Research Theology

Tilburg School of Catholic Theology explains the catholic tradition in the context of contemporary society and studies the spiritual needs of the individual.

PhD students

J. Bai MA (Junxiao)

Augustine’s Interpretation of the Beauty of God Approached from the Aspect of Music Concepts


Dr. H.J. Batt (Herbert)

Augustine's Exegesis of Genesis 1:1-2:4a in the Context of the Patristic Hexameron Tradition

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PhD student
Dr. H.J. Batt (Herbert)

Supervisor

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Domain

Church History

Summary
The purpose of my project is to study the historical development of Augustine's exegesis of the first of the two creation narratives in the book of Genesis, the seven days' creation. I will study Augustine's three major exegetical works in the context of the historical development of the hexameron genre, with special attention to the influence of Philo, Origen and Plotinus. My most intense focus will be on Augustine's greatest exegesis of this passage, his Literal Meaning of Genesis.

I shall analyze Augustine's exegeses of Gen 1:1- 2:4a and their relation to the traditions of allegorical and literal exegesis which preceded him. I shall investigate the influence of Philo and Origen on the allegorical mode of interpretation, which Augustine continues to employ throughout his career. I will also investigate the relevance of Augustine's polemic against the Manichaeans to his commentaries. Of particular interest in the Literal Meaning of Genesis is Augustine's interpretation of "light" with angelic intelligences, and the prominence he gives this conception in his interpretation.

A comparison of Augustine's Literal Meaning with Philo's commentary will raise the question whether Augustine's interpretation can legitimately be seen as a continuation of a of Jewish tradition of allegorical interpretation.

In the Literal Meaning of Genesis Augustine significantly refers to his doctrine of grace and predestination; I shall demonstrate how his innovative reading of the creation narrative in this, the latest of his commentaries, is integrally related to his doctrine of predestination, and to his conception of the eschaton.


E.J.J.M. ten Berge MA (Gied)

Pelgrims met een missie. Een theoretisch, empirisch en theologisch onderzoek naar ontwikkelingen bij nieuwe pelgrims in het Heilige Land


W. Boerma MA

The return of Augustinian Christian Philosophy as the foundation for just thinking on just war in Catholic Social Thought

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PhD student

Willem Boerma MA

Supervisors

Prof. A.H. van Iersel

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Domain

Catholic Social Thought,

Summary

This research will investigate the political-philosophical foundations of just war thinking in Catholic Thought in order to be able to conclude whether there is any philosophical consistency in this area for the current quest for just peace thinking. Recently, there is a tendency within the tradition of Catholic Social Thought that is thinking of replacing ´just war´ for ´just peace´.

In my research, I will investigate whether there is a philosophical logic or consistency in doing so. I will analyze this by undertaking a thorough text analysis of some central concepts in primary sources like Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas and comparing these to their use in official Catholic Social Thought (CST) and CNOST. By analysing a specific set of concepts used in the corpus of Catholic thought (Catechism, Encyclicals and Papal Messages), and doing this in a chronological way, I will be able to present conceptual clarity on some key concepts in just war thinking in Catholic Thought.


M.A.J.M. Bronzwaer MA (Michel)

A theological and anthropological interpretation of the Trinitarian thought of Chiara Lubich and an exploration of its social potential

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PhD student

M.A.J.M. Bronzwaer MA

Supervisors

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Prof. P. Coda (Sophia University, Florence)

Domain

Church History, Systematic Theology and Catholic Social Thought

Summary

Chiara Lubich’s “spirituality of communion” characteristically produces incentives for social involvement, such as the “economy of communion”. This thesis examines the theological and anthropological fundaments for these impetuses. More specifically it explores how these relate to Lubichs understanding of the Trinity and of a "Trinitarian" intersubjectivity. Subsequently, based on the outcomes, a first effort will be made ​​of formulating more specific “how to” tenets for the good life in society.


S.P.W. (Sanne) Brouwers

Moral distress and human dignity in the Dutch military context. A self- confrontational approach. 

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PhD student  

S.P.W. Brouwers

Supervisor(s)          

Prof. dr. A.H.M. van Iersel

Prof. dr. J.B.A.M. Schilderman

Title PhD project       

Moral distress and human dignity in the Dutch military context. A self- confrontational approach. 

Domain               

Pastoral Theology

Summary

The Dutch armed forces are deployed to maintain safety in our country and increase peace and freedom abroad. In the military setting soldiers can experience stress on the operational, cultural and political level. This means they face situations where they feel divided between themselves as a person and their role as a military professional.

Since soldiers are ordered to act in a spectrum of violence, naturally this brings them in a conflict of values. Considering the other person as someone who is out to harm you or even kill you, draws a paradoxical human image. For his own safety the soldier will develop a defensive attitude towards other people, especially when their appearance matches with this of the enemy image; ethnical, clothing, beard or language.

After come back from war zone, soldiers should rehabilitate this enemy-image back to the image of human dignity which we like to extend in peace time.

This image of human dignity and experiences of moral distress should be discussed and examined with military personnel after come back from a mission. Out of concern for the health of our soldiers we should work on moral resilience without taking away the issues of moral distress that stay inseparable connected with the operational task.

I see challenges for the chaplaincy of the Dutch forces to work on a ‘moral debrief’ by using a  method of value clarification concerning situations of moral distress. With this project I hope to contribute to the guidance of veterans in re-establish their enemy-image to an image that does justice to the human dignity of every person.


Drs. G.H.B. Bruggink (Gerard)

Pope Innocent III (1198 - 1216) and the Latin Empire of Constantinople. A historic-critical study about the papal primacy

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PhD student

Drs. G.H.B. Bruggink (Gerard)

Supervisors

Prof. D.A.T. Müller

Prof. G.A.M. Rouwhorst

Domain

Church History

Summary

The question about the positive-critical receptiveness of Western Christianity has - after the question about the adoption of Greek thought - to be posed again in relation to the Byzantine culture and to the Eastern Church. An ideal opportunity to this, we find during the pontificate of Pope Innocent III (1198 - 1216), who undoubtedly is among the great personalities of the high Middle Ages. Fully in the spirit of the Middle Ages he took, as church leader and scholar, the cultural unity of Christianity for granted. To him this cultural unity was a corner stone of ecclesiastical unity. The formation of the Latin empire (1204) as a result of the fourth Crusade (1198 - 1204) and the conquest of Constantinople offered him unexpected prospects to establish ecclesiastical unity among East en West. We may fittingly assume that pope Innocent III regarded 'ecclesiastical unity' as the intention of merging the Eastern Church into the Western-Roman church model. To him it was all about the process of consciousness-raising. Only after experiencing the consequences of this and the odds for ecclesiastical unity, he changed his mind. It gave him the opportunity to restore the unity with the Eastern Church and enabled him to claim the papal primacy over the entire church.

The purpose of this doctoral research however, is to find out in which way and to what extend the Latin empire has influenced the theological issues of pope Innocent III with regard to the papal primacy and the ecclesiastical unity. Purposely the perspective of the Western church is hereby placed at the centre. However, this has no bearing on the judgement of the events. Up to now, no comprehensive research has been done from this point of view.


Drs. E.L.M. Brussee (Eugène)

Love and Eucharist in the Work of Augustine

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PhD student

Drs. E.L.M. Brussee (Eugène)

Supervisor

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Domain
Church History

Summary
Augustine appears often with a burning heart in his hand. Love is consequently a very important theme in his works, especially under caritas. Augustine links this love with membership of the Church as the body of Christ, because love is for Augustine the central characteristic of Christ. And membership of the body of Christ has everything to do with living as Christ.

But beside for the Church, Augustine uses the term 'body of Christ' (corpus Christi) also for the Eucharist. That makes clear that Church and Eucharist are inseparable for Augustine. And if Augustine says that you not only should receive the body of Christ but that you also have to be the body of Christ, than he connects that again with love.

So for Augustine unification with Christ has equally to do with Eucharist (corpus Christi) and with love (caritas). Therefore I want to involve these two words on each other. There is written a lot about Eucharist (corpus Christi) at Augustine and also about love (caritas) at Augustine. But the connection between Eucharist (corpus Christi) and love (caritas) is incidental laid in the literature about Augustine. In much literature love as essential feature is connected with the limbs of the body of Christ. With that the relationship is laid between love and the Church. But there is not a direct connection laid between Eucharist and love. In my thesis I want to examine what the connection is between both and what you subsequently can conclude.


