dr. Anne L. Vroom

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Annewieke Vroom MA Religious Studies Philosophy of Science foto StudioVU/Riechelle van der Valk
Assistant professor


PhD in Comparative Philosophy of Religion; BA/MA in Philosophy, BA/MA Religious Studies.

dr. Anne L. Vroom is a comparative philosopher of religion who combines a strong analytical mind with creativity.

She specializes in existential questions in Asian and European/American bodies of thought and has a passion for dialogue and the spoken word.

She coordinates the bachelors program Comparative Religious Studies (Religiewetenschappen Comparatief).     




Current Teaching

Comparative Philosophy of Religion. On fundamental insights in human nature in a wide range of worldviews.

Building Interreligious Relations (II). On the concept and practice of tolerance in a diversity of religions, from a comparative philosophy perspective.

Art of life: focus on self-transformation (new course 2016-2017). On self-transformation in contemporary art of life traditions, from a comparative philosophy perspective.

Diversity and Conflictmanagement. On intercultural communication and in the context of pluralism and power disbalance, from a religious studies perspective. Contains a practical in dialogue-methods.

Philosophy of science: subjectivity, method, theory. Deals with the history of our field throughthe great theorists (secondary and primary texts) as well as fundamental problems concerning method and (inter)subjectivity, from a philosophy of science perspective.

Eastern Philosophy: focus on core debates. On (understanding) core debates in classical Indian and Chinese thought and modern Japanese thought, from a comparative philosophy perspective.

Comparing myths (new course 2016-2017). On comparison of ancient and modern myths worldwide, from a religious studies perspective - [Joint course, my part: the Oedipus and Ganesa myths concerning family-relations].


Current Research

Writing a public edition of my dissertation, 'God or Emptiness? Zenbuddhist Masao Abe in Dialogue with Christian Thinkers'. On the process and outcomes of the longstanding dialogue between the comparative philosopher Masao Abe (Japan, 1915-2006) and progressive Christian thinkers from the process-theology network. It deals with Charles Hartshorne, John B. Cobb, Catherine Keller, and Schubert Ogden and two of their conversation partners Heinrich Ott and Thomas Altizer.

(Read the introduction; or check out my "lekenpraatje" in ppt. and a report of the defense)

Leadership and service to the community

Coordinator minor in Religious Studies 2017-present

Member Examination committee 2016-present

Coordinator BA-program Religious Studies: Comparative track 2015-present     

Coordinator for ACCORD 2010-2015 (a.o. Initiator ACCORD-lecture series)

Initiator Buddhism @ VU, VU University 2007-2012

Initiator Cross-disciplinary Conference Rethinking Theory and Practice through East-West Dialogue (with Filosofie Oost-West and performance artists) 2012

Acquisition and development Masterclass on Diversity for teachers in Amsterdam (with VU Education Center), 2012

Chair Diversity-committee, Faculty of Theology 2011-2012

Member steergroup VU-Identity, VU University 2008-2011

Scholarships and Prizes

Visiting Scholar, Claremont Graduate University, Center for Process Studies, USA 2015

Best teacher Faculty of Theology (student award) 2014

Erasmus Scholarship, Visiting Scholar, Institute for Religious Studies and Interfaith Theology, Westfalische Wilhelms Universitat Muenster, Germany 2012

Fulbright Scholarship, Visiting Scholar Department for Comparative Theology, Boston College, USA 2010

Visiting Scholar, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture (Nagoya) Japan 2008, 2009

Good Practice Education Prize VU University (5000 Euro), 2008

Best Teacher Faculty of Theology (student award) 2007

VSB-fund and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, for study in Japan, 2003-4

Public lectures (since 2010)

In 2017 I do not give any lectures.


Past lectures

1) Yearly lectures on the Kyoto School for: Filosofie Oost-West Utrecht, Internationale School voor de Wijsbegeerte Leusden, the School for Comparative Philosophy Antwerpen, 2008-2016

2) Other projects:

On Diversity, November 26th Antwerpen

On Non-duality, June 19th Zen.nl teacher training, Nijmegen

Workshop Intentional Conversation, June 3rd Windesheim Zwolle

Lecture for Dotted Lines, with artist Chikako Watanabe, for FilosofieNacht Amsterdam 15th April

Lecture for In Vrijheid Verbonden Utrecht 25th January 2016 (lezing hier)

Seminar on the Kyotoschool for Indachtig de Leegte Leiden 29th January 2016

Workshop Zin in Zen for Zin in Zondag Assen 7th February 2016

The Cybermonk and the Philosopher, Pop-up philosophy for Buddhist Broadcasting Company, Amsterdam December 2015

'One Stranger Less' for IDEA Festival Amsterdam. With Godfrey Lado (South Sudan), November 2015

Lecture on Foundational Questions in Interreligious Dialogue. Ecumenical Center De Zwaan, Alkmaar, November 2015

Lecture on Buddhist-Christian exchanges on Life, God and Emptiness. Remonstrant Church Naarden-Bussum, October 2015

Bible-reading workshop, Embracing Chaos. A Post-feminist reading of Genesis 1, Dominicusgemeente Amsterdam 2015

Lecture on Christian views on a Buddhist notion of Interdependence, Seizing an Alternative, International Whitehead Conference Claremont 2015

Seminar on the Masao Abe Dialogues, Center for Process Studies, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont 2015

Lecture on the Masao Abe Dialogues, Department for Comparative Theology, Boston College 2015

