Religion and the Arts

Research on religion and the arts is a long tradition of the chair of Practical Theology Amsterdam (Barnard, Klomp et al).

Barnard makes this knowledge useful as a member of the Society of Dutch Literature (‘Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde’) and a member of the Committee for the Yearbook of the named Society; as a member of the Supervisory Board of Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht; and as a member of  Teylers Theological Society (‘Teylers Godgeleerd Genootschap’), affiliated with Teylers Museum in Haarlem. He gave a lecture in Teylers Museum, ‘God and the museum’ on a Sunday afternoon for about 100 people (2013), which was also published. A study day on ‘Apocalyps in the Arts. Destruction as catharses’ attracted about fifty ministers and other interested people. Lectures were published in a popular book with the same title (2014).

Brouwer is developing  the postmodern theology of John Caputo as a frame for the theological interpretation of works of art and literature. He published in 2014 on a modern work of art that was considered to be blasphemous, and in 2015 an article on a controversial book by the Belgian author Kristien Hemmerechts was published.

In 2012 Dutch and Flemish protestant churches got a new hymnal, edited by the Interdenominational Foundation for the Church Hymn (Interkerkelijke Stichting voor het Kerklied, ISK). PhD-students of PThU and a choir that is funded by PThU (Vocaal Theologen Ensemble, VTE) were subservient to the introduction of the book. Van Andel investigated the coming into being of the new hymnal in consultation with the ISK. She attended all editorial meetings and analysed the conversations through discourse analysis. The research will be the basis of her PhD-thesis (2015). Meanwhile, she edited a popular introduction in the new hymnal, Van horen zingen. Wegwijs in het nieuwe liedboek (2013) and she is currently working on a popular Dagboek bij het Liedboek.

Rijken is a musician and theologian. She served on the editorial committee of the hymnal and is now as a PhD student doing research on the Choral Evensong in the Netherlands. She travelled the country with the Theologians Vocal Ensemble to enthuse congregations and church members for the hymnal.  She recorded two double-CDs with songs from the hymnal (Met hart en ziel I [2013] and II [2014]), organized a Summer school for ministers and church musicians on the new hymnal, and held several lectures in local congregations on the hymnal.

For a number of years the Evangelical Broadcasting Company (Evangelische Omroep – EO) broadcasts The Passion on Maundy Thursday in cooperation with, among others, the Protestant Church. The Passion is a version of the passion of the gospels with popular pop songs and performed by well-known popular artists. It is broadcast on national television by the EO and attracted 3.2 million viewers in 2014.  Klomp, who investigates modern Passions, collaborated with EO and got much attention from the national media (radio, television and print media). She acquired a name as an expert on this subject.

Research Staff


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