Drs. E.B.A. van Deutekom (Eugène)

Bisschop Bekkers, bisschop van ’s-Hertogenbosch (1908-1966)


Drs. B.P.G. van Dijk (Bart)

De invloed van lijden en geweld op de ontwikkeling van de geloofsidentiteit van aalmoezeniers in de krijgsmacht


Drs. W.H. (Wim) van den Dool

The Atonement Doctrine of Anselm of Canterbury in the Second Part of Cur Deus Homo

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PhD student

Drs. W.H. van den Dool (Wim)

Supervisors

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Prof. A.J. Beck (ETF)

Domain

Historical Theology

Summary

In his famous book Cur Deus Homo, Anselm of Canterbury poses the question “Why God became man so that by his death He saved people, when it seems He could have done it in another way?” It has long been assumed that Anselm understood the redemptive incarnation of Christ in terms of the postulates of the 11th century feudal culture. However, in the theological research of the last decades Cur Deus Homo has been seen as a more original monastic exploration on the mercy and goodness of God. Moreover, recent historical philosophical research has revealed that Anselm brought innovation to modal logic and that he formulated his own analysis of concepts like will and freedom. In my research, I will review the modern theological and philosophical research of Cur Deus Homo and use both theological and philosophical interpretative tools. In his emphasis on the unmerited grace and on the will, Anselm is influenced by Augustine. I will analyse the use of such Augustinian themes and of elements of Benedictine spirituality in Cur Deus Homo.

In part II of Cur Deus Homo, Anselm emphasizes that God's action in creation can never be fruitless and that the character of God's gracious act towards man is non-obligatory. Therefore, Anselm analyses the concepts 'necessity', 'can' and 'want' and their interrelationships. Anselm also analyses the relationships between the divine mercy and justice and the acts of God. At the end of part II, Anselm concludes that in the gift of the suffering and dead of Christ ”we have found God’s mercy so great and so well in accordance with justice that it cannot be thought greater and more just”.

The purpose of my research is to analyse how Anselm, using modal logic and elements of patristic theology, argues in part II of Cur Deus Homo that the suffering of Christ is a free, not necessary, gracious gift to man, by which God brings man back to his original purpose.


A.R. Espinoza Pereda MA (Andy)

Malachi’s blessings and curses in light of the covenantal blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28-30: A reader-oriented approach.


D. Farrell, LC (Dominic)

Sent to Sanctify: The Trinitarian Moral Theology of Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae

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PhD student

Dominic Farrell, LC

Supervisors

Prof. R.A. (Rudi) te Velde

Dr. J.M.J. (Harm) Goris

Domain

Moral Theology, Trinitarian Theology

Summary

Since the early twentieth-century Catholic moral theology has been undergoing a sustained period of renewal. Crafting a Christ-centred moral theology has been one of the main aspirations and results of this movement. Nevertheless, faith in the figure and work of Jesus is founded upon the central mystery of Christian Revelation: the Triune God. Consequently, for moral theology to be authentically Christ-centred, ultimately it must be Trinitarian. A survey of the literature reveals, however, that the project of a Trinitarian moral theology is still an underdeveloped one. This is all the more surprising given that there has been a revival of Trinitarian theology during the twentieth century.


Drs. M.G. Ficheroux (Marcel)

Het duivelspact in de late middeleeuwen

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PhD student

Marcel Ficheroux

Supervisor

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Co-supervisor

Dr. M.A.M.E. Gielis

Domain

Church History

Summary

A general misconception bases the theory of a pact with the devil on Thomas, who is alleged to be influenced by Augustine. However, a signed treaty, a contractus, is not mentioned in Thomas nor Augustine. The possibility of an active pact is passed down by a few stories, some of them dated back to sacred biographies from the Christian antiquity, others based on oral tradition, that were gathered together with lots of other material in the 13th century-collections of legends and examples. These collections were translated into vernacular languages and spread throughout the whole of Europe. The contents often used in different genres of a later date such as plays and chapbooks or adapted into literary works of a larger size.

The Middle Dutch texts, normally studied by literary scholars, in which stories occur about a pact with the devil, legends and examples as well as plays and chapbooks, will be used as sources for a theological-historical study. The pact, as it can be deduced from these texts, will be compared with the theological communis opinio. How did these texts influence theology? And what were the developments that lead to a pact that could be used as a theological foundation of the witch craze (Malleus maleficarum)  and in which there was no longer mercy for the sinner (Faust)?


G.P.M. Flynn MPhil (Gerard)

The motif of containment in the nature miracles and predictions of the gospel according to Mark


A.J.A.M. van Gestel MA (Toon)

Meaning and reception of the Vatican II Declaration Gravissimum Educationis in The Netherlands (1965-2015)

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PhD student

Toon van Gestel MA

Supervisor

Prof. A.H.M. van Iersel

Co-supervisor

Dr. C.N. de Groot

Domain

Practical Theology

Summary

  • ‘A brief description of the structure of the PhD thesis’,
    The aim of research is to uncover to what actions regarding education Gravissimum Educationis makes an appeal and how these have been appropriated by church leaders and educational agencies in The Netherlands (cf. Wirkungsgeschichte – H.G. Gadamer). After the text genesis has been described, a basically linguistic analysis will be made on the text, implicating a description of its apparently respective meanings as a result of shifting historical contexts. For the contemporary context a surplus of new meanings is envisaged.
  • ‘indicating the definition of the problem’,
    The intuition at the basis of this study is that as a source of orientation in Catholic education Gravissimum Educationis  is under-exhausted. The reason for this is the fact that its original reception took place within the context of the removal of traditional religious and socio-political barriers in the Netherlands, which caused the appropriation of this text (as well as of other council texts) to be selective and above all to stagnate.
  • the importance of the problem’,
    As regards the research subject it is the text of Gravissimum Educationis. The development of the identity or character of Catholic secondary education in the Netherlands is not the subject of research as such. The investigation focuses more on the potential for vision development in relationship with the normative orientations for upbringing and education. The development of Catholic education in the Netherlands obviously constitutes a relevant context of the investigation, which will also be discussed in the dissertation by means of existing research literature.
  • 'and a draft table of contents.’
    The structure of the dissertation is thought of as ‘from context to text’. After developing the research questions the contexts are described. Then follows the description and justification of the method of text analysis used. Next this is applied to Gravissimum Educationis. Finally the results are analysed from the angle of a potential surplus of meaning. Possible principles and values regarding Catholic education and upbringing can be spotted here.

Chapter/Title

1 Introduction, research questions, Gravissimum Educationis: text genesis

2 From context(s) to text(s): then and now; Method of text analysis: description and justification

3 Gravissimum Educationis: text analysis

4 Results: potential surplus of meaning of Gravissimum Educationis?

5 Discussions


Drs. M.J.T. Geurtsen (Marjan)

De doorwerking van Leviticus 12 en 15 in het vroege christendom

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PhD student

Drs M.J.T. Geurtsen (Marjan)

Status

Ex-AIO KTU

Supervisors

Prof. G. Rouwhorst

Prof. A.M. Korte (Universiteit Utrecht)

Domain

Liturgiegeschiedenis, vrouwenstudies theologie

Summary

In dit project wordt onderzocht in hoeverre en op welke manier opvattingen en praktijken die betrekking hebben op procreatieve onreinheid ( bij vrouwen en mannen), zoals wij die tegenkomen in het boek Leviticus (met name hoofdstuk 12 en 15) hebben doorgewerkt in het vroege christendom en, voorzover dat het geval is, welke transformaties deze opvattingen en praktijken ze daar hebben ondergaan.

Het onderzoek richt zich op de geschriften van Origenes, Dionysius van Alexandrië en de Didascalia.


D.R.M. Godecharle MA (David)

The Creative Construction of Christianity in the Fourth Gospel. An intertextual and historical-critical study of John 6

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PhD student

G.D.R. Godecharle MA (David)

Supervisor

Prof. B.J. Koet

Prof. G. van Belle

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Summary

The author of the Fourth Gospel constructs a creative perspective on Christian identity by the deliberate interaction of literary devices, editorial features and theological themes. In the project, we examine his coherent redaction of divergent Old Testament, (Hellenistic)-Jewish and early-Christian traditions. This 'editorial unity' enables an innovative approach to the issue of Christian identity within the complicated theology of the gospel. We mainly focus on the sixth chapter of the Fourth Gospel as the 'field test' of our hypothesis.

