In the wake of the 2019 conference on religious heritage, held in Groningen, prof. Todd Weir and I are now in the process of editing The Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion and Heritage in Contemporary Europe. The Handbook will contain ca. 50 contributions by authors from across Europe and beyond.
Together with James Bielo (Miami University, Ohio), I run the project “Museums as Ritual Sites“. It aims to bring together experts from around the world to critically reflect upon Carol Duncan’s seminal book ‘Civilizing Rituals’ and provide with an update that matches the contemporary fields of museums and museum studies. Between 2020-2025, the project website will be regularly updated with contributions.
On ongoing basis, I research the religious and spiritual dimensions in the paintings and writings of Piet Mondrian. In this context, the notion of sight plays a crucial role. This research was awarded the inaugural Postdoctoral Award of the Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park, Hornby Island (June 2018).
In the research project “Art Pilgrimage: Aesthetic Journeys, Transformative Tracks”, I conducted research during the Amsterdam edition of Art Stations of the Cross. It explored the link between art (display), religious heritage, and pilgrimage. The first article within the context of this project was published by the International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage, the second by the Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Kerkgeschiedenis (see publications page). The project was generously supported by the Sormanifonds and with a Cotter Scholarship from Gladstone’s Library.
Together with dr. Naomi Billingsley (University of Manchester) I founded the Visionary Artists, Visionary Objects international research network, at the end of 2017. In Februari 2018 we organized a pilot expert-meeting in Manchester. In the future we hope to set-up conference panels and get collaborative research published.
Throughout 2018-2019 I worked as coordinator for the international conference Religious Heritage in a Diverse Europe, organized by University of Groningen’s Centre for Religion and Heritage and the Groningen Historic Churches Foundation, in partnership with Museum Catharijneconvent, Future for Religious Heritage (Brussels), and the Jewish Cultural Quarter.
During the spring semesters of 2016-2019, I worked as a lecturer at Tilburg University College, teaching the second-year BA course “Visual Arts in the Public Sphere.”
I wrote an essay collection titled In Pursuit of the Sacred: The Museum as Laboratory in the Contemporary Quest for God. This essay collection was awarded with the 2017 gold honorary medal of the Teylers’ Theological Society (March 2018).
During Spring 2017, I received a Faculty scholarship, of the RUG Faculty for Theology and Religious Studies, to deliver a NWO-VENI proposal. This proposal made it to the final/ interview stage.