International conference: K.H. Miskotte’s Biblical ABCs

8 until 9 November 2021

Biblical ABCs by K.H. Miskotte (1894-1976) will be published this autumn in an English translation. The book from 1941 can certainly be called a classic and has had a great influence in the Netherlands. It is already available in several languages and now finally in English. On this special occasion, the PThU, the Miskotte Foundation and the University of Aberdeen are organising a symposium to introduce and discuss Biblical ABCs.

About the conference

This two-day conference is completely online and the language of instruction is English. The aim is twofold: on the one hand to place the Biblical ABC in the context of its time, and on the other as a constructive proposal for a better resistance. Speakers are: Prof. Dr. Rinse Reeling Brouwer, Mirjam Elbers and Prof. Dr. Philip Ziegler. Susannah Ticciati, Kate Sonderegger and Christophe Chalamet will further reflect on the meaning of the Biblical ABC in a panel discussion. The translators, Dr Collin Cornell and Dr Eleonora Hof will also explain the translation.

Speaking about God is particular and specific. Translating into a new language and a new context is always a risk. This translation takes on that venture. A number of tough choices were made, such as avoiding masculine pronouns in references to God. Translating is choosing, losing meaning along the way and gaining meaning. The translation choices in Biblical ABC thus form a lens to view other translation choices (think of the NBV2021).

In addition, English-language theology is very involved in social issues such as the fight against exclusion and racism. The book Biblical ABC resonates at the intersection between academic theology and grassroots activism. For Dutch-speaking theologians, especially for those who may still find themselves somewhat unaccustomed to this interface, it can be enlightening to discover an Anglo-Saxon perspective.

Finally, the English translation uses accessible and contemporary language. The translators dare to say that for the average millennial, the English translation is easier to read than the Dutch original, with its long sentences, abundance of accents and supported language. You be the judge.

For more information, visit



  • 14.00 Opening and welcome by moderator Marco Visser
    Welcome by PThU-director Maarten Wisse
    Presentation of the book by Neil Elliott, editor Fortress/Lexington
  • 14.15 – 14.45 Introduction K.H. Miskotte: Rinse Reeling Brouwer
  • 14.45 – 15.15 Central themes in Biblical ABC’s: Mirjam Elbers
  • 15.15 – 15.30 Questions, discussion (on both introductions)
  • 15.30 – 15.45 Break
  • 15.45 – 17.15 Panel discussion: Susannah Ticciati, Kate Sonderegger, Christophe Chalamet (moderator Phil Ziegler)
  • 17.15 – 17.30 Break
  • 17.30 – 18.15 First round of parallel sessions: paper presentations / discussion groups


  • 14.00 – 15.00 Translation and relevance of Biblical ABCs - Eleonora Hof; Collin Cornell
  • 15.00 – 15.15 Discussion + short break
  • 15.15 – 16.00 Parallel sessions: Short papers and discussion groups
  • 16.00 – 16.15 Break
  • 16.15 – 17.15 Biblical ABCs Today: A Theological Provocation - Philip Ziegler
  • 17.15 Plenary conclusion, announcements, drinks/social


*tickets are available until November 5.


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