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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book Spirituality in the Writings of Etty Hillesum talks about Etty Hillesum and her biography and writings. From the very beginning, the Dutch publication of Het verstoorde leven in 1981 was an overwhelming success. Soon afterwards, many translations were published and Etty Hillesum went worldwide. In November 2008, the authors organized an international conference on Etty Hillesum at the University of Ghent, focusing on two central themes of Hillesum's work: spirituality and writing. The worldwide interest in Hillesum's spirituality is "not only to be attributed to Etty Hillesum's unfinished or open image of God but also to the finished aspects of that image of God, through which many readers with different backgrounds can identify with her texts". In her diary notebooks and letters, Etty Hillesum increasingly expressed her wish to bear witness, to be a chronicler - a "small voice" - of her time, of her people.

Keywords: Dutch publication; Etty Hillesum's spirituality; God



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