Concerning maternity – part II

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Date(s) - 19/01/2018
10:00 - 13:00

Universiteit voor Humanistiek


Ethical and existential concerns at the beginning of life

Every human is brought into the world through the women’s body. While we all know this fact, surprisingly little research has been conducted on mothers’ perspectives on what this means, both ethically and existentially. What is good care at the beginning of life? Childbirth is a relational and existential experience. What does new life mean on various levels, such as identity, relations, institutions and society? The main question of the symposium will focus on borders of meaning and responsibility. When does life come into existence, in conception, pregnancy or labor? What kind of meanings and responsibilities matter, of whom and to whom?

Keynote speaker

The keynote speaker is Prof. dr. Christina Schües, a professor at University of Lübeck. She is the author of ‘Philosophie des Geborenseins’ (‘Philosophy of being born’, 2008). The title of her lecture is: ‘Birth – When does responsibility begin?’

A response to the keynote will be given by Jonne Hoek, PhD candidate from the University of Twente. His contribution is entitled: ‘Technology and the beginning of life: responsibility, vulnerability and limit-situations.’


09:30 – Arrival, coffee and tea
10:00 – Welcome by today’s chair Inge van Nistelrooij
10:10 – Keynote lecture by prof.dr. Christina Schües – Birth, when does responsibility begin?
11:00 – Q & A, conversation with the keynote speaker
11:30 – Coffee and tea break
12:00 – Response by drs. Jonne Hoek – Technology and the beginning of life: responsibility, vulnerability, and limit-situations
12:15 – Q& A, discussion with audience and dialogue with both speakers
12:50 – Conclusion
01:00 – End of symposium

Download the complete program


The symposium is the second and final part of the launch of a new research project that focuses on existential and ethical questions at the beginning of life, conducted by Inge van Nistelrooij & Joanna Wojtkowiak. “Concerning maternity: ethical and existential questions at the beginning of life”, conducted by Dr. Inge van Nistelrooij & Dr. Joanna Wojtkowiak.

For further information, you can contact dr. Inge van Nistelrooij

Attendance is free, but you need to register in advance here.