International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijahss
The Girl Who Learned to Pray: A Journey through Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology


Throughout Etty Hillesum’s short life, she attained a pinnacle of intellectual and spiritual enlightenment, rare for even the eldest amongst humankind. According to Jan G. Gaarlandt, Etty Hillesum had her “own [spiritual] rhythm” (xv). Etty’s final years were an amalgam of intellectual and spiritual discovery. However, her religiosity was “totally unconventional” (xv). In other words, Etty underwent a completely individualistic search for practical wisdom. She open-mindedly delved into Jungian psychotherapy, Western philosophy, Eastern philosophy, and theology; she found much meaning in each of these quasi-religious pursuits. Thus, Etty Hillesum’s spirituality knew no formal boundaries.