The Art of Living and Dying

31Oct2017 12:40 - 13:40


The name Halloween is derived from All Hallows’ Eve, which is the evening before the day on which members of many religions commemorate and pray for the departed. It is a natural time of year to consider the passing nature of this life.

The end of life is a current topic in Dutch public debate. The Dutch law regarding euthanasia has recently been evaluated, and euthanasia can be seen to be on the rise. Also, evaluations indicate that Dutch people think of death less than before, but if they do so, in about half the cases, euthanasia is the first thing they think about.

The new Dutch coalition agreement spends much attention on care for the elderly, especially around the end of life. Half of the parties in the coalition inspire themselves in ways that refer to a Christian view of life, one that many people in our secular society are not familiar with. Christian traditions emphasise the “ars viviendi” and “ars moriendi” – the art of living and of dying. What is the background of Christian thinking about aging and death? And how does this background relate to liberal views of humanity espoused by the other two governing parties? In this lecture we attempt to clarify these questions.


Dr. Daan van Schalkwijk is a lecturer and tutor at AUC, author and has a long standing interest in the biology of health, and related philosophical questions.

Daniel Boomsma, who works for the scientific bureau of D66, and Diederik Boomsma, member of the Amsterdam City Council for CDA, will be asked to respond to the lecture. At the lecture, the speaker will present the booklet “Levenskunst and levenseinde – achtergronden van een Christelijke kijk op levenseinde en euthanasie” to Daniel Boomsma and Diederik Boomsma.

Location: Common Room
Amsterdam University College
Science Park 113, 1098XG Amsterdam
Convenor: Dr. Daan van Schalkwijk


Published by  Amsterdam University College