I’m writing this from Amsterdam, after a few days of good meetings with colleagues at VU University and generally a good experience of how our ‘new academic home’ will work. Those of you who have had some experience of this culture know the friendliness which generally characterises it, but you can imagine the difference this can make in the task of discussing various aspects of integration of IBTS into the work and life of VU’s Theology Faculty, common projects, shared aspirations, etc. Of course, because this is a big organisation, things take time as far as the logistics go; “getting into the system” needs a certain persistence and time, but once you’re in, things go smooth, and it’s exciting to see the possibilities available. So today Parush and I got our passes and library cards (I’m attaching the picture of the entrance to the theological section of the library on the 9th & 10th floor) – and I’ve played about exploring different sections of electronic resources available to those of you who are or will be VU students or guests. This, as you will appreciate, is a lovely, lovely thing to do given that most of my time exploring books and articles “just for fun” remains a nice intention to be postponed to the next day!
We also began working our ways in the corridors and staircases and places being renovated – quite fun for someone like me who has a rather peculiar sense of direction! (Here’s a picture of one of these staircases).
And lastly, I’m attaching a picture of our Rector by the entrance of the Faculty of Theology, which is beginning to feel like a home. (For him especially because the pass we got allows access to coffee machines!)