Introduction new projects and researchers

9 April 2024

Two new researchers will start this month on different projects related to IRiLiS.

Marileen Steyn: postdoc for project ‘Soil’, PThU Amsterdam

As of 15 April 2024, Marileen Steyn will be joining the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam. Marileen is a South African theologian who completed her PhD at Stellenbosch University in 2023 under the supervision of Profs Cas Wepener and Christo Thesnaar. Her research was on the role of rituals in congregations that lost a minister due to death, conflict or scandal. Marileen’s interest in liturgy and rituals has led her to the project ‘Soil’ where she is appointed as a postdoc researcher. Marileen will focus on the relationship between congregations’ theology and liturgies that speak to soil. She is especially interested in the liturgical expression of congregations’ theology of soil and the possible influence of liturgies on their theology of soil. This is largely based on the axiom ‘lex orandi lex credenda’, meaning that the rule of prayer is related to the rule of faith. The project will involve focus groups, participant observation and document analysis of three to four congregations of different denominations. Marileen is looking forward to working with the Soil project team and her immanent arrival in the Netherlands.

Dina Elisye Siahaan: PhD candidate PThU

Dina Elisye Siahaan is a PhD candidate at the Protestant Theological University, working under the supervision of Dr Mirella Klomp and Dr Joanna Wojtkowiak (UvH). In April 2023 she started her research focused on exploring the liturgical responses of Protestant Churches in Indonesia to natural disasters and their impact on the mental and spiritual well-being of congregations in the country. With Indonesia being a country that is prone to natural disasters, church congregations are among the most affected, and her research aims to gain insight into the church's disaster theology as embodied in its liturgical response to these situations. Dina’s research questions seek to determine the qualities of the liturgical-ritual repertoires of Protestant congregations in Indonesia that are most helpful for those who are spiritually and mentally impacted by natural disasters. Additionally, she will be exploring the practical advice that helps Protestant churches improve the quality of their disaster theology as performed in their liturgical repertoire. She will conduct qualitative research using an ethno-case study methodology in the context of disasters and involve disaster survivors, church ministers, and other theologians. Dina is passionate about her research and has been interested in ritual studies since her master's studies Ritual Chant and Song at the University of Limerick, Ireland, under the supervision of Dr Eleanor Giraud.