Our research is based on two working hypotheses. First, we argue that the author constructs the thematic elaboration of faith and Christian identity. This means that he designs his theology on the basis of stylistic and literary techniques of his redaction of traditional material. Second, an examination of the construction of Christian identity highlights the creativity of the author. He transforms divergent traditions into a coherent literary and theological unity. His constituent redaction of these traditions ( supra ) is in turn motivated by the Christological goal of the gospel (20,30-31) and its hermeneutical principle: 'seeing' the doxa of the Son (1,14). This principle underlies his redaction of the synoptic gospels [Van Belle] and of the Old Testament [Hengel]. Consequently, he produces a unique interpretation of Christian identity within the New Testament and contemporary early-Christian literature. The project will mainly focus on the sixth chapter of the gospel, for two reasons. First, this chapter can be considered as a summary of the Fourth Gospel [Beutler]. John 6 presents a condenzation of the main theological and literary issues of the gospel. Consequently, a study of John 6 is undoubtedly representative for the entire Fourth Gospel. Second, the chapter contains a remarkable concentration of issues that pertain directly to the issue of Christian identity: the question of faith [Painter; Schenke], the interpretation of Jesus' semeia [Konings; Labahn], the status and interpretation of the Old Testament [Borgen; Menken], the comparison between Jesus and Moses [Meeks] and the sending of the 'Son' [Bühner]. This range of essential christological, soteriological and eschatological themes in a single chapter is unique to the gospel [Thompson]. On this basis, our study will examine the creative construction of Christian identity in the Fourth Gospel, which is the most spiritual among the gospels [Clement of Alexandria] and the most enigmatic book of the New Testament [Hengel].


Drs. L.H. Hokke (Metha)

The development in patristic virginity reasoning, late fourth century C.E.


M. van Ittersum MA (Matthijs)

Baptism in the Augustinian Tradition: Joseph Ratzinger’s Augustinianism with Respect to Baptism

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PhD student

M. van Ittersum MA (Matthijs)

Supervisor

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Co-supervisor

Dr. A. Goudriaan (VU University)

Domain

Church History

Summary

his research makes an inquiry concerning the Augustinian reception in the works of Joseph Ratzinger regarding the sacrament of baptism. What are key characteristics of Augustine’s perspective on baptism and in what manner is the Augustinian Ratzinger loyal to these in the presentation of his theology? What does baptism for both these theologians entail? Forgiveness of sin? Removal of original sin? Regeneration? This research endeavors to discover how Augustinian Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is in his theology of this sacrament and how the theology of baptism of the Church of the 20th century influenced his indebtedness to Augustine. This project will then attempt to conclude how faithful Ratzinger has been to Augustine’s principals of baptism by comparing their theological principals presented in their works and uncovering the direct and indirect influence of Augustine’s perspective upon Ratzinger’s theology of baptism.


Drs. W.J.E. Jansen (Willem)

Human Dignity and  Diapraxis in “Little Mogadishu”. Human Rights Culture in an interreligious Kenyan context

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PhD student

Drs. W.J.E. Jansen (Willem)

Supervisor
Prof. M.J.H.M. Poorthuis

Co-supervisor

Prof. G. ter Haar (The Hague Institute of Social Studies)

Summary

At a global level, in particular after the events of 9/11, religion and human rights seem to be strange bedfellows. Religion is allegedly more often to be paired to violations of human rights than enhancing human worth and dignity. Religion is in some cases part of the problem, however, religion can be part of the solution as well. Actually, for such a possible rapprochement some specific Christian and Muslim religious-anthropological concepts, on the one hand, and the idea of human rights, on the other hand, do open windows of opportunity. In this study it is argued that at the particular local level of Eastleigh, Nairobi, religious practices and a human dignity-based human rights culture can indeed be matched effectively. Human rights culture is defined in terms of both legal as well as moral connotations. The theoretical framework of the present research consists of Amartya Sen’s social choice theory with a focus on human rights as social ethics. Sen’s legitimacy, cogency and cultural relativist critiques of human rights are utilized to characterize the objections of some Christian and Muslim scholarly voices. In the last part of this study Sen’s theory is complemented by Jürgen Habermas’s theory regarding human dignity. Not unlike Sen, Habermas has identified violations of human dignity on the ground as the moral source of human rights.

The universal Declaration of Human Rights seems to ignore local cultures and specific religions. In this study, therefore, we explore whether religious agents at a local level do have something to contribute to universal secular human rights standards. To this effect we conducted fieldwork in a part of Kenyan’s capital city Nairobi. Because of its high percentage of residents from Somali descent the area is coined as ‘Little Mogadishu’. In their daily experience, Muslim and Christian members of Eastleigh’s civil society, especially in their roles of paralegals, put human rights culture into practice.

As the fieldwork of this study shows, human rights practices on the ground run parallel to international legal standards. Local human rights culture, here, finds its source in human dignity and consists of distinct moral, bottom up, motivational, spiritual, dialogical and practical shades and features. Human rights culture thus provides a framework for the reflection upon interreligious interaction, or diapraxis, that enhances a universalisation proces of human rights from below.

Especially the local Faith-based Organizations (FBOs) of Eastleigh, as part of the wider civil society - comprizing of both Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) as well as Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) -, contribute to such a local human rights culture. International religious and secular organizations at the backdrop of four selected FBOs in this study hold human rights and human dignity in esteem. As historical organizations and present in the veins of the community the four FBOs enhance the dignity of their constituents. Moreover, Muslim and Christian FBOs are jointly committed to further human worth of all Eastleigh’s residents irrespective of their religious background.

Thus, in the African local context of Eastleigh a human rights culture motivates Muslims and Christians to bear witness to their respective faiths by practically counter balancing the often violated human dignity of its citizens. The bottom-up, contextualized approach to human dignity as the moral source of a local human rights culture can, therefore, be of relevance for the praxis of Christian-Muslim relations.

Discursive interreligious dialogue is still suffering from fatigue especially during the open-air preaching in Eastleigh’s public space as they appear in the shape of Muslim mihadhara or Christian ‘crusades’. For Muslim-Christian relations to thrive a paradigm shift is proposed from discursive dialogue to reflection on interreligious interaction, or diapraxis. Diapraxis in order to be fruitful should be framed in a human rights culture upholding the very human dignity of all.

In order to become a relevant third party in Christian-Muslim relations human rights have to be localized. In the local African interreligious context of ‘Little Mogadishu’ a human dignity-based human rights culture, therefore, matters diapractically.     


Fr. Jeff Shawn Jose Ph.L.

The Role of Religion in Public Sphere according to Rawls and Gandhi: Exploring Reasonable and Spiritual Overlapping Consensus.


E.A.W. Keller MA (Alexander)

Church - State - Relations in the Philippines during the Marcos’ Dictatorship 1965-1986. A Case Study on the Role of a Local Church in a Socio-Ethical Conflict.


J.H.C. Kooijman

The ecclesiological, missiological and eschatological implications of the Joh.10:16 exegesis from the first century to Augustine.

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PhD student

J.H.C. Kooijman

Supervisor

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Co-supervisor

Dr. M.A. van Willigen

Domain

Church History

Summary

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16, KJV).  
This well-known text is part of John 10, a chapter in which Jesus reveals himself as the Good Shepherd. Modern exegesis of these words of Christ elucidates that this text has great value in understanding Christ’s Kingdom as it challenges our view in both ecclesiological, missiological and eschatological terms.
For that reason one would expect this threefold understanding of John 10:16 being relevant for the Early Church as well. If so, how did the Early Church read this text? That is the point this research is all about.
In which manner did the exegetes of the first centuries interpret this text? How has this text been read from the second till the fifth century, specifically? Was the ecclesiological, missiological and eschatological perspective of this passage already appreciated in the first centuries, or not? Additionally, can we discover a certain development throughout these centuries in the exegetical perspectives noticed in this passage?
The last part of this research focusses specifically on Augustine. It is well known this church father showed significant interest in both the Gospel of John and in the use of the shepherd metaphor as well. With this in mind, it is from major relevance to discover Augustine’s understanding of John 10:16 and how his exegesis incorporates the ecclesiological, missiological and eschatological perspectives as presented by modern exegetes.


