Ruard Ganzevoort was born in 1965 in a liberal reformed family in the Netherlands. With his parents, siblings, and occasional foster children, he lived in several places in his home country and Surinam, South America. Activism (human rights, ecology, anti-war) was always part of their family life. A spiritual search from age 14 brought him into contact with (among others) Hare Krishna devotees and Youth for Christ. The latter offered him a spiritual home for several years, but he has always remained open to a wide variety of spiritual traditions, including for example the African-Surinamese Winti-religion.
Interested in many possible careers, he ended up studying theology and becoming a minister in one of the smaller reformed denominations in the Netherlands. He served three congregations and was elected on the board of the national synod. Meanwhile he had earned his Ph.D. with a research project on the function and change of faith in crisis situations. In 1996 he was appointed assistant-professor (associate from 2001) of practical theology at Kampen Theological University, the Netherlands. In 2005 he became full professor of practical theology at VU University, Amsterdam, supplemented by a temporary position as professor of theology at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. He is past president of the International Academy of Practical Theology and served/serves on the board of several organizations in research, education, and social care. His research includes topics like religious coping, sexual diversity, popular culture, trauma, violence, and forgiveness, and so on. His publications include some 20 (co-)authored or (co-)edited books, among which Adam en Evert’(Adam and Steve) on the tensions between Christianity and homosexuality (see website above for full details). He lectured and taught at any conferences and with institutions on all continents except Antarctica.
Ganzevoort is the father of six sons (one deceased) from a sixteen-year marriage. Following his coming-out, he and his wife divorced but they remained good friends, and both received a new partner. Being defrocked because of his homosexual relation, he remained active in pastoral counseling in private practice. With his husband, he ran a hotel from 2008 onward with a focus on a personal style, modern art and design, and sustainability (including organic food and materials). Together they are also involved in the yearly LGBT-festival Midzomergracht in Utrecht, the Netherlands, offering ten days of parties, sports, debates, art expositions, and more (his partner being chairperson of the organizing committee). Since 2009 Ganzevoort is also engaged in national politics through the Green party, where he contributes to debates on religion and society, anti-discrimination, LGBT-issues, and education.
(This biographical statement provided by Ruard Ganzevoort.)
Biography Date: July, 2010
Reformed (Netherlands) | Author/editor | Theology | Netherlands