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Etty Hillesum And Her "Catholic Worshippers": A Plea For A More Critical Approach To Etty Hillesum's Writings

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Chapter Summary

According to Solange Leibovici, from the beginning Hillesum's texts arrived at "the wrong quarter," meaning: "predominantly Catholics and former Catholics, followers of mystical movements or at least people seeking religious and ethical principles appropriate to presentday life". Leibovici's evaluation of both Etty Hillesum's œuvre and its reception is based on a clear supposition, namely: life has "objectively no meaning". Leibovici criticizes both the half-hearted canonization by her "Catholic worshippers" and the interest in Hillesum shown by Dutch humanistic circles. While busily condemning the more religious as well as the humanistic reception of Etty Hillesum's work, Leibovici ironically ignores the complexity she herself observes. To obtain insight in one of the aspects of this complexity, this chapter focuses on a number of publications from Dutch and Flemish authors of Catholic theological origin during the nineties of the last century.

Keywords: Catholic worshippers; Etty Hillesum; mystical movements



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