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Josephien van Kessel

Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Nijmegen

Josephien van Kessel was born in the southern province Brabant in the Netherlands. After finishing classical high school in Boxtel, she studied at the University of Amsterdam, both Russian language and literature and the History of Philosophy, and received her MA (Drs.) degrees in 1991. She always tried to unite her two interests, Russian language and Philosophy. After some years of free lance interpreting (a.o. for refugees) and teaching of the Russian language, she entered the corporation Russia Experts which offered language courses, interpretation and cross-cultural training. In this capacity she observed elections in the Russian Federation and other countries of the former Soviet Union and assisted in the organization of programs of cooperation of the Dutch parliament with other parliaments (of Kazachstan and Kirgizistan).

In 1999 she became staff member of the Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (IECS) in Nijmegen, and independent foundation at Radboud University Nijmegen. IECS is a continuation of the Byzantine Institute of the Assumptionist Fathers who have a mission to Orthodox and Oriental Christianity. Josephien became coordinator of the Prospekt 2002 (1997-2002) and Prospekt Plus (2002-2005) exchange programs of the IECS which tried to support and collaborate with theological and philosophical institutes in countries of the former SU. In 2005 she retained a small position of librarian at IECS and embarked on a doctoral research into the Sophiology of Sergei Bulgakov. In 2011 she replaced the office manager of IECS and continued her PhD project. She defended her doctoral dissertation Sophiology and Modern Society. Sergei Bulgakov’s conceptualization of an alternative modern society in 2020. She participates since her defense also in the educational program of IECS with courses on Russian Religious Philosophy.

Josephien lives in Amsterdam, is married and has 3 children. She is fond of reading, cooking and gardening. She recently started on a 4-year course of Herbal Medicine.