Boniface… wasn’t that some guy, a preacher, from the eighth century?
Indeed. And on the fifth day of June of the year 754 this Boniface was murdered nearby Dokkum. Then, several years later (1256 to be exact), also on the fifth of June, G.T.S.D. Bonifatius arose in Groningen.
With a little more than 30 members Bonifatius is the largest disputation with a connection to the faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, and that is for good reason. Bonifatius is like a family. Not only are you able to talk about any issue, especially when you are challenged with something you’ve come across your studies, but we also really have loads of fun together. This happens because you are warmly welcomed and make new friends easily at Bonifatius.
We come together in the PThU on Mondays every three weeks, which gives you the opportunity to enjoy your studies, sports, social life and perhaps other student’s guilds outside of Bonifatius. We think it is highly important to be able to keep doing all those things, to make your studying years in Groningen as worthwhile as possible.
What happens at such an evening? Although it’s not part of our ‘official’ evenings, normally there’s a group eating together before one, where you are always welcome to join. The activity starts at 19:30 or 19:45, normally with an opening in the chapel with a short reading and some singing together. We then either have a lecture by an invited person about their expertise or personal experience, or we separate in several groups and discuss a certain text and/or theme. After we finish, it is time to start the music and grab some drinks and snacks! This is also the time for a further discussion, to chitchat or just to talk, as the Dutch like to say, about ‘koetjes en kalfjes’.
In essence, we are an informal dispute. We do focus on Theology and Christian belief, but in our own contexts and lives. Our goal is this: To create a place of positive Christian reflection on what a student is provided with during their study. Therefore, Bonifatius really is a place to be yourself and to be able to develop and deepen your own vision and belief.
By the way: You are just as welcome if you do Religious Studies; just be aware that Bonifatius for the most part focuses on theological questions.
Other things you need to know:
Firstly, we ask a small annual contribution (normally +- €30) to be able to keep the disputation going.
Secondly, we ask you to endorse the Bible, the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed. This does not mean that you need to agree with everything in said foundation, but that you accept and respect them in general. There is loads of room for dialogue.
Then, lastly, we are a Dutch disputation. This means that our evenings are held in Dutch, although we do try organizing an international lecture or study-evening every year.
If you are interested and want to experience for yourself what Bonifatius is and does, please feel free to come, without obligation, to one of our lecture-evenings! Evenings like these are always mentioned on our website and Facebook, and promoted by posters in the PThU.
You can always contact us if you have questions or if you are unsure when the next activity will be organized. Hopefully we’ll see you soon!