Urzula Glienecke – Theologian and Artist


Short Biography

Urzula Glienecke was born in 1974 in a country that doesn’t exist (anymore). She grew up in a family consisting of 4 females, one of them non-human. She was surrounded by and fell in love with nature, art, music and ancient Latvian culture and spirituality.

Urzula went on the barricades for freedom and independence of her country in 1991. She has been studying and teaching theology, interreligious dialogue and also about fundamentalism from 1993 to 2011 in Latvia, Germany, Norway and Ireland. She often travels around the world, sometimes fulltime.

Currently Urzula is a New Member of the Iona Community in Scotland.

Artist’s Statement

Urzula Glienecke, PhD, is a theologian who is engaged in finding visual, artistic and aesthetic ways to address issues that are important in areas like theology, interreligious understanding, preserving the environment and trauma therapy. She is experimenting with diverse materials and formats by creating objects that express what is beautiful and meaningful in her eyes.

She works with resin, marble, alabaster, felt, wire, chicken wire, methacrylate and other materials mostly making sculptures and 3D paintings, but also creating installations.



Recent exhibitions include:

Listening to Fragility, Iona Abbey, Scotland, 2-8 September 2017

poster Urzula.jpg

About the programme: “This week we will listen to the fragility of the environment and the world we live in. We will listen to, experience and embrace our own inner fragility and vulnerability in a slow-paced and mind-stimulating setting. Sculptures and other art will be used (yet not created) by the participants to help to reveal a “you” which is a perfect imperfection; someone who is truly loved by God. Led by theologian and artist Urzula Glienecke, PhD. Musician – Isobel Jenkins.” https://iona.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2017/03/2017-PROGRAMME-TEXT-UPDATED-13-prog-page-only.pdf

„Ice“, An Tobar, Tobermory, Scotland, 8th of October – 17th of December, 2016

Solo exhibition “Listening to Fragility”, St. Columba’s House, Maybury Hill, Woking, Surrey, UK, April – June, 2016

Solo exhibition “Der Zerbrechlichkeit zuhören”, the city church of Bad Wildungen, Germany, May – June, 2015

“Good Disease”, Espacio Practico, Barcelona, 2014

“We Can’t Drive to Africa”, Metàfora, Barcelona, 2014

“Transparent”, La Place gallery, 2013

“Cube Space”, Untitled BCN, 2013

“Pause”, Metàfora, Barcelona, 2013

Speaking at international conferences:

• 10-13th April, 2013 ESITIS conference at the Faculty of Theology, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain: Contested Spaces, Common Ground?

Topic: “Art in Interreligious Space. Art as an Interreligious Space”

• 16-18th June, 2010 at The Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin : From World Mission to Interreligious Witness: Visioning Ecumenics in the 21st Century

Topic: “Abusive and Violent versus Empowering Understandings of the Divine in Relation to the Future of Mission”

• 9-11th March 2010 at LCC International University, Klaipeda, Lithuania : Responses to Cultural Homogeny: Engagement, Resistance, or Passivity

An International Conference on Interdisciplinary Research: http://www.lcc.lt/conference-schedule-2010

Topic: “Reactions on Cultural and Religious Pluralism”

• 27-29th January 2010 at a major international conference at the University of Aarhus, Denmark: Church and Mission in a Multireligious Third Millennium.

The conference was the first major scholarly celebration of the centenary of Edinburgh 1910.

Topic: “Hallowed be Thy Name”: Images of God and Their Place in the Future of Missiology”

• 2006 organisation of  “Changing Shades of Green – Pluralism and the Changing Face of Ireland” conference at the Milltown Institute in Dublin. http://www.spirasi.ie/events/changing_shades_green-conference.shtml

• 2004 organisation of “AIDS: Medikamente retten Leben! … nur in reichen Ländern?“ AIDS: Medicine saves lives!…only in the rich countries?” in Dekanat Reinheim (Evangelische Kirche Hessen-Nassau)


• Karlskrona, 1996 seminar on the situation of Latvian women and women theologians.
• University of Latvia, 1997, Riga seminar on God the Father, images of God.


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