In memory of Prof. Ria Kloppenborg.
Many years ago I met Ria Kloppneborg for the first time in a very inspiring international conference on Women in Buddhism held at the Tiltenberg Religious Center. Ria told us about translating old manuscripts from Pali and Sanskrit into Dutch, in particular her research work in the Verse of nuns, Therigatha which was Published years later. Among the innumerous lectures she gave, I was much impressed with the one on the explanation of Buddhism in essence for the nurse-training.
I mainly translate now what was written about her in the newspapers in her memory. The dean of the faculty of Comparative Religions, University of Utreclt wrote : "Professor Kloppenborg worked for the faculty since 1970, and since 1988 as a professor. In that position she has influenced and inspired greatly the teaching and research in the field of Living Religions and Comparative Religions. Both her scientific and personal concern about colleagues and a great variety of young and older students were deeply impressed. The faculty remember her in deep gratitude."
Beside the heavy responsibility as a professor she had many other activities and interests i.e. she painted Buddha images inspired by Tibetan thangka paintings. She took personal interest in all the Buddhist mainstreams, it was mediation which helped her to overcome deep sorrow after the death of her only son.
She also took great interest in psychotherapy, and she thought that Buddhism has a lot to offer to Western psychotherapist and vise versa.
Members of the foundation Psychotherapie en Boeddhisme wrote "Since 1997 Ria tried hard to bring together therapists from the mental health Care, who are interested in the meeting and mutual exchange of psychotherapy and Buddhism. A working group was set up in 1998. Ria wanted to form an official foundation and even during her last stage of illness she put effort for that purpose. We are very glad that just 3 weeks before, she could celebrate with us this new foundation where she was its president.
Ria was both grounded in the mundane and spiritual. She had a real scientific mind. She was humble and loved authenticity. The human aspect stood central for her. We will miss her warmth, generosity, her sense of humor, friendliness, organizing talent ad creative input. May she live in loving memories."
Last but net the least: Ria was a mother too. Renee, her daughter wrote: "My loving most generous Mama has gone travelling, my thoughts will be with her."
It will not be easy now to fill the big empty space Ria has left between all the friends and Buddhists who loved her.
Ria died peacefully when she was only 58.
Editor: Ria always spoke on behalf of women, during her visit to Thailand she spoke at the Buddhist Monks University and pointed out the imbalance opportunity for women in Buddhism. This Sunday Jan. 11, 2004 we invited her to preside over the offering of Dana and we also dedicated the merit to her. May she be always in peace.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Author:||Van de Horst, Joke|
|Publication:||Yasodhara-Newsletter on International Buddhist Women's Activities|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2004|
|Previous Article:||Buddhist Women in Residence (BWR).|
|Next Article:||Ven.Sumangalo Maha Thero's visit.|