My research focus is on intentional Christian communities. Since the ’90 a modest revival of Christian community living is discernible in the Netherlands. Influenced by the American new monastic movement, new intentional Christian communities have been founded, especially in urban areas and in connection with (Protestant) churches.
Being both a practical theologian with a special interest in emerging forms church and an experienced expert in community life, I took the initiative to set up a PhD-research project and conducted a longterm, in-depth ethnographic casestudy of an intentional Christian community. What motivates (young) people to join an intentional Christian community? How do they overcome the inter-human struggles that are inherent to community living? Which (spiritual) practices have been developed to sustain community life?
As a PhD-researcher I am part of the Practices Department of the Protestant Theological University (Groningen) and contributor to the ‘Mediating good life‘ research program. In 2017 together with Marius Buiting (NVTZ) and Rob Knipping (de Huijberg) I took the initiative to establish the Association of Religious Communities in the Netherlands (VRLN). Since 2020 I am member of the advisory board of the Networking Intentional Christian Communities project funded by the Porticus Foundation.