Fields of Research
Klaas A.D. Smelik,
Ria van den Brandt & Meins G.S. Coetsier (eds),
Spirituality in the Writings of Etty Hillesum:
Proceedings of the Etty Hillesum Conference
at Ghent University, November 2008
Much of the previous scholarship on Etty Hillesum (1914-1943) was done by individual scholars within the analyses of their fields. After the proceedings of the international Etty Hillesum Congress at Ghent University in November 2008, this Congress Volume is the first joined effort by more than twenty Hillesum experts worldwide. It is an absorbing account of international scholarship on the life, works and vision of the Dutch Jewish writer Etty Hillesum, whose life was shaped by the totalitarian Nazi-regime.
Hillesum’s diaries and letters illustrate her heroic struggle to come to terms with her personal life in the context of World War II. Building on new interest in theology, philosophy, and psychology this book revives Hillesum research with a comprehensive rereading of both her published works and lesserknown secondary discourses on her life. The result is fascinating. With the current explosion of interest in inter-religious dialogue, peace studies, Judaism, the holocaust, gender studies and mysticism, it is clear that this Congress Volume will be invaluable to students and scholars in various disciplines.
Klaas A.D. Smelik,
Converting the Past: Studies in Ancient Israelite and Moabite Historiography
Containing both previously unpublished studies and revised contributions, this work focuses on the use of texts from the Hebrew Bible for historical research. Following a general introduction, in which a new method of establishing the historical value of biblical texts is described, it places the Ark narrative (I Sam, iv-vi;II Sam, vi) in its historical context and looks at the relationship between the literary structure and the historical value of the Moabite inscription of King Mesha. In the next chapter, problems relating to the Hezekiah narratives (Isa xxxvi-xxxix; II Kings xviii-xx) are discussed. These include the primacy of the Isaiah version, the literary unity and historicity of the story and the theological purpose of the speeches and Sennacherib's letter. The last section focuses on the representation of King Manasseh in II Kings xxi and II Chronicles xxxiii.
Klaas A. D. Smelik (1950) was born in Hilversum in the Netherlands and studied Theology, Semitic Languages and Ancient History in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Leiden. He taught Old Testament and Hebrew in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Brussels, and Ancient and Jewish History at the K.U. Leuven. From 2005 till 2015, he was professor for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Ghent University. From 2006, he is director of the Etty Hillesum Research Centre (EHOC) first in Ghent and since 2015 in Middelburg, the town where Etty Hillesum was born. He edited the Dutch, English, French and Italian unabridged editions of Etty Hillesum’s writings and is chief-editor of the Etty Hillesum Studies, of the Studia Semitica Neerlandica (a Brill publication) and of the bibliographic magazine De Stem van het Boek. He has (as writer or editor) published around 40 books and 200 articles on the Hebrew Bible, ancient Hebrew inscriptions, Biblical Hebrew, Ancient History, Jewish Studies, anti-Semitism, and Etty Hillesum. He also wrote six books for children about the Hebrew Bible and three crime stories situated in ancient Egypt.