Drs. M.M.C. Koole (Mirjam)

De Weg van het gebed in het denken van A.J. Herschel (1907-1972). Een wijze van omgaan met de waarheid


M. van Kralingen

Naar een verantwoord hedendaags concept van de hel in dialoog met bijbel en traditie.

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PhD student

Arjen van Kralingen

Supervisor

Prof. M. Sarot

Co-supervisor

Prof. G.C. den Hertog

Domain

Wijsgerige Theologie

Summary

Veel christelijke theologen huldigen de opvatting dat wij voortbestaan na de dood. Daarbij is er sprake van zowel continuïteit als discontinuïteit. Met betrekking tot dit voortbestaan na de dood wordt gesproken van minstens twee mogelijkheden: hemel of hel. Een derde mogelijkheid is, volgens de klassieke Rooms-Katholieke opvatting, het vagevuur. Genoemde mogelijkheden worden in de traditie verstaan of als fysieke locaties of (vaker) als mentale toestanden.

Een van de mogelijke plaatsen of wijzen van voortbestaan volgens klassieke opvatting is de hel. In het dagelijks spraakgebruik wordt de hel metaforisch gebruikt, namelijk als overtreffende trap van een situatie van lijden. Erger dan de hel is niet denkbaar. Binnen de klassieke christelijke theologie geldt de hel als straf. De meningen lopen uiteen als het gaat om de vraag voor wie deze ultieme straf kan gelden. Het lijkt er op dat de kerk de laatste jaren behoedzaam en slechts spaarzamelijk spreekt over mogelijkheid van een hel als eeuwige straf.

De volgende elementen lijken altijd terug te keren in een klassiek concept van de hel.

  1. De hel is een toestand van gescheidenheid van God. God is het hoogste goed, en de hel is de situatie waarin men gescheiden is van het hoogste goed.
  2. Deze gescheidenheid is zonder einde
  3. De hel is een straf. Voor ten minste een deel van de mensheid zal deze situatie van gescheidenheid van God als eeuwige straf gelden. 
  4. De hel heeft een retributief karakter.

De hel wordt in onze tijd breed onverdedigbaar geacht, want moreel onaanvaardbaar. Kvanvig bijvoorbeeld stelt: kwaad en pijn kunnen in principe in de toekomst nog een rechtvaardiging krijgen; de hel niet. De hel is de meest problematische vorm van kwaad waarmee een christen geconfronteerd kan worden in relatie tot de vraag naar een theodicee. Dit vraagt een conceptuele doordenking: is het klassieke concept van de hel, dat geworteld lijkt in bijbel en traditie, in de 21e eeuw nog staande te houden, en zo ja, hoe, of is het klassieke concept van de hel toe aan herziening of zelfs opgeefbaar? 


M.J.M Kuipers-Sedee MA (Marianne)

A new apologetic approach to the new atheism, based on G.K. Chesterton's apologetics

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PhD student

M.J.M. Kuipers-Sedee MA (Marianne)

Supervisor

Prof. Marcel Sarot

Co-supervisor

Dr. Ian Ker (Oxford University)

Domain

Systematic Theology

Summary

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was a famous British author, who converted at the age of 48 from Anglicanism to the Roman Catholic Church. His religious development had a great influence on his writings that often dealt with Christianity. He contrasted a traditional Christian philosophy with the alternative views that were widespread in England at the beginning of the 20th century. Most of his cases are still valid today. This is why his apologetics has the potential to inspire the development of a new approach of apologetics that mainly deals with a trend from the beginning of the 21st century, the so-called ‘new atheists’ (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett). While they reinforce secularism, the Roman Catholic Church is calling for new evangelization. Drawing on G.K. Chesterton’s insightful apologetics, the goal of this research project is to develop a solid apologetic approach towards the new atheism and the secular world. For this, the parallels between atheistic arguments in Chesterton’s time and today will have to be connected. Establishing a connection will help to determine the parts of Chesterton’s apologetics that can be integrated into a new approach. It will also help to find out which parts of his apologetics need to be adjusted in order to make them usable in our time. A comparison of the underlying approaches to reality of the atheists of the early 20th century and the new atheists should make it possible to confront not only separate arguments, but also the underlying ontology and (implicit) metaphysics.


E.J.P. Küpers MA (Edwin)

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PhD student

E.J.P. Küpers MA (Edwin)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. G.A.F. Hellemans

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. T.A.M. Salemink

Title PhD project

Bernard Verhoeven (1897-1965) en de Nederlandse cultuurpolitiek in de periode 1945-1965

Domain

Cultuurgeschiedenis van het Katholicisme

Summary

In 1949 wordt de Rooms-Katholieke schrijver Bernard Verhoeven voor de eerste keer beëdigd als lid van de Tweede Kamer voor de KVP. Binnen zijn partij is hij zeker geen onbekende meer. Onder zijn leiding  is de cultuurparagraaf van het verkiezingsprogramma geschreven. Sinds de jaren ’20 publiceert hij, naast eigen werk, in tijdschriften en dagbladen. Hij is actief op tal van terreinen – niet alleen als schrijver maar ook als actief pleitbezorger voor de opbouw van (Katholieke) volksuniversiteiten en bibliotheken. Hij neemt zitting in tal van besturen, commissies en jury’s. Bijna onvermoeibaar reist hij het hele land door om lezingen te geven. Hij pleit krachtig voor de door hem wenselijk geachte geestelijke opbouw van het volk, aanvankelijk vanuit een culturele emancipatie binnen het eigen, Katholieke volksdeel; later vanuit een meer algemene wens tot morele bewapening tegen de nadelige effecten van de ‘massamens’. Het blijft daarbij niet bij mooie woorden alleen. Na de Tweede Wereldoorlog wordt hij politiek actief, heeft zitting in talrijke commissies en neemt zelf de leiding bij de kunstvakopleidingen in Maastricht.

Het doel van het onderzoek is het beschrijven van de mate van invloed van de Rooms-Katholiek schrijver en politicus Bernard Verhoeven op de ontwikkeling van de cultuurpolitiek in Nederland in de periode 1949-1965. Het onderzoek bestaat uit vier lijnen: een biografische schets over Bernard Verhoeven, een beschrijving van de totstandkoming van de cultuurpolitiek in Nederland vanaf 1945 en een beschrijvende vergelijking over de mate van invloed die Verhoeven heeft gehad op de ontwikkeling van de cultuurpolitiek in Nederland.

De beschrijving gaat vooraf door een theoretisch kader dat nader ingaat op beleidsprocessen en de invloed van individuele actoren en netwerken binnen die processen. Bijzondere aandacht gaat daarbij uit naar netwerken binnen een verzuilde maatschappij.


Dr. J.H.M. Lammers (Hans)

Marcus en het Oude Testament. Een onderzoek naar tekstuele vorm en redactionele bewerking van de oudtestamentische citaten in het evangelie van Marcus

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PhD student
Dr. J.H.M. Lammers (Hans)

Status
Buitenpromovendus (Aartsbisdom Utrecht)

Supervisor

Prof. B.J. Koet

Domain
Exegese van het Nieuwe Testament

Summary
De tekstuele vorm en de functie van alle citaten uit het Oude Testament in het evangelie van Marcus worden systematisch onderzocht, teneinde het citeergedrag van de tweede evangelist in kaart te brengen. Concreet zal een antwoord geformuleerd worden op de volgende vragen:

  • Op welk type oudtestamentische tekst gaan de citaten terug?
  • In hoeverre wijkt de tekstuele vorm van de citaten af van bekende versies van het OT, en hoe zijn deze verschillen te verklaren?
  • Heeft de evangelist citaten toegevoegd aan zijn bronmateriaal of heeft hij citaten die hij in zijn bronnen aantrof tijdens zijn redactionele werkzaamheden aangepast?
  • Met welke bedoeling heeft de evangelist citaten toegevoegd of veranderd?
  • Heeft de evangelist bij het toevoegen of aanpassen van citaten gebruikt gemaakt van één bepaalde tekstversie van het OT?

De antwoorden op deze vragen geven samen een beeld van Marcus' gebruik van het OT en, in het verlengde daarvan, van zijn verwerking van bronmateriaal tot het grotere geheel van zijn evangelie.


W.L. Lammers (Willemien)

De invloed van laat-middeleeuwse mystieke werken op de theologie van Sebastian Castellio (1515-1563).


