Cornelia Johanna de Vogel

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Cornelia Johanna de Vogel (1939)

Cornelia Johanna de Vogel (born February 27, 1905 in Leeuwarden ; † May 7, 1986 in Renesse , Schouwen-Duiveland ) was a Dutch historian of philosophy and theologian .

De Vogel was the daughter of the pharmacist Cornelis Johannes de Vogel (1860–1926) and his wife Janna Jansje Theunisse (1871–1951). She had a sister Anna Rosa Josia, who was exactly one year older to the day. The liberal and irreligious parents attached great importance to the cultural development of the two girls. Among other things, de Vogel learned to play the piano. From 1918 to 1924 she attended the Stedelijk Gymnasium in Leeuwarden. During this time she was already interested in theosophy and Greek philosophy .

Cornelia Johanna de Vogel (1925)

From 1924 she studied Classical Philology and Philosophy at the University of Utrecht . Under the influence of the Neo-Kantian , classical philologist and Christian Bernard Jan Hendrik Ovink (1862–1944), she began to read the Protestant theologians Karl Barth and Emil Brunner . In December 1927 she was baptized in the Hervormde Kerk . On July 4, 1927, she had already passed her candidate state exam. After that, in addition to her further studies, she worked for two years as a teacher of ancient languages ​​at the Christelijk Lyzeum in Harderwijk , in order to study philosophy at the University of Leiden with the merit of 1929/1930 . On July 1, 1932, she obtained the doctoral exam in Ancient Languages ​​in Utrecht. She then went to the École française d'Athènes for two years to prepare her dissertation with the philosopher Johannes Christiaan Franken (1891-1941), Ovink's successor. Because of serious rheumatic attacks she wrote this work, Een keerpunt in Plato's Think. Historical-philosophical study , lying on the bed in her parents' house in Leeuwarden; at times she could not walk either. Nevertheless, she received her doctorate cum laude on May 1, 1936. From 1938 to 1946 she worked as a private tutor for Greek and Latin in The Hague .

In Athens she had started a platonic relationship with the married Belgian archaeologist Edward van Laere, which would last until his death in 1956. When her boyfriend's marriage failed, she felt part of the guilty thing. During this crisis, de Vogel pondered the problem of sin and grace . The sola fide doctrine of the Reformation was no longer sufficient for her. Reading the Lectures on justification (1838) by the English, at the time still Anglican theologian John Henry Newman, prompted her in 1939 to write a 500-page treatise on this subject with Newman's thought over derechtvaardiging . She tended more and more to the Roman Catholic Church , as she said in her Ecclesia Catholica. Redelijke responsibilty for a persoonlijke keuze . On December 21, 1944, she officially converted to the Catholic Church in the Redemptorist monastery in Wittern ( Zuid-Limburg ). On the advice of her spiritual director, she made a vow to remain unmarried and to devote her life entirely to science.

On December 7, 1946, de Vogel was appointed professor of classical and medieval philosophy at the University of Utrecht. On May 19, 1947, she gave her inaugural address Een groot probleem uit de antieke wijsbegeerte gezien in zijn historical perspective . On May 8, 1968, her teaching assignment changed. She was now full professor ( gewoon hoogleraar ) for Wijsbegeerte van de klassieke oudheid en de oud-christelijke wijsbegeerte . In 1974 she retired; her farewell speech on January 23, 1974 read: Aeterna veritas. Hedendaagse problems concerning neoplatonisme & christendom .

With writings like Aan de Katholieken van Nederland. Aan allen (1973) and De grondslag van onze zekerheid: over de problemen van de Kerk van heden. Een bijdrage tot reële theologische discussie (1977), de Vogel was intensively involved in Catholic theology and church even after her retirement.

Fonts (selection)

  • Think een keerpunt in Plato's. Historical-philosophical study . Amsterdam 1936.
  • Newman's thought over derechtvaardiging . Wageningen 1939.
  • Ecclesia Catholica. Redelijke responsibility for a personal communication . Utrecht and Brussels 1946.
  • Greek philosophy. A collection of texts selected and supplied with some notes and explanations . Leiden 1950.
  • Greek Philosophy I, Thales to Plato . Leiden 1950.
  • Greek Philosophy II, Aristotle; The early peripatetic school and the early academy . Leiden 1953.
  • Greek Philosophy III, The Hellenistic-Roman Period . Leiden 1959.
  • Pythagoras and early Pythagoreanism. An interpretation of neglected evidence on the philosopher Pythagoras . Assen 1966.
  • Plato: de filosoof van het transcendente . Baarn 1968.
  • Het humanisme en zijn historical achtergrond . Assen 1968.
  • Philosophia . Assen 1970.
  • Rethinking Plato and Platonism . Leiden 1986.


  • Paul Luykx: Cornelia de Vogel. Leven en bekering . Hilversum 2004.

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