Lecture on Happiness in American and Japanese 20th century thought, Filosofie Oost-West, Theater Perdu Amsterdam 2015

Panel-member and column for Symposium 'Religie doet ertoe!', VU University Amsterdam, January 2015

Short speech for the Academic celebration of the life, thought and impact of Henk Vroom (1945-2014), VU University Amsterdam, January 2015

Lecture on Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, Conference on inter-religious dialogue, Russian Orthodox center St. Andrews, Moscow, December 2014

Classes on Christianity learning from Buddhism/Hinduism for: Theologische Vorming Gemeenteleden Amsterdam 2012, 2014, 2015

Panel-member Ruben Habito, 100ste geboortedag Schillebeeckx, De Nieuwe Liefde 2014

Lecture on Christian Learning from Buddhism, Dominicanenklooster Huissen, August 2014

Lectures on Religious Diversity for: Psychology of Diversity Summerschool (prof. Mona Weismarck), Harvard University 2010, 2012

Lecture for National inter-religious gathering In Vrijheid Verbonden Utrecht (read lecture (partly improvised)), 2011

Panel-member Alternative G7 of Philosophy, Cultural Embassy Lloyd Hotel 2014 (read report in Filosofie Magazine)

Talk on A Way of Getting Closer, Art exhibition by Antoinette Nausikaa, Het Wilde Weten Rotterdam 2012

Radio-column series (monthly): Hemelsbreed, Boeddhistische Omroep Stichting 2011-2012 (republished by www.bodhitv.nl 2012)

Nescio-lecture Series VU Kortenhoef 2008 (Zenboeddhistisch perspectief op de Dood), 2011 (Geweldloze Inter-religieuze Dialoog, een model vanuit Rosenberg)

Dharma talks at the Cambridge Zen Center and Boston University Zen group USA 2010, 2012



Een religiewetenschappelijk perspectief op de plaats van de dieptedimensie binnen de mindfulness, in: Psyche en Geloof, 27e jaargang nr. 3 oktober 2016, pp.177-185.

Comparatieve wijsbegeerte en de reality-check van dialoog, in: Tijdschrift Filosofie, nr.3 mei/juni 2015, pp.36-40

Taal, toegangspoort tot het leven. Leren van zen-boeddhistisch denken over Leegte. in: Tijdschrift Geestelijke Verzorging, juni 2015 pp.48-56

Filosoferen over onmiddelijkheid. in: Filosofie, Jaargang 22 nr.1 jan/feb, 2012

Same or Different? Wijsgerige Vorming aan Theologie- en Religiestudenten als Training in Diversiteit. in: Pionieren in Diversiteit. Filosoferen met het oog op anderen. Koster, E. en Musschenga, B. (red.), VU University Press, 2010 (read)

Essay in Open Deur on Buddhist-Christian Encounter 2008

Emptying Good-and-Evil: Masao Abe’s Approach to the Problem of Evil’. in: Probing the Depths of Evil and Good. Currents of Encounter. Studies on the Contact between Christianity and other Religions, Beliefs and Cultures. Vol.33. Gort, J. et.al. (eds.) Rodopi, 2007

Review [Contemporary Practice and Method in the Philosophy of Religion: New Essays, ed. Cheetham and King 2008] in: Studies in Inter-religious Dialogue (19/2), 2009

Review [The Philosophy of Religion: An Historical Introduction. By Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski 2007]. Philosophia Reformata 74, 2009

Can One Be Enlightened Without Using One’s Head? A Zen Criticism of Rationality. On Hisamatsu Shin’ichi (1898-1980), in: Faith in the Enlightenment? The Critique of the Enlightenment Revisited.Currents of Encounter. Studies on the Contact between Christianity and other Religions, Beliefs and Cultures. Vol.30, Boeve, L. et.al. (eds.) Rodopi, 2006

Review [In Defense of Dharma: Just-war Ideology in Buddhist Sri Lanka. By Tessa J. Bartholomeusz. 2002]. Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 2006 (read)

Interview met Sulak Sivaraksa, Dagblad Trouw, 2005 (read)

Thomas Kasulis: Ik ben mijn relaties, Interview voor Filosofie Magazine, 2004" (read)

Interview met Jan van Bragt over Christelijk leren van Zen Dagblad Trouw,  2004 (read)


Relevant Qualifications

Deep Democracy Training I & II (2016)

Nonviolent Communication Training (2010-2015)

    -Connecting to Life Amsterdam: Empathy 2014, Mediation 2015

    -Stichting Leven in Aandacht Amsterdam: Awareness 2010, 2013, Conflict 2008, Speech 2011, Listening 2013

Qualification Academic teacher (BUD), VU University Education Center 2008

Teaching in English, Language Center VU University 2006

Change Agency I (Veranderkunde), SOL Nijmegen 2006

Postacademic study in Japan, NCC Center Kyoto and Nanzan Institute Nagoya 2003-4

Minor in Buddhism, Nagarjuna Institute for Exact Method, Kathmandu Nepal 2001

Minor in Hindu Bhakti and Dalit Theology, United Theological College, Bangalore India 1999

Past Affiliations

Identity Coach, guiding schools from mono-religious to multi-religious identity, at Arkade-Cilon for Stichting Bijzonderwijs, Amsterdam 2004-6

Teacher Philosophical Ethics and meaning of Life at InHolland Amsterdam 2004-5

Freelancer journalism and photography, Amsterdam 2004-5

Other functions

Member Liturgical Team Dominicus Amsterdam

Read interview in Volzin, april/march 2015.