Drs. S.J. Mangnus (Stefan)

Thomas Aquinas on John's Gospel. Christology and exegetical method

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PhD student
Stefan Mangnus

Status
Ex-Aio FKT

Supervisor

Prof. H.W.M. Rikhof

Domain
Systematische theologie

Summary

Thomas' commentaar op het Johannesevangelie wordt bestudeerd zowel naar methode als naar inhoud. Wat betreft de methode staan drie vragen centraal: wat is het belang van de divisio textus voor dit commentaar, hoe gebruikt Thomas de Schriftzinnen in zijn interpretatie van Johannes, en, welke rol spelen de bronnen, waarvan de voornaamste de Glossa en zijn eigen Catena Aurea zijn bij dit commentaar?

Wat betreft de inhoud: Thomas begint zijn commentaar met de stelling dat de godheid van Christus het hoofdonderwerp van het vierde evangelie is. Wat is de betekenis van deze stelling voor Thomas' interpretatie? Welk beeld van Christus komt naar voren in zijn commentaar en hoe werkt de vooronderstelling dat Johannes voornamelijk aandacht heeft voor de godheid van Christus door in het commentaar op de tekst van het evangelie. In verband met deze laatste vraag wordt Thomas' commentaar vergeleken met de commentaren van Albertus de Grote en Bonaventura.


Drs. Chr.C.G.M.’t Mannetje (Chris)

What I can do for you. Lifespan accompanying faith communication with young adults.

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PhD student

Drs. Chr.C.G.M.’t Mannetje (Chris)

Supervisors
Prof. J.R. Först

Prof. H. Roebben (Dortmund)

Domain
Practical Theology

Summary
A change in attitude of faith and religious behaviour in young adults requires a foundational ecclesiological change in thinking. Biographical relevance appears to be essential in pastoral encounters. What are the conditions and forms of a communicative faith practice.

In the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (GS) gives the church itself the task "to explore the signs of the times and to interpret them in the light of the Gospel." "So we can speak of a real social and cultural revolution, which also has an impact on the religious life."(GS 4). The consequences of that revolution also in the religious life is perhaps perceive most clearly by the generation of young adults.

Pope Paul VI already indicated that the church cannot meet its mission of evangelization without evangelizing herself, convert herself (Evangelii Nuntiandi). Developments in churchy behaviour in the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands (and elsewhere in Western Christianity) poses the question: what is going wrong? The younger generations (although not only they) are not addressed by the implementation of the evangelizing mission in terms that its effect can be positively measured in familiar patterns of churchy behaviour. Does the church has itself sufficiently persuaded by what is possibly a sign of the times and which traces of God will be discovered in this process? What could be taught to the church by this generation about religious communication in a modern context? Listen, read and understand as contingent and essential parts of the process of evangelization?


C.J.M. Melisse MA (Corline)

In the Image of God. A biblical-semantic research into men's identity

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PhD student

C.J.M. Melisse MA (Corline)

Supervisor

Prof. B.J. Koet

Co-supervisor

Dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Domain

Biblical sciences

Summary

Identity is an actual and sometimes also a controversial theme. Living in a pluralistic society and being confronted with many others, men ask themselves who they are. In Christian anthropology the question about human's identity has been answered by use of the biblical expression that man is created in God's image and after God's likeness (Gen 1:26-27). Nevertheless, this image is used often without considering what it means to be image and likeness of God according to the biblical text. In this research the semantic meaning of these terms will be investigated. The main questions are:

  • What is the semantic content of the terms 'image' and 'likeness' in their Hebrew context of the Masoretic text?
  • What is the semantic content of these terms in their Greek context of the Septuagint and in the texts of the New Testament?

The meaning of the expressions 'image' and 'likeness' of God in their Hebrew and Greek context and the possible theological development of their meaning is examined by use of cognitive semantics.


Drs. J.H.M. Moons (Jos)

Conceiving the Holy Spirit. Vatican II's pneumatology in 20th century theological perspective

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PhD student

Drs. J.H.M. Moons (Jos)

Supervisor
Prof. H.P.J. Witte

Co-supervisor
Dr. K. Schelkens

Domain
Systematic Theology

Summary
For some reason, in 19th and 20th century theology and magisterial teaching, pneumatology hasn't received the attention it deserves. Vatican II has considerably improved on that, yet more needs to be done. That is why Yves Congar, one of the great 20th century scholars and inspirational figures of Vatican II, who has written extensively on Church and on Holy Spirit, says about Lumen gentium that it is "le début du dépassement du Christomonisme - le début seulement".

This project, then, is about the way Lumen gentium speaks of the working of the Holy Spirit within the Church. I understand Lumen gentium to be three things at least: (1) a dogmatic/theological position, that can be compared with other positions in earlier and later Church history; (2) a process, of which the dymanics can be read in the successive drafts, and in more detail in the discussions as officially recorded in the Acta et Documenta of the Council; (3) a text, needing thorough 'exegesis' for a proper understanding. These are the three approaches that will be used in this research project. Together, they should provide insight in the pneumatological position of Lumen gentium, and its theological and historical-theological background.

I would see a threefold relevance of this topic and this investigation. First, there is something of a relevance per se of the two central aspects of this study, the Holy Spirit and the Second Vatican Council. The first is part of the central mystery of the Christian faith; the second is the major source of orientation for the shape that Catholic faith should have in this era. There, secondly, is an urgency about both these points, which makes for a specific relevance. The role of the Holy Spirit in the thinking of the Council, e.g. in ecclesiology, is little studied; moreover, the Holy Spirit is not in fact as integral a part of faith and theology as it is of the Creed. Thirdly, how encountering God is possible and how it 'works' is an urgent question to modern man. Bringing out the liveliness of God's Spirit, called vivificans after all, hopefully contributes to opening up ways of entering into contact with the mystery of the triune God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


S. Mulder MA (Sjoerd)

The turn to the church in the twenty-first century

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PhD student

Sjoerd Mulder

Supervisors

Prof. H.P.J. Witte

Prof. M. Sarot

Domain

Systematic theology, ecclesiology

Summary

Recently, many theologians have drawn attention to what they call the ‘practices of the church’. John Milbank, Stanley Hauerwas, Nicholas M. Healy and many others argue that modern theology has failed to locate the essence of Christian faith in the inner life of the individual believer. On the contrary, they argue that it is in Christian communal praxis that the essence of Christian faith is found: in the life of the church.

In our secular age, a time where regular church life is not exactly vibrant and flourishing, these theologians emphasize that the church with its concrete practices is a goal in itself rather than simply a means towards an individual believer’s end.

My research investigates the specific nature of this new theological paradigm from a systematic and theological-historical perspective, by comparing it to the early 20th works of Odo Casel, Romano Guardini and Emile Mersch who were also contributing to a new paradigm in which the salvine significance of the life of the church was (re-)discovered. As such, I will try to find to what extent this new paradigm really is revolutionary, innovative and theologically promising.


Drs. J.G. Paimpillil (George)

Possibilities of Liturgical Inculturation. The reform of the Syro-Malabar liturgy in the 20th century

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PhD student

Drs. J.G. Paimpillil (George)

Supervisor

Prof. G.A.M. Rouwhorst

Domain
Church History

Summary
This research project is aimed at exploring the possibilities of inculturation of Christian, especially Roman Catholic, liturgical traditions. What is inculturation? Is inculturation an adoption of the practices of an existing religion, customs or culture and its adaptation to another culture or religion? Does it imply a juxtaposition or rather a mutual interaction between the heterogeneous cultural elements, resulting in a new original form of inculturated type of Christianity? To what extent is it possible in relation to culture and religion?

To answer these questions, the research project will take art. 40 of the Constitution of the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council as its starting point. What view does the Constitution on liturgy art. 40 hold on the adaptation of Roman Catholic liturgy to non-Western cultures and on inculturation? How was this article of the Constitution discussed during, especially in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council? What views on adaptation, acculturation, inculturation.were developed and advocated by Church leaders, liturgical scholars and theologians? What discussions were taking place within the various churches belonging to the world-wide Roman Catholic Church?

