Books by Open Circle Publishing

-Sen McGlinn and Sonja van Kerkhoff-
Prices do not include postage costs

Crossing Contexts   2016
Bilingual (Dutch and English) catalogue
of art projects by Sonja van Kerkhoff

Pages 22 + 23.

Church and State   2005
A postmodern political theology

by Sen McGlinn

This is a political theology for the Bahá´í Faith, but it is also a philosophy for living in our globalising, postmodern society. The functional differentiation of society means that government, religion, commerce, art, education and science are increasingly independent, have different social functions, relate differently to one another, and that their lived meanings for us are different. Functional differentiation also drives the pluralism and relativism, global scope and individualisation that characterise postmodern society.
In a society in which religious ritual is the mirror of individual distinctiveness, not of collective identity, in which permanent pluralism means n that no one religion can provide common norms and values, and no ideology should try, and in which the norms of one sphere of life are not transferred to other spheres, religion must find a new understanding of itself, and a new job description for its role in society. The 20th century has taught us that economic affairs cannot be governed by political ideologies, that science must be free of doctrine and political agendas, that church and state must be separated. But it has not provided us with a new world view that explains the postmodern world that we actually experience.
This book draws on the Bahai scriptures, and the Bible and Quran, to show that the differentiation and globalisation of postmodern society are signs that the Kingdom of God is growing in the world.

This book (16 x 25 cm) of 441 pages
costs $US 39 from
7 black and white photogrpahs overlaid with texts by Sonja van Kerkhoff

To Sen's 2018 book "Principles for Progress" on the Leiden University Press website

Sermon on the Art of Governance

In Dutch, English and Persian. OUT OF STOCK.

The Exchange
- Colonising Oxford

As one of six Leiden artists invited to Oxford for 3 weeks in the context of a twin-city exchange. I decided to do a series of performance projects in Oxford, some of which used the local citizens as my medium.

8 Euros 24 pages with many illustrations in black and white. In English and Dutch.

Most of the text is on this webpage with similiar images in colour

more about this image

View the postcard     

Dans le jardin des beaux arts   2001

Artists book about a project
by Jacquline Wassen, Sonja van Kerkhoff
and Sen McGlinn

Contents: a little history of the 16 - 17th century Leiden courtyard and the 300 year old arts society, then about the installation and the work from the residency in New Zealand in 2000. See below for an idea of the contents.

  • About the project in the courtyard, May - June 2001
  • About the project in W(h)anganui, July - August 2000

The book (15 x 20 cm) of 16 pages, 2001,
costs 7 Euros or $US 9. 20 black and white photos and drawings with a full colour cover. Text in Dutch and English. Edition of 400.


Grains of Salt  1999

Artists book about a project
by Jacquline Wassen, Gaudi Hoedaya, Sonja van Kerkhoff and Sen McGlinn

Contents: text and images about 3 projects in Dutch and English

The book (15 x 20 cm) of 16 pages, 1999,
costs 10 Euros. 18 black and white photos with a full colour cover.
Text in Dutch and English. Edition of 300.

Booklet about art by
Sonja van Kerkhoff, 1989 - 1998

Text and images about paintings, prints, installations, performances, and sculpture made between 1989 and 1999. It is more or less the same text as is on this website. See: part one through to part seven

The book (15 x 20 cm) of 16 pages
33 black and white photos.
Text in English. Edition of 300.

A Theology of the State from the Bahá´í Teachings  1999

by Sen McGlinn
Article Reprint from the Journal of Church and State, U.S.A.

This article seeks to provide a religious rationale for embracing the multi-centred post-modern society, and for rejecting monist social models. In particular it provides a theological underpinning for the separation of church and state. Its thesis is that church and state are distinct in the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God is growing on earth where church and state are distinct, but closely related. The first part explains the Bahá´í teachings regarding civil government and its relationship to institutional religion, on the basis of selections from the Bahá´íscriptures. It concludes with some elements of a Bahá´í political theology. The second part suggests a metaphysical model that justifies the organic model of society, in which the religious and political order are properly distinct organs with differing logics, and no one organ can control the whole or claim a unique relationship to the divine. The argument in this section is presented in a neoplatonic language common to theologies of the Western monotheistic faiths, in the hope that this approach may be of use for theologians of other Faiths.

The book (15 x 20 cm) of 26 pages, softcover, costs 5 Euros


Soundings: Essays in Bahá´í Theology   1989

Edited by Sen McGlinn


  • Writing history in a secular age by Karen Austin
  • Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Christianity, Islam, & the Bahá´í Faith
          by Bronwyn Elsmore
  • Introduction fo the Bible in modern research by Sen McGlinn

  • Anti-positivism, teaching and the Bahá´í Faith by Alison Marshall
  • Religious belief and the mutability of scientific theory
          by William Michael
  • Is the Bahá´í Faith a world religion? by Moojan Momen

The book (15 x 20 cm) of 64 pages, softcover, (first published in 1989, second edition, 1994)
costs 10 Euros. Five illustrations by Sonja van Kerkhoff.


New Vessels

epic poem by Sen McGlinn, illustrations by Sonja van Kerkhoff


The poem, New Vessels (self-published in 1987) is a response to Eliot's The Waste Land in the form of a journey through night, a descent into darkness and return to the light. It uses the pattern of resurrection-myth, which couples death and fertility, and the opposed imagery of the apocalyptic and of the voyage of discovery, as pictures of two possibilities in the turning moment of choice.

Sen McGlinn was born in 1956 and grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand. Collections of lyrics appear in 1974 (Dawndreams, College Writers/Caxton Press) and 1984 (Feeding Harbour, self-published).

About New Vessel series of images

The Edition of 400, 28 page book with 16 illustrations by Sonja van Kerkhoff Is now a collector's item. Only five available. 30 Euro's each.

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