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Inner healing as a theological challenge

9 January 2023
Inner healing in a world of disturbed relationships and loneliness, how is that possible? In his thesis 'Balm that heals the soul', Henrico ter Beek shows the importance of good theology.

Ter Beek investigates theological interpretation of experiences of inner healing. "Appropriate interpretation is important, because in this way the access to the human heart is unlocked and the experience becomes beneficial.  This requiresthe correct knowledge of reality, that is, of God, man and the world."

'Lovingly involved'

"My research also helps to form a theological framework that feeds the awareness that God is not far away, but rather close and lovingly involved," says Ter Beek." This is beneficial for people who struggle with deep loneliness, partly due to painful memories and damaged emotions.  God's nearness is visible in the personality of Jesus Christ and the holy spirit's own characteristic who "writes ways in time" and thus goes along with people's lives. Healing is above all the communicative relationship between God and man and the community that takes shape in it."

Meaning and identity

Ter Beek sees the awareness of God's presence as a religious-spiritual factor that can contribute to meaning and building identity. "The theme is topical, and a good theology is important for that.  The service of inner healing and theology around it wants to work for peace in the heart and in human relationships.  My hope is that thiscontributes to a healthy society and a better world."

Henrico ter Beek will be awarded a PhD by the Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT) at VU University Amsterdam on 2 February. His thesis 'Balm that heals the soul' is currently only available in bookstores. See here for more information and a summary