Muslims as Neighbours: Challenges and Possibilities for Christians Today

Symposium Herman Bavinck Lecture

The current discourse about the position of Islam in Western societies, such as the Netherlands, proves that there is still some fear and unfamiliarity to contend with. At this symposium, we will be looking at fruitful ways of association as Muslims and Christians in society.

Yet are not Islam and Christianity ‘neighbours’ in many ways: religiously, socially, and politically? What are the main challenges facing Christians today when it comes to their relations with Muslims? What are some best practices, and what is still lacking? Speakers from various backgrounds will reflect on these questions.

The Herman Bavinck Lecture for 2021 will be delivered by Professor Christine Schirrmacher (University of Bonn). This lecture is free of charge and open to all. After dinner, the symposium will continue with a number of other speakers.


16:00 Opening and Herman Bavinck Lecture by professor doctor Schirrmacher
17:00 Performance by the University Choir of TU Kampen, followed by a drinks reception
17:30 Dinner
19:00 Three perspectives on the relationship between Christians and Muslims

  1. Social perspective (Rien van der Toorn)
  2. Christian theological perspective (Bernhard Reitsma)
  3. Islamic theological perspective (Anne Dijk)

20:00 Break
20:15 Panel discussion
21:00 Closing

Locations, costs, registration and certificate

The symposium will take place on June 11th 2021 in the Broederkerk in Kampen (Broederstraat 16). The symposium can be attended online as well. The Herman Bavinck Lecture is open to the public and free of charge. Registration is required.

The fee for the evening program, including dinner, is €99,-*. Register here.
Attendance of the entire symposium entitles to a 0.25 EC certificate for Permanent Education.

*In case the precautions concerning COVID-19 cause the organization to hold the entire symposium online, the fee will be used for a professional online presentation.

About professor Schirrmacher

Christine Schirrmacher (PhD) is currently professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn/Germany and the Evangelical Theological Faculty (ETF) Leuven/Belgium. In 2013 she was temporarily teaching at the chair of Islamic Studies at the university of Erfurt, Germany, and in 2014, as a guest professor at the university of Tuebingen, Germany. She is currently also teaching at different government institutions and continuing education programs related to politics. Recently, she has been appointed to the „Academic Advisory Council of the Federal Agency for Civic Education“ by the German Federal Minister of the Interior and to the „Advisory Board of the German Institute for Human Rights“. Her research interests are transformation processes of culture, society, law and theology in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th century, Islam in Germany and Europe, interreligious dialogue and theological controversies, Sharia law, women’s, human’s and minorities’ rights, religious freedom and political movements in the Middle East.

About the lecturers

Professor doctor Bernhard Reitsma is Endowed Professor at the Faculty of Religion and Theology, Beliefs and Practices at the University of Amsterdam and lector at the CHE in Ede. His expertise includes ‘The church in the context of Islam’.

Rien van der Toorn, MSc studied Non-Western Sociology and has done research in both Africa and the Middle East. He has been training organizations and educational institutions about intercultural communication for almost 30 years now.

Islamic theologian Anne Dijk MA is founder and director of Fahm Institute, advisor and researcher. Her expertise includes authority and social questions.