The research project will be more specifically focused on the Syro-Malabar liturgy of India that will serve as an example and test-case. The project will attempt a critical evaluation of the present religious and cultural values held and commonly accepted by the local people of India. To what extent will it be possible for these values and traditions to become incorporated in the Syro-Malabar Church and, more specifically in its liturgy, so that Indian Christians, especially Syro-Malabar Christians can celebrate Christian liturgy in a specifically Indian way without ceasing being Indians? To what extent need the existing values and practices to be purified and transformed to realize that aim? To clarify these questions, the relationship between Syro-Malabar liturgy and the contemporary Indian culture will be studied. While doing so, particular attention will be given to the pastoral needs of the Syro-Malabar Church and the local languages, customs and lifestyle of the regions where the Syro-Malabar liturgy is used. The rites of initiation will be studied as a model and the possibilities that may present themselves as a result of the research will be discussed.


J. Pater MA (Jonathan)

Rabbinic and Christian Meal Parables

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PhD student

J. Pater MA (Jonathan)

Status

PhD Candidate NWO project Parabels and the Partings of the Ways

Supervisor

Prof. M.J.H.M. Poorthuis

Prof. A.B. Merz

Co-supervisor

Dr. H.L.M. Ottenheijm (Utrecht University)

Domain

Biblical Sciences


Fr. Manoj Prabu MA

The Significance of Eucharistic Sacrifice and Ministerial Priesthood of the Church in the Light of Edward J. Kilmartin. Genuinely post conciliar approach to the missions?

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PhD student

Fr. Manoj Prabu MA

Supervisor

Prof. G.A.M. Rouwhorst

Domain

Church History, Liturgical Studies

Summary

The word 'sacrifice' is one of the most misapprehended words and notions of entire Christian theology and therefore urgently requires a proper elucidation and clarification. The Second Vatican Council used the New Testament term 'presbyters' for church leaders in stead of calling them priests and developing the notion of priesthood ( sacerdos ; sacerdotium ) - as was done in the patristic and medieval periods. While doing so it seems to indicate a shift away from a cultic model of the ordained ministry and instead it focusses on the essentially ministerial tasks and care of the believers.

One of the major modern theologians who has extensively dealt with these issues and questions is the American Jesuit and liturgical theologian Edward J. Kilmartin (1923-1994). This dissertation attempts to reveal the true meaning of Eucharistic sacrifice according to Edward J. Kilmartin and wants to explore the possibilities of a constructive theology of priesthood which is based upon the teachings on the Church that are in line with the theological principles of the Second Vatican Council.


Drs. A.S.M.H. Prakken

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PhD student

drs. A.S.M.H.Prakken (Arthur)

Title PhD project

Waarom binden intellectuelen als de humanisten, die ook lid waren van de Accademia Romana, zich aan de curie als abbreviatores?

Waarom hebben de pausen Paulus II (1464 – 1471) en Sixtus IV (1471 – 1484) geheel verschillend gereageerd?

Supervisor(s)

prof .dr. P.J.J. van Geest

Domain

Catholic Theology

Summary

During the 15th century there were a lot of problems concerning the Western church. The popes returned to Rome from Avignon but this was not without danger. In Central-Europe, protests against the ideas of the Catholic Church were rising up and the political situation in Italy was uncertain. Furthermore, Ottomans who in the 1570s had occupied Otranto in Southern-Italy formed a threat. Both in Rome as well as Central-Italy, we note the presence of the humanists. In Rome, an active group of humanists called the Accademia Romana was founded by the humanist Pomponio Leto. During this turbulent time frame, Paul II (Pietro Barbo from Venice) became pope (1464-1471). At the papal Cancelleria, a group of official secretaries, the so-called abbreviatores, covered an honourable function. Paul II reduced the number of these abbreviatores. Members of the Accademia, such as Bartolomeo Platina, were imprisoned. The successor of Paul II, Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), (1471-1484), however, enlarged the number of abbreviatores and showed more respect for members of the Accademia. I plan to investigate why intellectuals such as the humanists aspired to be one of the abbreviatores and why the popes reigning at this time responded to this in such different ways. I will consult the Vatican Archives during the search for answers to these questions.


Fr. Pratheesh M. Pulickal CMI MA
Spirituality of Kenosis and Indian Traditional Āśram Spirituality: Exploration for an Authentic Christian Spirituality in the Context of India

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PhD student

Fr. Pratheesh M. Pulickal CMI MA

Supervisor

Prof. H.P.J. Witte

Co-supervisor

Dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Domain

Systematic Theology and Biblical Studies

Summary

Kenosis, a foundational concept of Christian spirituality, is received in a dynamic way in both spiritualities of Indian traditional āśram and Christian traditional monasticism. The proposed study investigates in what extent the spirituality of kenosis implied in traditional āśramic spirituality in India and in Christian traditional monasticism, can be a paradigm to propose an authentic Indian Christian spirituality. The scope of the research includes the analysis how the kenosis rooted āśramic-monastic spirituality can contribute to the Indian Christian āśram movement as an indigenous articulation of Christian spirituality. We assume that a Christian āśram situated in the unique socio-cultural-religious reality of India and rooted in the kenosis


Drs. N.M. Schnell (Norbert)

The Church as the Bride of Christ as a metaphorical concept.


M.J. Stoutjesdijk MA (Martijn)

Slavery in Jewish and Christian Parabels

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PhD student

M.J. Stoutjesdijk MA (Martijn)

Status

PhD Candidate NWO project Parabels and the Partings of the Ways

Supervisor

Prof. A.B. Merz

Co-supervisor

Dr. H.L.M. Ottenheijm (Utrecht University)

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Summary

This project answers the questions of how Jewish and Christian parables depict and evaluate slavery and what semantic meanings are attached to the images of slave and master. In her ground-breaking work on Jewish slavery (Hezser 2004), Catherine Hezser’s notices the need for a systematic study of Rabbinic parables on slavery. This research will partly fill this gap by comparing Rabbinic parables with New Testament parables within the perspective of the Jewish-Christian schism.

The main questions of this project are: How do Rabbinic Christian parables respectively construe slavery and slave-master relations? Is slavery a stable element of the social imaginary of first- and second-century Judaism/Christianity? Can we see changes in the course of the tradition, i.e. between first-century Christian parables and Tannaitic and Amoraic parables? Are there fixed metaphorical values of the motif word ‘slave’ and related words such as ‘master’ or ‘king’? Is social reality confirmed, criticized or commented upon in the narratives? And finally, what is the relation between the social structure of Christianity as a Jewish movement, early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism and their respective views on slavery?

One hypothesis tested here is that the reality of slavery seems to be taken for granted in the parables. In this phase of the analysis current research on slavery in Late Antiquity (including New Testament studies on the social reality of slaves) will be adduced in order to comment on the texts in their broad Graeco-Roman context. Our research will also look at the role of slaves in the honour bestowed upon their master. Specific attention will be devoted to the role of money and the legal responsibility of slaves with regard to the property of their masters.


S.M.M. The-Mertens BA MS (Stephie)

The youth ministry of new ecclesial movements

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PhD student

S.M.M. The-Mertens BA MS (Stephie)

Supervisor

Prof. G.A.F. Hellemans

Co-supervisor

Dr. M.C.H. van Dijk-Groeneboer

Domain

Practical Theology and Social Sciences

Summary

Many lay people nowadays are connecting themselves with the spiritualties of the church through new ecclesial movements or movements associated with established religious orders and institutes. Several theologians have reflected on these movements, pointing to their significance as well as their issues. One observation frequently made is new ecclesial movements’ universal attractiveness to young people. This goes for Dutch young people as well. Though often having disappeared from the parish pews and therefore difficult to reach for youth ministers and volunteers, they are found in the new ecclesial movements. This is an interesting phenomenon that propels further inquiry. How is youth ministry practiced by the new ecclesial movements? Who are the young people that are coming? What are they looking for and experiencing?

My project involves descriptive-qualitative research regarding the youth ministry of the Dutch branches of three new ecclesial movements. I will focus on each movement’s youth ministry organization and content: activities, presence of relational ministry, spiritual direction and/or pastoral care, theological concepts or catechesis, both from the viewpoints of the people organizing it and the young people participating in it. I will answer my research questions by exploring written resources, conducting in-depth interviews, and making observations. Further, I might develop a quantitative component exploring the background of participating young people.

In order to understand and reflect on the theological meaning of new ecclesial movements’ youth ministry, it is important to place my research in the theoretical context of the Theology of Youth and Youth Ministry. Its scientific study is a fairly new phenomenon, advanced by organizations such as the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry, and very relevant for the future of the Catholic Church.


