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Jo Spaans, born in The Hague, the Netherlands, in 1956. Ph.D. from Leiden University. Associate Professor in Theological and Religious Studies at Utrecht University.
Fellow (1 September 2011 - 30 June 2012)
The opportunity NIAS offers to work undisturbed proved infinitely more valuable that I had imagined beforehand. I thoroughly enjoyed the seminars, lunches and casual conversation with Fellows and Staff, and almost effortlessly got a lot of work done. I originally applied for a NIAS grant not to finish a project, but to lay the groundwork for the project Faultline 1700 that had then only just started. During my stay my research made significant progress, although not always in the directions I expected it would take. NIAS gave me the opportunity to do some floundering and random exploring in order to find new approaches to the relation between religion and Enlightenment. This resulted in a handful of lectures, some articles and new and exciting hunches to explore in the coming years. I also finished a book on 17th-century spiritual virgins. I am deeply grateful that NIAS offered me this unique experience.
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