum and Dietrich Bonhoeffer”


 Sara Gomel, BA (La Sapienzia University, Rome, Italy)


Sara Gomel is completing a master’s degree in Philosophy at the University of Rome la Sapienza, with a thesis on self-narrative and ethics through Etty Hillesum’s diaries. She received her bachelor degree in Philosophy at the University of Paris 1 – Panthéon La Sorbonne in 2015, with a focus on English history and literature.

Since the beginning of her studies she has been working on education and social projects for children and more specifically on projects of philosophy for children in schools and museums. She is currently working at Villa Medici, the French Academy in Rome, being in charge of several activities and workshops for children and families. She contributes to magazines on cultural and philosophical topics and has a monthly column on philosophy for children in the magazine DafDaf.

Titel lezing: “Meeting the Other Through Self-Narration: The Example of Etty Hillesum’s Diaries”


Dr. Maribeth Kallemeyn (Salem, USA)

Maribeth Kallemeyn (1955) is a licensed clinical psychologist working in private practice in Salem, Oregon. She completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She is currently an Advanced Candidate working toward certification as a Jungian analyst through the C. G. Jung Institute of the Pacific Northwest.


Titel lezing: “A Story of Individuation in the Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum: A Jungian Perspective”


Thalia Gur Klein, MA (Leiden University, The Netherlands)


Drs. English Literature and Yiddish (Leiden University)

Drs. Jewish and Bible Studies (Amsterdam Univeristy)


Titel lezing: “Everyday Items as a Silent Testimony to Human Suffering as Well as Empathy and Resilience in Etty Hillesum’s Diaries”


 Drs. Judith Koelemeijer (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


 Titel lezing: “Getting Closer to Etty: The Dilemmas of a Biographer”


Dr. Marc P. Lalonde (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)


Senior Lecturer, Department of Religions and Cultures, Concordia University, Montreal

Titel lezing: “A Beautiful Midrash: Reflections on The Diary of Etty Hillesum”


Dr. Ulrich Lincoln (Wolfsburg, Germany)

Dr. Ulrich Lincoln is a Lutheran pastor and area dean in Wolfsburg/Germany. He has published books on S. Kierkegaard (Äußerung. Untersuchungen zum Handlungsbegriff in Kierkegaards «Die Taten der Liebe», 2000) and theological aesthetics («Die Theologie und das Hören», 2014). He is the co-founder of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Centre London and has written and lectured on Bonhoeffer, Levinas, Etty Hillesum and related topics in theology and philosophy.

Titel lezing: “The Mystery of Encounter: Poetry and Faith After Auschwitz in the Work of Paul Celan and Etty Hillesum”


Milagros G. Quintela Mathison, MA (University of Mysticism, in Ávila, Spain)

Master in Psychology from the United States International University. Worked for a major consulting Firm at the Human Resources Department in Venezuela for over twenty years and for the University of Mysticism, in Ávila, Spain for the last seven years. There she teaches a seminar and other subjects on the minor writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus. She also works at the Library of the University and as a translator and coordinator of the cultural-spiritual program for the English speaking groups.

She is a Secular Discalced Carmelite.

Titel lezing: “Etty Hillesum: A View from the Interior Castle of Saint Teresa of Jesus”


Ann McKirdy, MA (All Hallows College Dublin, Ireland)


Titel lezing: “Etty Hillesum: A Transformative Text, the Vulnerability and Power of Honesty”


Prof. Dr. William C. McDonough (St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA)

Professor of Theology, Coordinator, MA in Theology Program St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota

Titel lezing: “What Can We Learn From Etty Hillesum About Healing Trauma?: Toward an Ethics That Takes Trauma Seriously”


Prof. Dr. Barbara Morrill (California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, USA)

Barbara Morrill, PhD, is Core Faculty of the Integral Counseling Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. She is a Clinical Psychologist licensed in CA, and has been in private practice for 25 years. Barbara has spent much of her life exploring women’s social, psychological, and spiritual development, with an emphasis on intergenerational trauma. Her study of Etty Hillesum began in 2000, culminating with a presentation at the 2008 International Transpersonal Congress, New Delhi, India, entitled Being in the Face of Annihilation: Transformation Through Writing as Inquiry in the lives of two Dutch Women During the Holocaust: Etty Hillesum (1914-1943) and Jetteke Frijda (1925-present). Her continued study has been about the Evolution of Consciousness as well as spiritual practice/community with The Diamond Approach with A.H. Almaas and Karen Johnson. She presented on Unfolding Toward Being; Etty Hillesum and the Evolution of Consciousness in January, 2014 at the Second International Congress of the Etty Hillesum Research Center at Ghent University in Belgium.

Titel lezing: “‘The Contours of These Times’: Etty Hillesum as Chronicler of Love Transcending Evil in Her Time, For Our Time, For All Times”


Drs. Alexandra Nagel (Leiden University, The Netherlands)

Alexandra Nagel is enrolled as a PhD candidate at the faculty of Humanities, Leiden University. Her dissertation will focus on the psychochirologist Julius Spier. The background to this research is an MA in the history of western esotericism, which she finished in 2007 at the University of Amsterdam.

Titel lezing: “Etty Hillesum’s Hand Analysis: The Prologue to Her Diaries”


Dr. Rosana Elena Navarro Sánchez (Pontifical Javeriana University, Bogotá, Colombia)

Doctor in Theology of the Pontifical Javeriana University in Bogotá and Research Professor of the same University. Her professional work has been in the field of Education: College Professor for 15 years and Professor at the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical Javeriana University, for over 20 years. Coordinator of the Seminar on Mysticism and Humanism since 2004. Teacher at the Carmelite Institute of Spirituality from 2016.