Drs. R.E.J.M.  van den Toorn (Robert)

Turkse alevieten in West-Europa. Comparatieve studie van de receptie van lokaal integratiebeleid


Sr. Bincy Thomas Thumpanathu MA

Divine Naming: a Comparative Study in the MT and LXX Amos

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PhD student

Sr. Bincy Thomas Thumpanathu MA

Supervisor

Prof. B.J. Koet

Co-supervisors

Dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Dr. H.W.M. van Grol

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Summary

Naming the divinity is for religious groups of all contexts an important and complicated task. This is no less true for the Hebrew people, and the process carried great importance to their religious identity and confession. Biblical texts describe God as a being in relation with humanity, one who has condescended to reveal himself, even to the point of revealing his own name (Ex 3:13-15). However, the use and development of this name was in Ancient Israel by no means uniform. It is evident in the biblical literature that God has various names, titles and attributes. The exercise of assessing the theological implications behind divine naming in biblical literature is a difficult task that has long been a source of interest for biblical scholars. In the past, this interest was diachronic; today, synchronic research has been developed. The proposed project is a study of  one of the most frequently used divine names יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי-צְבָאוֹת (the Lord, the God of hosts) in the Hebrew bible and its Greek rendering παντοκράτωρ (Lord Almighty), within the book of Amos. The study has three primary goals: (1) to propose a semantic base for the terms אֱלֹהֵי-צְבָאוֹת, יְהוָה and παντοκράτωρ (2) to discover the similarities and differences in the meaning and use of these names within the context of Amos MT and Amos LXX and (3) to find the evolving concept of the divine, primarily in the MT and in the LXX translation of the book of Amos, which is characterized as an example of imperative actualization and hermeneutical rethinking of the biblical texts thereby demonstrating a process of theological reflection.


Drs. G. Tzipris (Gershom)

De Siddur al-Mu'allim al-Fādil. The Prayer Book of the Devoted Teacher

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PhD student

Drs. G. Tzipris

Status

Buitenpromovendus

Supervisors

Prof. J. Frishman

Prof. G. Rouwhorst

Domain

Liturgiegeschiedenis, Judaica

Summary

Beoogd wordt een editie van de Karaïtische Siddoer van Mu'allem Fādil die een van de belangrijkste bronnen is voor de geschiedenis van de Karaïtische liturgie in de Middeleeuwen en van de 15e tot de 17e eeuw in Damascus en Jerusalem werd gebruikt.

De kritische editie - op basis van de beschikbare handschriften - zal vergezeld gaan van een Engelse vertaling en van een inleiding, waarin zal worden ingegaan op de historische achtergronden, de structuur en de inhoud van de Siddoer. Deze zal bovendien worden vergeleken met de Siddoer van Aharon ben Yosef die vanaf de vijftiende eeuw algemeen ingang zou vinden binnen de Karaïtische gemeenschappen en de plaats van oudere Karaïtische tradities - zoals die van al- Mu'aliem Fādil - zou gaan innemen.


Drs. C. (Carolijn) van Voorst tot Voorst-Alting von Geusau

Een diepere beschouwing van de omgang van Jezus met de kinderen volgens de evangelisten en het commentaar van de kerkvaders

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PhD student

Drs. C. (Carolijn) van Voorst tot Voorst-Alting von Geusau

Supervisor

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Prof. B.J. Koet

Domain

New Testament and Church History

Summary
De evangelieteksten van de kinderzegening worden vaak benaderd als een soort ‘lieve’ verhalen waar Jezus ‘toevallig’ aardig doet tegen de kinderen. We lezen er ‘met een glimlach’ overheen. Maar er zit volgens mij een veel diepere dimensie en betekenis in deze ontmoeting van Jezus met de kinderen. Die diepere lagen wil ik graag beschouwend onderzoeken door deze teksten in verband te brengen met andere evangelieteksten waarin Jezus met kinderen omgaat. Daarbij wil ik ook het commentaar betrekken wat de kerkvaders op deze verschillende teksten geven. Hierbij wil ik onderzoeken of de omgang van Jezus met de kinderen normaal was voor die tijd of juist revolutionair. Was het gebruikelijk dat een volwassen man en rabbi kinderen zo serieus nam? En wat is de betekenis ervan dat Jezus juist de kinderen centraal stelt?


Drs. H. van Vreeswijk (Henk)

John Chrysostom and Libanius on Music and Singing

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PhD student

Dr. H. van Vreeswijk

Supervisor
Prof. dr. G.A.M. Rouwhorst

Prof. dr. P.J.J. van Geest

Co-supervisor
Dr. M. D.J. Op de Coul

Domain

Summary

Mijn onderzoek richt zich op de vraag wat de betekenis is van muziek en zang in het werk van Chrysostomus.

In de Griekse cultuur van zijn tijd, daarvoor is een hoofdstuk aan de visie van Libanius gewijd als de zeer betrouwbare en deskundige representant van die cultuur, is weinig zonder muziek. Alle poëzie wordt gezongen (bijv. Homerus en de grote dichters). Zingen is een cantilerende vorm van voordragen.

In de kerkelijke cultuur in het oosten van het imperium romanum worden geen muziekinstrumenten gebruikt - zoals dat tot op de dag van heden het geval is. Chrysostomus gebruikt zijn retorische vaardigheid om in zijn preken door middel van metaforen muziek en zang te 'promoten'.

Chrysostomus biedt in zijn werk voortdurend alternatieven aan voor die muzikale cultuur door zwaar in te zetten op de zang van de gemeenteleden in de liturgie: tussen de Schriftlezingen en bij de viering van de eucharistie (Gloria en Sanctus).


Dr. Th.R.A.M. Wagenaar (Theodor)

Reception of the Catholic Social Doctrine in the Netherlands During the Period 1945 - 2010

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PhD student

Dr. Th.R.A.M. Wagenaar (Theodor)

Supervisor
Prof. G.A.F. Hellemans

Co-supervisor
Dr. T.A.M. Salemink

Domain

Church History

Summary

This study examines the extent of acquaintance with, the extent of the attention for and the evaluation of the social doctrine of the catholic church in the Netherlands during the period 1945 - 2010 in the ecclesiastical domain, the political domain and the socio-economic domain.

The social doctrine constitutes an important element in the message the church presents to the world. From 1891 onwards, this doctrine has in particular been expressed in a number of so-called 'social encyclical letters'. Although there have been many publications on the subject, little research has been done pertaining to the reception of this doctrine, leaving a few studies aside. This study aims to satisfy this gap.

Research questions

  • Have there been replies to the appearance of the social encyclical letters in the ecclesiastical, the political and the socio-economic domain? Which specific perspectives are being exposed in these encyclical letters?
  • What does the potential evaluation of these perspectives made by the authors and interviewees in question consist of? What parts do they criticize and which arguments do they employ?
  • What conjuncture (continuity, break, transformation) can be found in the attention for and the evaluation of the selected social encyclical letters in the time period mentioned above?

G.Th. van der Werf MD (Ger)

The Palm Sunday procession: transformations in the Western church in the first millennium

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PhD student

G.Th. van der Werf

Supervisor

Prof. G.A.M. Rouwhorst

Co-supervisor

Dr. A.J.M. van Tongeren

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Summary

The aim of this study is to unravel the Palm Sunday procession’s transformations in performance, meaning and function from the first description in the 4th century till the end of the millennium in the Western church

Egeria was the first to document the procession on the Palm Sunday lie in Jerusalem, during her visit to the Holy Land between 381 and 384.[1] Gräf studied the history of the procession from Egeria’s description till the introduction of the renewed Ordo for the Holy Week in 1955.[2]

Gräf’s approach focuses on the procession as an imitation of the entry in Jerusalem and more specifically on its performance. My study is not restricted to a descriptive analysis of the procession and its performance but goes also into the theological meanings and gives an interpretation of its meaning and function, based on close reading.


[1] V. Hunink, JW Drijvers: In het land van de Bijbel. Reisverslag van Egeria, een dame uit de vierde eeuw. Vertaald [uit het Latijn] en toegelicht door Vincent Hunink ; ingeleid door Jan Willem Drijvers. Hilversum 2011. Pierre Maraval & Manuel C. Díaz Y Díaz. Égérie. Journal de voyage (Itinéraire) Introduction, texte critique, traduction, notes, index et cartes par Pierre Maraval. Valerius de Bierzo. Lettre sur la Bse Égérie. Introduction, texte et traduction par Manuel C. Díaz Y Díaz. (Sources Chrétiennes 296) (Paris 1982).  Wilkinson: Egeria’s Travels = John Wilkinson. Egeria’s Travels. London 1971.   

