Spirituality in the Writings of Etty Hillesum

Spirituality in the Writings of Etty HillesumSpirituality in the Writings of Etty Hillesum: Proceedings of the Etty Hillesum Conference at Ghent University, November 2008.

This is the complete title of the proceedings of the first international Etty Hillesum meeting. It took place at the University of Gent, on November 24, 25 and 26, 2008. It was the first tangible result of the Etty Hillesum Reseach Center founded in 2006.

The editors: Klaas Smelik, Ria van den Brandt, and Meins G. S. Coetsier. With the assistance of Carolyn Corman, Debbie Pavenage, and Gerrit Van Oord

The book has 490 pages, an Index of Names and 17 illustrations.


  • Wil van den Bercken
  • Ria van den Brandt
  • Rachel Feldhay Brenner
  • Francesca Brezzi
  • Meins G.S. Coetsier
  • Denise de Costa
  • Patricia Couto
  • Jan Geurt Gaarlandt
  • Frits Grimmelikhuizen
  • Paul Lebeau
  • Fulvio C. Manara
  • Maria Filomena Molder
  • Nadia Neri
  • Maria Gabriella Nocita
  • Gerrit Van Oord
  • Manja Pach
  • Debbie Pevenage
  • Alexandra Pleshoyano
  • Brendan Purcell
  • Bettine Siertsema
  • Klaas A.D. Smelik
  • Patrick Woodhouse

Table of contents

  1. Introduction, Dr. Ria van den Brandt
  2. A Short Biography of Etty Hillesum (1914-1943), Prof. Dr. Klaas A.D. Smelik

Spirituality and God

  1. The Roots of the Chaos and the Process of Change in Etty Hillesum, Canon Patrick Woodhouse
  2. Etty Hillesum and Julius Spier: A ‘Spierituality’ on the Fringe of Religious Borders, Prof. Dr. Alexandra Pleshoyano
  3. Etty Hillesum and her God, Prof. Dr. Klaas A.D. Smelik
  4. “You-Consciousness” — Towards Political Theory: Etty Hillesum’s Experience and Symbolization of the Divine Presence, Dr. Meins G.S. Coetsier
  5. Foundations for a Judgment of the Holocaust: Etty Hillesum’s Standard of Humanity, Prof. Dr. Brendan Purcell
  6. Etty Hillesum’s Russian Vocation and Spiritual Relationship to Dostoevsky, Prof. Dr. Wil van den Bercken
  7. Etty Hillesum, an ‘Atypical’ Mystic, Prof. Dr. Francesca Brezzi
  8. The Reception of Etty Hillesum’s Writings in French Language, Prof. Dr. Paul Lebeau
  9. Etty Hillesum and her “Catholic worshippers”: A Plea for a More Critical Approach to Etty Hillesum’s Writings , Dr. Ria van den Brandt

Writing and Witnessing

  1. Etty Hillesum: A Portrait of a Holocaust Artist, Prof. Dr. Rachel Feldhay Brenner
  2. “There was little of that harmonious rolling out of God’s hand”: Struggle and Balance in the Diaries of Etty Hillesum, Drs. Debbie Pevenage
  3. Etty Hillesum: “écriture féminine?”, Dr. Denise de Costa
  4. Feeling Life: How Etty Hillesum Becomes Word, Dr. Maria Gabriella Nocita
  5. Etty Hillesum (1914-1943) and Abel Herzberg (1893-1989): Two Dutch Chroniclers of the Shoah, Dr. Bettine Siertsema
  6. Two Voices from Westerbork: Etty Hillesum and Philip Mechanicus on the Transport from Camp Westerbork on 24 August 1943, Gerrit Van Oord
  7. Witnesses and Victims of Massacre: The Literary Testimony of Samuel Usque and Etty Hillesum, Drs. Patricia Couto
  8. Let’s Talk about Hope! Etty Hillesum’s Future-perspective — “We may suffer, but we must not succumb.”, Mr. Manja Pach
  9. Context, Dilemmas and Misunderstandings during the Composition and Publication of An Interrupted Life, Etty Hillesum’s Diary, 1941-1943, Drs. Jan Geurt Gaarlandt

The ‘Thinking Heart’

  1. Philosophy as a Way of Life in the Works of Etty Hillesum, Prof. Dr. Fulvio C. Manara
  2. Why is Etty Hillesum a Great Thinker?, Prof. Dr. Maria Filomena Molder
  3. Etty Hillesum’s Psychological and Spiritual Path: Towards an Ethics of Responsibility, Dr. Nadia Neri
  4. The Road of Etty Hillesum to Nothingness, Frits Grimmelikhuizen

Note by Spirituality in the Writings of Etty Hillesum

  • The volume was published by Brill, Leiden / Boston, in 2010. Series: Supplements to The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Volume: 11.For
  • For order details: Brill.


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