Founder and Director of the Etty Hillesum Colombia Foundation

Titel lezing: «Suffering, silence and wisdom in Etty Hillesum»


Dr. Maria Gabriella Nocita (Angelicum University, Rome, Italy)

Maria Gabriella Nocita (1977)  wrote her Ph.D. dissertation in 2012 on Etty Hillesum: «Dalle tenebre della Shoah una paideia per umanarsi». Her studies focus in particular on the Philosophy of Education, but she is also involved in Special Educational Needs. She teachs History of Philosophy (Modern and Contemporary Periods) and Intersubjective Pedagogy in the Angelicum University of Rome.

Nocita wrote “Etty Hillesum and Primo Levi: experiences of inner freedom between the drowned and the saved”, in The Ethics and Religious Philosophy of Etty Hillesum, Proceedings of the Etty Hillesum Conference at Ghent University, January 2014, edited by K. A.D. Smelik, M. G.S. Coetsier and Jurjen Wiersma, Brill, Leiden-Boston, 2017; “Etty Hillesum en Primo Levi tussen de verdronkenen en de geredden: Ervaringen van innerlijke vrijheid”, in: Etty Hillesum weer thuis in Middelburg, (Antwerpen-Apeldoorn: Garant, 2015) 139-158; «Quale Dio? Un modello del Dio personale di Ulrich Beck?», in Etty Hillesum: Studi sulla vita e le opere, ed. Gerrit Van Oord (Sant’Oreste: Apeiron, 2012) 74-93; «Feeling life: Etty Hillesum becomes word», in: Spirituality in the Writings of Etty Hillesum: Proceedings of the Etty Hillesum Conference at Ghent University, November 2008, eds. Klaas A.D. Smelik, Ria van den Brandt and Meins G.S. Coetsier (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2010) 279-295; “Sentire la vita: Etty Hillesum si fa parola,” in: La comunicazione umanante, ed. G. Scaramuzzo (Rome: Aracne, 2009) 37-86. She is member at the Etty Hillesum Research Community of University of Bergamo.

Titel lezing: “Feeding the Soul: Etty Hillesum’s Pedagogical and Spiritual Path”


Gerrit Van Oord (Centro Studi Etty Hillesum, Rome, Italy)


Titel lezing: “Etty Hillesum in the Boot: The Steadily Growth of Italian Readers and Writers Inspired by Her Diaries and Letters”


Bernard Penney (Pittsboro, North Carolina, USA)


Titel lezing: “Cosmic Life Lessons from Etty Hillesum and Leonie Snatager”


Dr. Marta Perrini (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy)


Titel lezing: “The Cares of the Pagans: The Reading of Matthew 6,25-34 by Søren Kierkegaard and Etty Hillesum”


Dr. Bettine Siertsema (VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Bettine Siertsema studied Dutch language and literature at VU University in Amsterdam. She took her PhD with a dissertation on Dutch diaries and memoirs on the concentration camps.  She is an assistent professor in history at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. In 2018 a collection on the earliest Dutch testimonies on the Holocaust is due, as is a collection of her essays on Holocaust literature. She currently works on a book about the figure of the Holocaust perpetrator in literature. Another field of interest is the interface of religion and literature.

Titel lezing: “New Light on Etty Hillesum’s Stay in Westerbork by Ies Spetter, a Colleague of Hers at the Jewish Council”


Prof. Dr. Klaas A.D. Smelik (Etty Hillesum Research Centre, Middelburg, The Netherlands)


Titel lezing: “My Familiar Desk.”


Susan Stein (President of ettyplay inc. New York, USA)


Theatre performance of “Etty”, written and performed by Susan Stein

Titel lezing: “Summer Roommates: Etty Hillesum and Amy Winehouse”


Prof. Dr. Jurjen Wiersma (FPG, Brussels, Belgium)


 Titel lezing: “In Search of Interconnectedness: Care Ethics Focus of Etty Hillesum’s Engagement”


Revd. Canon Patrick Woodhouse (Wells Cathedral, UK)

Titel lezing: “That Passage Spent a Difficult Morning With Me…’ The Struggle of Etty Hillesum to go on Seeing Differently”


Lucrezia Zanardi (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Dortmund)

Photographer, graduated in Multimedial Arts in Venice, actually attending my Master in Photography and Photographic Studies in the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Dortmund.

Titel lezing: “Present Traces of a Past Existence: A Photographic Research”


Jacqueline van der Zee

Jacqueline van der Zee, geboren 1966 te Drachten, begon haar pianostudie aan het Conservatorium van Groningen.
Ze vervolgde haar studie bij Thom Bollen en Ton Hartsuiker aan het Utrechts Conservatorium bij wie ze in 1991 afstudeerde.
Na vele concerten en jaren als begeleidster van (oratorium) koren te hebben gewerkt, zocht ze verdieping in de antroposofische opleiding voor muziektherapie te Zeist. Deze opleiding voltooide ze in 2005.

In 2014 besluit ze zich te specialiseren en verder te ontwikkelen met programma’s die passen bij doelgroepen met een humanitaire, multiculturele en interreligieuze levensbeschouwing.

Ze geeft muzikale lezingen in Nederland en België over mensen en hun zoektocht naar zichzelf, naar de essentie van het leven, God en spiritualiteit. De lezingen worden opgeluisterd door na ieder besproken thema een muziekstuk te laten horen. Dit varieert van klassieke pianowerken tot en met eigen pianocomposities en Nederlandstalige liedjes.

De lezingen zijn tevens bewerkt tot muzikale en biografische workshops voor basisscholen (groep 6 t/m 8).

Hiernaast heeft ze een eigen pianolespraktijk met leerlingen in Nieuwegein, Utrecht, IJsselstein, Lexmond en Vianen.