Kees den Biesen


Kees den Biesen

Kees den Biesen (Maastricht, 1959) is an independent scholar and teacher in Christian literature, philosophy and theology.

He specialized in the literature of the ancient Christian Middle East, the architectural theory of Hans van der Laan OSB, and in the poetry and symbolic thought of Ephrem the Syrian and Dante Alighieri.

His main interest is the interaction between art, intellect and religion. He has extensive experience in unlocking poetical lyrics for contemporary readers and lectures regularly on topics that range from Coptic monasticism to Syriac mysticism, from Ephrem’s Teaching Songs on Paradise to Dante’s Divine Commedy, and from Cézanne’s theory of painting to Ricoeur’s and Gadamer’s hermeneutics of art and thought.

Kees lives in Umbria where, together with his wife Catherine Ann Lombard, he organises small-scale journeys around literary, artistic and spiritual themes (see


Pilgrimage in Italy 2017

Join us in April 2017 when we travel together as pilgrims through the Umbrian countryside where St. Francis of Assisi and his followers lived and practiced their spiritual lives of prayer, love, and poverty. Our time will be spent visiting the holy sites of Assisi, La Verna, and Greccio while we reflect on the Canticle of the Creatures, a poem and song composed by St. Francis in 1224. Together we will read, meditate and share our thoughts on the Canticle as we spend 12 days together, walking the rolling hills, visiting the site where Saint Francis received his stigmata, and traveling to the town of Greccio where he created the first Christmas creche.

see under program

recent publications

A few recent publications (see for more)

Simple and Bold: Ephrem’s Art of Symbolic Thought, Gorgias Press, Piscataway NJ, 2006; paperback edition 2014.

‘Reading the Divine Commedy from a psychosynthesis perspective: the beginning of a spiritual journey’, with Catherine Ann Lombard M.A., in Psychosynthesis Quaterly. The Digital Magazine of the Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis 3:2 (2014) 5-11 []. 

Dom Hans van der Laan OSB: Scritti su proporzione, architettura e liturgia. Traduzioni, introduzioni e commenti a cura di Kees den Biesen e Tiziana Proietti, Melfi : Libria [forthcoming].