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Waal, Henk van der

Waal, Henk van der


Henk van der Waal, born in Hilversum, the Netherlands, in 1960. Writer/poet in Amsterdam.

Writer-in-Residence (1 September 2015 – 31 January 2016)

Mystiek voor postreligieuzen (Mysticism for Post Religious Man)

Research Question

The question that raises after ‘the death of God’ and the secularization of our society and our private lives is how we can deal with and find access to the field of experiences that before was explored and maintained by religion.

Project Description

In my book Denken op de plaats rust I argue that human life is set in three different domains of experience. In the first one the central theme is truth. It is the domain of perception and objectivity. Science is setting the rules for this domain. The second domain deals with the relationship and interactions between people. It is the domain of ethics and humanity. The third domain is about the relationship between man and himself. In this domain we find a connection to our self and by means of this self-reflection to the world as a whole. In our contemporary society the first and the second domain became predominant and we forgot to explore and experience the third domain, what I call the domain of the indefinable.

In my new book I want to put forward my investigations of this domain of the indefinable. I will show that this domain of the indefinable gives us, humans rooted in religion but also fundamentally living in a post religious time, the opportunity of experiencing a secular mysticism through art, love and language.

Selected Publications

1) In de ogen van de god, Poems, Querido 2014.

2) Denken op de plaats rust. Ontwerp van een filosofische levenshouding. Querido 2012.

3) Zelf worden, Poems, Querido 2010.

Personal page

Henk van der Waal’s reflections on his NIAS stay (Dutch)