Elisabeth Hense

Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Dr. Elisabeth Hense is Assistant Professor of Spirituality at Radboud University Nijmegen. Her main fields of research are Christian spirituality, interreligious spirituality, societal spirituality and theories on spirituality. She also is a Trustee to the Board of Forschungsinstitut der Deutschen Provinz der Karmeliten. Her research is about older and newer forms of spirituality. She has translated texts of top writers of the Carmelite tradition, such as John of the Cross, and she has saved other interesting Carmelite writers, in particular Maria Petyt, John of St. Samson and Francis Amelry, from oblivion. The transmission of their spirituality has resulted in extraordinary contemporary music theatre productions. These productions, too, have become a subject of her research.

In the course of history, Christian spirituality has had many encounters with other spiritual traditions. Hense has examined some of them and has reflected upon their meaning. Such encounters between spiritual traditions are increasing in today’s globalised world. The old question of discernment of the spirits has therefore become topical again to her. Key aspects of discernment are compassion and empathy, expressed through works of mercy in the Christian tradition. Her current research on societal renewal shows that compassion and empathy are highly relevant in today’s society. Through this research, she wants to contribute to resolve the so-called “wicked problems” that our society has to contend with.

Most recently she published: Elisabeth Hense, Leonardo van den Berg & Maria van Boxtel (eds.), Volle oogst – Nieuwe warden en voedselnetwerken, Utrecht: Van Arkel 2017.