Swimming Against the Stream

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Art, Philosophy, & Reality With Hans Rookmaaker

Who was Hans Rookmaaker?
Hans Rookmaaker (1922 – 1977) Dutch Art Historian – Born in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) in 1922. He was converted to Dutch Reformed Protestant Christianity in World War II while a prisoner of war in the Ukraine, where he met the Calvinist philosopher Johan Mekkes. After the war Rookmaaker noticed the lack of engagement in the arts by Christians in the West. In 1948 he met Francis Schaeffer, who would go on to form L’Abri in the little village of Huémoz Switzerland. Schaeffer turned out to be someone with a similar outlook to his own. Later Rookmaaker along with his wife Anky would help to start Dutch L’Abri in the Netherlands at Eck-en-Wiel.

He often spoke in colleges, universities, seminaries about art and other related subjects. He was a mortal enemy of the kind of Christian propaganda disguised as art. Being Dutch he tended to speak exactly what was on his mind. And wherever he went he tended to stir up both deep thought and hot controversy. But by all accounts, and the evidence of his primitively taped lectures, he was an unforgettable presence.

This lecture What Is Reality? Is to me the summation of his deepest ideas about why the culture has lost its sense of meaning It was given in 1976 and is a product of his last period before his early death in March of 1977

The text of this lecture can be found in The Complete Works of Hans Rookmaaker, edited by his daughter Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker.
And more of Rookmaaker’s L’Abri lectures can be found at the L’Abri Ideas Library. https://www.labriideaslibrary.org

Special thanks to Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker for permission to use her father’s lectures and for passing on the very few photos and one film of his that survive.

Start here: If you only listen to one of Rookmaaker’s lectures, this is it.

As an Art Historian Rookmaaker’s lecture’s on art are particularly worth listening to.

And sometimes he goes over the edge…

The text of these lectures can be found in The Complete Works of Hans Rookmaaker, edited by his daughter Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker. THIS HAS JUST BEEN REPRINTED IN INDIVIDUAL VOLUMES. (Roughly $35 each or £25.) BUY THEM NOW THEY WILL NOT LAST.
Here is a Link to the US Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=hans+Rookmaaker+complete+works&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

And here is one to the UK Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?i=stripbooks&k=hans%20Rookmaaker%20complete%20works&ref=glow_cls&refresh=1
And more of Rookmaaker’s L’Abri lectures can be found at the L’Abri Ideas Library. https://www.labriideaslibrary.org

Listen and learn. More to come.

Byrne Power

Tbilisi, Georgia

October 4th 2021

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