Eco-spiritual community celebrates 25th anniversary with book

Dec 03, 2015
Eco-spiritual community celebrates 25th anniversary with book

The Franciscan Environmental Project Stoutenburg celebrated its 25th anniversary on Saturday 28 November 2015. During those 25 years, this environmental community based in the Netherlands has inspired countless peope in their search for and efforts to live in community, prepare seasonal and locally grown food, create organic gardens and connect with nature in many other ways.

The secret of Stoutenburg

Lisette van der Wel wrote a book on the project and its development. A scholar in the nexus of anthropology, sustainability and religion, she spent a year on in-depth study of the Franciscan Environmental Project.What is the secret formula of this community which had so long centered around the 'environment' independently of the spirit of the times? What is the scholarly foundation of this concept in which resident community members maintain a green living environment and create a space for volunteers' participation, rooting themselves on the pillars of community, connection with nature and spirituality? Lisette lived, read, studied, participated, interviewed and concluded: "as a critical outsider I would miss the essence of what came to me from this project as truth and beauty". She caught sympathy for this project, was touched, became inspired by Franciscus of Assisi, the people, the way of life. The result was an emotionally involved book about tranquility and connectedness, community and hospitality, contemporanity and tradition.

Speakers at the book presentation were: Martine Vonk (Associate Professor on Ethics and Technology at Saxion, Deventer and former leader of Time to Turn); Henrik Looy (leader of Made@home and Improve the World); and Ferdinand Borger (theologist and programme maker at IKON broadcast organisation). Stoutenburg celebrated this book and the anniversary with those who had become connected with the project over the years.


Stoutenburg: leven in verbondenheid / Lisette van der Wel, 128 p., uitg. Jan van Arkel, ISBN 978-90-6224-545-1. Full colour, hard cover with ribbon. In Dutch.

The book can be ordered:

in the Netherlands: by transferring € 15,- (including postage) to: Franciscaans Milieuproject, account number NL47 TRIO 0197 8504080, stating: Jubileumboek and your full address.

from abroad: contact  

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