Fancy existential care

Inaugural lecture by Gaby Jacobs

What if the things that came natural to you, don’t come easy anymore? For example because you lose someone or because you get sick?

This can lead to a break experience and to questions about yourself and about life. These questions are called life questions or existential questions. I illustrated the crack in one’s life it may lead to for the inaugural lecture by Gaby Jacobs.


Spiritual care offers support in crisis situations. A spiritual counselor is someone who provides professional guidance, help and advice with questions about meaning and philosophy.

Gaby Jacobs: ‘Existential care is in full swing. In 2017, for the first time, a majority of the Dutch population aged 15 years or older did not consider themselves to belong to a religious group. However, being non-religious does not mean that people do not have a deep-seated desire for a meaningful life, or that they do not struggle with existential questions. In fact, interest in these kinds of questions has been increasing recently.’


The inaugural lectures appear in print and as an interactive PDF.

Read more about the inaugural lecture (in Dutch).

View the inaugural lecture as a PDF (in Dutch).