Dr. H.W. (Rico) Sneller

  • Assistant Professor
  • Continental Philosophy/Metaphysical Tradition
  • Jewish Philosophy
  • Mysticism and Spirituality

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2583
E-Mail: h.w.sneller@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte
Office Address: P.J. Vethgebouw
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden
Room number T1.15
Personal Homepage: ricosneller.blogspot.com

Dr. H.W. (Rico) Sneller (1967) is assistant professor of philosophical anthropology at the Institute for Philosophy at Leiden University. He studied theology in Utrecht and Leiden and philosophy in Paris. His dissertation dealt with the problem of negative theology and the philosophy of Jacques Derrida.


Dr. Rico Sneller has been teaching the following courses. BA: history of western philosophy; ethics; hermeneutics, philosophical anthropology; annual honours classes (on René Girard, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, Comparative Philosophy). MA: master seminars ethics with varying topics each year (e.g. community, conversion, questioning life and death, war and peace etc.), Modern French Philosophy. In 2005 he has won the annually awarded educational prize of the Leiden University’s student council.


Description: ethics and the idea of an absolute good. The research deals with the question whether a moral orientation upon a non tradition-, culture- or context-based norm is viable and whether it makes sense. Investigated subjects are: religiously based suicide terror; spirituality, mystics and ethics; fundamental moral concepts such as sovereignty, transcendence, goodness, alterity, etc.


Rico Sneller regularly holds lectures and teaches frequently in permanent education and schooling initiatives (honours classes, LappTop, Liberal Arts Academy). He is co-director in chief of a global initiative called Alternative Approaches and Global Issues, with prof. Mahmoud Masaeli (Ottawa) and prof. Jalil Roshandel (North Carolina); together they have organised several international conferences (in Ottawa, Washington, Leiden, North Carolina, Bogota). With three colleagues, prof. Hans Gerding, Gerard Visser and drs Barbara Zwaan, he organises several conferences a year on philosophy and spirituality. Another common initiative is a book, co-authored with prof. Hans Gerding and Dr Hein van Dongen, on philosophers’ approaches of exceptional human experiences, Wild Beasts of the Philosophical Desert (Cambridge Publishing 2014). Recently, he has engaged in the Noetic Scientific Initiative, an academic platform for scholars who have a common urge for unification of scientific results and who are highly critical of reductionist approaches.

Selected Publications

  • Hein van Dongen, Hans Gerding and Rico Sneller, Wild Beasts of the Philosophical Desert. Philosophers on Telepathy and Other Exceptional Experiences, Cambridge Publishing 2014. 
  • ‘Dreams, Morality, and Terrorism’, in: Jalil Roshandel and Nathan Lean (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Terrorism: Implications for Security, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge & Scholars Publishing, 2013.
  • Madeleine Kasten, Herman Paul and Rico Sneller (eds.), Hermeneutics and the Humanities: Dialogues with Hans-Georg Gadamer, Leiden, LUP, 2012.
  • ‘Apocalypticism: source or impediment of terrorism?’, in: Mahmoud Masaeli, ed., Morality and Terrorism: An Interfaith Perspective, Santa Ana, Nortia Press, 2012, 89-111.
  • 'Der leidende Messias. Jesaja 53 zwischen Cohen und Barth’, in: Zeitschrift für Dialektische Theologie, Heft 57, Jg. 28/2, 2012, 112-135 .
  • Hein van Dongen, Hans Gerding en Rico Sneller, Wilde beesten in de filosofische woestijn. Filosofen over telepathie en andere bijzondere ervaringen, Kampen, Ten Have, 2011.
  • ‘Towards a Derridean spirituality. Derrida and Abulafia’, in: Bijdragen. International Journal in Philosophy and Theology 72 (3), 2011, 298-321. 
  • Rico Sneller, Sjef Houppermans and Peter van Zilfhout (eds.), Enduring Resistance. Cultural Theory after Derrida / La résistance persévère: la théorie de la culture (d')après Derrida, Amsterdam/New York, Rodopi, 2010.
  • ‘The Ethics of Suicide Terrorism; An Analysis of the Hamas Charter’, in: Mahmoud Massaeli (ed.), Terrorism and Ethical Wrongfulness, Ottawa, Commoners Publishing Co., 2010.


Alternative Perspectives and Global Concerns (APGC) 
Societas Ethica – European Society for Research in Ethics
Réseau Jacques Derrida
Gezelschap voor Fenomenologische Wijsbegeerte
Noëtisch Wetenschappelijk Initiatief

Last Modified: 11-12-2015