The Catholic Student Chaplaincy in Amsterdam

Summer Project 2021

The Hildebrandt Summer Seminar July 5-9, 2021

The Hildebrandt Project organises a Summer Seminar in July 2021.

The Personalist Vision

The Eleventh Annual Summer Seminar of the Hildebrandt Project will take place July 5-9 2021. 

Though persons have been devalued and commodified in every age, new political and social movements of the last century have subjected man to unheard-of degradation. Much of this degradation has been violent and murderous, but much of it has been the silent and steady degradation of a throw-away culture.

Personalism opposes all such degradation. It affirms the unique and inviolable dignity of every human person. It is a school of thought and imagination that has, from the Greeks to the present day, developed in constant opposition to depersonalizing movements. Personalism in the twentieth century, especially as a Christian tradition, is the fruit of luminaries like Jacques Maritain, Pope John Paul II, Edith Stein, and, of course, Dietrich von Hildebrand.

In this seminar, we will learn of the irreducible dignity of the human person; of the vital interplay of freedom and virtue; of the universal call to solidarity among persons; of the stark divide between patriotism and nationalism, and the chasm separating community and mob rule; of the need for proposing, rather than imposing, religious truth; and of the way in which human persons are destined ultimately for communion with God.

We will look at how Personalism has developed from the ancient world, through centuries of Christian and Jewish development, and into the modern world. We will look to the witness of those who, like Hildebrand (and others like Martin Luther King Jr. and Dorothy Day), lived out the tenets of Personalism, championing human dignity in the face of seemingly impossible opposition.

Especially today, Personalism provides a robust basis for a defense of the dignity of all persons, and for genuine solidarity and unity in our nation and world today.


Complete information can be found on the website of the Hildebrandt Project.

The seminars are designed to provide participants a chance to explore rich insights, interact with the  master faculty, and engage in vibrant conversation and networking with their fellow participants.

Attendance is based on interest and a simple online application.

Upon acceptance, applicants have full access to the following:

  • Two daily keynote sessions with talks and panel discussions featuring seminar faculty, including the ability to ask questions during the Q&A
  • Daily “face to face” small group discussions moderated by seminar faculty
  • Optional afternoon sessions on special topics
  • Personal engagement and networking with faculty and fellow participants

Participants will have the same small group throughout the seminar, so individual participation is important to the overall experience of you and your peers (who are sure to soon become your friends!). Participants are asked to commit to a modest amount of reading before the seminar, delivered in the form of a digital packet, which will help enrich the overall conversation.


We understand that not everyone who is interested is also able to commit to the full seminar and the readings. For those who cannot but who still want to attend in some way, we offer a limited Guest Pass, which will allow you to view the daily keynote sessions. 


All presentations and group discussions will be conducted live in Zoom. Links for each session will be sent out ahead of time.

Participants and Guests will be able to submit questions following Keynotes and Panel Discussions.

Participants will be part of a small group moderated by a seminar faculty member. Small groups will have the same participants and moderators throughout the seminar.

Special topics and social sessions will be available in the afternoons and evenings throughout the seminar. These will vary in size and duration.

Patron Saint

Our patron Saint John Henry Newman
This is our patron saint Cardinal John Henry Newman.


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The Chaplaincy is located at Keizersgracht 218-B
1016 DZ  Amsterdam
Tel. +31 6 174 172 40 (also WhatsApp)
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Amsterdam University College
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam