Dr Deborah de Koning

Dr Deborah de Koning


TST: Tilburg School of Catholic Theology
TST: Religion and Practice


I am Dr. Deborah de Koning and I work as postdoctoral researcher in the NWO Project Apocalypse and Climate Change. I have a passion for Eastern Religions (specifically Hinduism and Buddhism) and focus in my academic work on contemporary religious practices. I love being ‘in the field’ to conduct ethnographic research.

The climate crisis affects our world and the ways we look at it. Religious traditions offer specific worldviews – including language – to provide interpretations of crises. I am interested in how religious traditions are reappraised by climate activists.


I my research I specifically look at how religious (climate) groups contribute to climate positive living and how they (selectively) employ religious traditions for this. I mainly focus on practices and climate rituals. Climate rituals are fashioned both from existing traditions (think of commemorations with a collective prayer of an ecological Our Father/Mother), but new climate rituals are also invented (like climate pilgrimages). Several of these rituals have to do with ecological mourning.

From 2015-2021 I worked at Tilburg University as PhD-student. At that time I conducted my NWO-funded PhD research on Ravanisation. I have investigated the (re)appraisal and revitalisation of Ravana – mainly, but not exclusively known as a demon king from Hindu mythology - amongst Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka.


I also work as guest lecturer Hinduism and Buddhism at several theological faculties and universities (ETF, TUK, CHE)

Recent publications

  1. Een requiem voor een gletsjer

    Bosman, F., & de Koning, D. (2023). Een requiem voor een gletsjer. https://frankgbosman.wordpress.com/2023/09/30/een-requiem-voor-een-gletsjer/
  2. Een (klimaat)ritueel zegt meer dan duizend woorden - Aarde ben je en …

    de Koning, D. (2023). Een (klimaat)ritueel zegt meer dan duizend woorden: Aarde ben je en tot Aarde zul je terugkeren. Web publication/site https://religionclimate.odoo.com/blog/our-blog-1/a-climate-ritual-is-worth-a-thousand-words-1
  3. Halloween en een uitstervende ijsbeer

    de Koning, D., & Bosman, F. (2023). Halloween en een uitstervende ijsbeer. Web publication/site https://religionclimate.odoo.com/nl/blog/blogs-1/halloween-en-een-uitstervende-ijsbeer-18
  4. Krishna en de koeien in de klimaatcrisis

    de Koning, D. (2023). Krishna en de koeien in de klimaatcrisis. Web publication/site https://religionclimate.odoo.com/nl/blog/blogs-1/krishna-en-de-koeien-in-de-klimaatcrisis-9
  5. Performance van intergenerationele en intersoortelijke verbondenheid …

    de Koning, D. (2023). Performance van intergenerationele en intersoortelijke verbondenheid: Het verruimen van bestaande (rouw)rituelen in de voorstelling ‘Herinner ons’. Web publication/site https://religionclimate.odoo.com/nl/blog/blogs-1/performance-van-intergenerationele-en-intersoortelijke-verbondenheid-10

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