Opening Academic Year

2 September 2020 11:30 - 14:00

At the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, the PThU will open the year with a festive gathering in the Martini Church in Groningen. The event can host a maximum of 100 people because of corona measures. We will also livestream the event on YouTube.

Join us live at 11.30h

About the programme

During a lecture, honorary doctor Beatrice de Graaf will give an insight into her new book Radical Redemption. The winners of the student and teacher of the year election will be announced. And in the mini-symposium 'Theology in a time of crisis', some theologians from the PThU will consider the consequences of the corona crisis. They will consider which social questions a crisis, and in this concrete case the corona crisis, poses society, and how theology can give words to these problems and issues. Hubert Bruls, chairman of the Security Council and mayor of Nijmegen, will then respond from an administrative and social perspective. Theologian and presenter Jacobine Geel will lead the conversation. This event will be livestreamed on YouTube.

Symposium 'Theology in times of crisis'

During this opening symposium of the academic year 2020-21, the focus is on the themes of social engineering, solidarity and equality, and interpersonal proximity. We cannot always find ready-made answers, but we do look for deeper questions, feelings and fears and reasons for hope. In this way we hope to learn from the crisis and find new ways.

Social engineering - by Prof. Heleen Zorgdrager

The crisis clearly shows that we still do not know much. That there is a limit to how we can control everything. Disillusionment has arisen about the malleability of life. Shouldn't we talk about the givenness of life again?

Solidarity and equality - by Prof. Dr. Theo Boer

Initially there was a lot of solidarity to be found. After all, we were all in danger. But now that we know that young people are almost at no risk and older people are, some of that solidarity seems to have disappeared. For many people, the financial and social limit has been reached of what such solidarity may cost. Moral questions are becoming increasingly visible and urgent: how do we deal with people with vulnerable health? Who gets priority in the ic?

Interpersonal proximity - by dr. Erica Meijers

Proximity is a core theme in both pastoral care and diaconate. A crisis puts proximity under pressure. How do distance and proximity relate to each other? And what does proximity mean in the discussion about racism, a topic that is now also in the spotlight?

Practical information

  • Location: Martinikerk, Martinikerkhof 3, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Duration: The program lasts from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm. The walk-in takes place from 11 a.m. Every visitor receives a time slot for the entrance. 
  • Language: English
  • Participation and registration: Due to current regulations, participation is only possible after prior registration. You can register via the form below. Your registration is only final when you have received confirmation from us containing your time slot and specific information about your participation and the health check.
  • There is room for a maximum of 100 participants. We think it is important that there are students and that is why they receive priority when registering.


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