[2] Herman J. Gräf: Palmenweihe und Palmenprozession in der lateinische Liturgie. (Dissertatio ad Lauream in facultate theologica pontificiae universitatis Gregorianae) (Rome Steyl 1959).   


Drs. M.G.L. van de Wiel (Max)

Opgaan naar God. Een communicatie-georiënteerde analyse van de psalmen 120-134

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PhD student

Drs. M.G.L. van de Wiel (Max)

Supervisors

Prof. B.J. Koet

Dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Co-supervisor

Dr. H.W.M. van Grol

Domain

Exegese van het Oude Testament

Summary

In het voorgestelde onderzoek wordt een communicatie-georiënteerde analyse gepresenteerd van de psalmen 120-134. Een tekst is een vorm van communicatie, zowel binnen de tekstuele ‘bühne’ (tussen de personages) als buiten het tekstuele ‘podium’ (tussen de tekst-immanente auteur en de tekst-immanente lezer). In gepubliceerde commentaren is met name deze laatste communicatielaag in de genoemde psalmen onvoldoende onderzocht en worden begrippen als ‘auteur’ en ‘lezer’ gehanteerd, maar onnauwkeurig gepositioneerd ten opzichte van de tekst.

Met behulp van de communicatie-georiënteerde methode wordt, met betrekking tot de psalmen 120-134, gepoogd om tot een nauwkeuriger positionering te komen van de ten opzichte van deze psalmteksten aanwezige tekst-immanente auteur en tekst-immanente lezer, om zo te komen tot een beter inzicht in de structuur, inhoud en eenheid binnen deze afzonderlijke vijftien psalmen, alsook binnen de gehele collectie.

Onderzoeksvragen:

  1. Wat maakt de psalmen 120-134 tot een lezersgeoriënteerde eenheid vanuit een synchroon perspectief?
  2. Welk inzicht geeft de communicatie-georiënteerde exegese over de positie van de tekst-immanente auteur en de tekst-immanente lezer in de afzonderlijke psalmen 120-134?
  3. Welke consequentie heeft dit inzicht, vanuit communicatief perspectief gezien, voor het geheel van de psalmen 120-134 als literaire eenheid?

Welk inzicht geeft de communicatie-georiënteerde analyse voor de betekenis en functie van de bij deze vijftien psalmen behorende opschriften?


Drs. C.M. de Wit (Christa)

Levensbeschouwelijke vorming van jonge mensen met een verstandelijke beperking


F. Wouda MA (Fokke)

Source or summit? Deriving new perspectives for Eucharistic theology from ecumenical practices.

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PhD student

F. Wouda MA (Fokke)

Supervisor

Prof. J.R. Först

Domain

Practical Theology

Summary

A hot topic in ecumenical theology is the place of common celebration of the Eucharist within the ecumenical process. Can it only be at the end of the ecumenical endeavour, when full and visible communion is established? Or could it also be a source for ecumenism? From Roman Catholic perspective,  Protestant Christians are not allowed to receive communion in a Roman Catholic Mass. However, in order to encourage ecumenism, some exeptions are made, e.g. in the French community of Taizé. By its practice, the Taizé community may offer new perspectives to the academic debates on intercommunion and Eucharistic hospitality, especially concerning the question of the Eucharist as source or summit of ecumenism. This research will make the experiences of ecumenical communities  accesible for theological reflection, and will try to deduct new arguments for the systematic theological debate. I will do this by using empirical methods, especially by conducting qualitative  interviews with members of the communities. Some questions to be answered are: What motives underlie the practices of these communities? What is the place of sharing the Eucharist in the ecumenical process of these communities? What kind of merits do members of these communities experience from sharing the Eucharist? In what way can the every day practice of these communities contribute to the theological debate?

[1] V. Hunink, JW Drijvers: In het land van de Bijbel. Reisverslag van Egeria, een dame uit de vierde eeuw. Vertaald [uit het Latijn] en toegelicht door Vincent Hunink ; ingeleid door Jan Willem Drijvers. Hilversum 2011. Pierre Maraval & Manuel C. Díaz Y Díaz. Égérie. Journal de voyage (Itinéraire) Introduction, texte critique, traduction, notes, index et cartes par Pierre Maraval. Valerius de Bierzo. Lettre sur la Bse Égérie. Introduction, texte et traduction par Manuel C. Díaz Y Díaz. (Sources Chrétiennes 296) (Paris 1982).  Wilkinson: Egeria’s Travels = John Wilkinson. Egeria’s Travels. London 1971.   

[1] Herman J. Gräf: Palmenweihe und Palmenprozession in der lateinische Liturgie. (Dissertatio ad Lauream in facultate theologica pontificiae universitatis Gregorianae) (Rome Steyl 1959).  


G. Yasuhira (Genji)

Functions of Toleration and Delimitation of the ‘Public’: Catholics’ Tactics for Survival in Utrecht, 1620s-1670s

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PhD student

G. Yasuhira (Genji)

Supervisor

Prof. P.J.J. van Geest

Co-supervisor

Dr. J. Spaans

Domain

Religious History

Summary

In early modern multi-confessional societies, among which the Dutch Republic is regarded as a typical case, religious diversity was seen as a major threat to politico-religious stability. To counter this threat, political authorities attempted to exclude religious dissenters from the public sphere. They were denied access to public office, public worship and public finances. How did Catholics, the most vigorous dissenting community in the Dutch Republic, respond to the policies of the Reformed government, which tried to exclude them from the public sphere under pressure from the public Reformed Church?

To answer this question, my dissertation attempts to clarify Catholics’ tactics for survival by addressing the actual discourses of early modern people and focusing especially on Catholics’ perceptions of the ‘public’, which appeared in negotiations at the time of conflict in Utrecht, a stronghold both for the Reformers and Catholics in the Northern Netherlands, from the 1620s to the 1670s. At the same time, it also aims to rethink the mechanisms of confessional coexistence, which have been discussed by recent studies arguing the importance of ‘public/private’ distinction in understanding early modern toleration. Although recent studies have, to some extent, modified the previous image of Dutch Catholics as being passive, the public sphere has still been depicted as a static place. My dissertation is to be undertaken to assess Catholics’ agency in the delimitation of the ‘public’ of the multi-confessional civic community.


Drs. A.M. Zwart (Marijn)

Valorization of the Land within Second Century Patristic Christianity and Tannaitic Judaism

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PhD student

Drs. A.M. Zwart (Marijn)

Supervisor

Prof. M.J.A.M. Poorthuis

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Summary

This study assesses the valorization of the Land of Israel/Palestine within second century patristic Christianity and tannaitic Judaism in their socio-political circumstances. It compares the two and put them in the broader context of Hellenistic conceptions of sacred space.

Research into the nascent identities of rabbinic Judaism and Christianity has changed incisively during the last decades. In earlier research a 'parting of the ways' was envisioned in the second half of the first century CE, centering around the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE, and thus already visible in some of the writings that would come to constitute the New Testament. In current research, however, the second century CE is seen as central to the beginning of the formation of Christian and Jewish identities, with the early church fathers and the tannaitic Rabbis creating an Other and establishing boundaries in order to forge identities in their respective heresiologies. A point central to these religions (and other ancient religions) is the relationship between god, ethnicity, and territory. Christianity began to change from a predominantly Jewish movement to a predominantly Gentile one. Having universal ambitions, not bound by ethnicity or territory - thus enacting a revolutionary separation of ethnicity and religion, yet still relying on ethnic terms in asserting precisely their universal nature - it still had to deal with its (biblical) heritage which attached value to the land of Israel/Palestine (from here on designated as 'the Land'). Judaism on the other hand, had to deal with an increasingly large diaspora community, forcing them to rethink and in some cases transform their relation to the Land. The main research question is: how is the Land of Israel/Palestine valorized in second century patristic Christianity and tannaitic Judaism? To answer this question three sub-steps will be followed:

  • A differentiation of these valorizations within both second century patristic Christianity and tannaitic Judaism.
  • A comparison between the valorizations of second century patristic Christianity and tannaitic Judaism.
  • Putting these valorizations in the broader context of Hellenistic conception of sacred space.