Home » Conference on Mysticism and/as Love Theory 28 & 29 November

Conference on Mysticism and/as Love Theory 28 & 29 November

Thursday 28 and Friday 29 November the conference on Mysticism and/as Love Theory is being held in Nijmegen. The conference intends to reflect upon the mystical legacy persisting in modern thought and theory. We have found excellent scholars willing to give a lecture on the topic of love theories, mystic’s desire, passionate love and eroticism.
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Conference on Mysticism and/as Love Theory
Thursday 28 & Friday 29 november 2019
Huize Heyendael
Geert Grooteplein Noord 9
6525 EZ Nijmegen

What is love?
What is love? Though we all know the answer, this is not an easy question. Is love not a mystery in the end? Yet, is this, too, not just another answer calling for further reflection and explanation?

Mystics love God. And since God is not the easiest partner, they have always felt the need to reflect upon their love profoundly. Though suspicious about theory as such, they do not shy away from reflection upon love’s mysteries. On the contrary, their writings often contain genuine ‘theories of love’. The works of Bernard of Clairvaux, Hadewijch, Ruusbroec, François de Sales, Madame Guyon, Thérèse de Lisieux or Simone Weil can all be read as such.

Contemporary philosophical, theological, psychoanalytical and psychological theories of love often refer to love theories present in the mystical tradition.

Aim of the conference
The conference intends to reflect upon that mystical legacy persisting in modern thought and theory. The aim of this conference is twofold:

  • Exploring the ‘theories of love’ that are present in the Christian mystical tradition
  • Investigating the influence of traditional mystical theories of love on modern ones, and the similarities and/or differences between the two

Programme Thursday 28 

10.00 Chair: Inigo Bocken (TBI)

Marc De Kesel (Titus Brandsma Institute Nijmegen, NL)
Christian Mysticism As The Deduplication of Love

10.45 Louise Nelstrop (St John University, York/ St Benet’s Hall, Oxford University, UK)
Erotic Love and the Recovery of the Imagination
11.30 Coffee
11.45 Ineke Cornet (Titus Brandsma Institute Nijmegen, NL)
Liturgical Mysticism and Unmediated Love between God and the Soul in the Arnhem Mystical Sermons
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Chair: Ad Poirters (TBI)

Karin Melis (independent philosopher and publicist, NL)
Hadewijch’s Seventh Vision: Inventing Love Anew

14.15 Esther van de Vate (Radboud University Nijmegen, NL)
The Application of Medieval “Love Theories” in the Early Modern Spirituality of Maria Petyt
15.00 Coffee
15.15 Edward van ’t Slot (Groningen University / Protestant Theological University Amsterdam/Groningen, NL)
Kierkegaard’s “Works of Love” as Mystical Literature with Psychological Consequences
16.00 Ruud Welten (Erasmus University Rotterdam / Tilburg University, NL)
Mysticism, Eroticism and Crime: On Jean-Paul Sartre’s Saint Genet
16.45 Jos Huls (independent scholar, NL)
The “Not” of Minne
  Conference dinner

Programme Friday 29 

10.00 Chair: Herman Westerink (TBI)

Janneke van der Leest (Radboud University Nijmegen, NL)
Novalis: Poetry – Love Philosophy – and Mysticism

10.45 Vladimir Hrabal (San Anselmo University Rome, IT)
Disruptive Moments of Passionate Love in Eastern Orthodox Mysticism
11.30 Coffee
11.45 Michel Dijkstra (Radboud University Nijmegen, NL)
Words of Fire: Mystical Love in Rumi and Mahadeviyakka
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Chair: Marc De Kesel (TBI)

Lieven De Maeyer (KU Leuven, BE)
Love between Two Poems: From Herbert’s “Love (III)” to Weil’s “Prologue”

14.15 Thomas Sojer (Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies Erfurt, DE)
Simone Weil’s Notion of Mysticism as Corporeal Love
15.00 Coffee
15.15 Herman Westerink (Titus Brandsma Institute Nijmegen, NL)
Michel Foucault on the Mystic’s Desire and Love as Self-Practice
16.00 Sander Vloebergs (KU Leuven, BE)
“God gheve mi al dat ter minnen best become”: Comparing Hadewijch’s and Lutgardis’ Love Theories
16.45 Closing remarks
16.50 Drinks