Tilburg School of Catholic Theology
Department of Practical Theology and Religious Studies
- the religious modernisation paradigm
- historical sociology of the world religions, particularly of Catholicism in Europe
- 'pillarisation' (growth and decline of political subsocieties) in Europe since 1800
- theories in the sociology of religion
Since 2006 full professor in the sociology of religion at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at Tilburg University
Since 1996 full professor in the sociology of religion at the Catholic Theological University at Utrecht
1990 Ph.D. in the Social Sciences at the University of Leuven (title: "Pillarisation. An historical and comparative study" - in Dutch; Promotor: Karel Dobbelaere)
Full Professor in the Sociology of Religion
Religious Modernisation III: Catholicism in Europe since 1500
After preparatory research (RM I) and after the systematic elaboration of the paradigm of religious modernisation (RM II) resulting in the book The Age of World Religions (published in Dutch in 2007) it is now time for the third layer of my research trajectory: the study of the religious modernisation of Catholicism in Europe since 1500. The paradigmatic frame that has been developed in the past years, will be used to chart the evolution of Catholicism in Europe historically and sociologically, starting from the basic idea that religion (and thus also Catholicism) is part and parcel of modernity and not its opposite. Further elaboration and an historical and sociological 'testing' of the paradigm is intended as well. Finally, through this theoretically and historically oriented approach, the project deliberately aims at establishing a clearer view of the actual and future evolution of and developments within Catholicism.
Contact will be continued and sought with theoreticians and historians of Catholicism. Good contacts have already been established with Wim Damberg (as foreign expert in the DFG-Research programme 'Transformation of Religion and the Main Churches in Germany 1945-1980' - in German), with Jan De Maeyer and Patrick Pasture of the 'Catholic Documentation Centre' (KADOC) in Leuven (a.o. as advisor for projects), with Marc Hooghe of the KULeuven and Raf Vanderstraeten of the UGent on theory building in the social and political sciences, with Urs Altermatt (as member of the Board of Advisors of the 'Swiss Journal for the History of Religion and Culture' - in German) and with Nicolas de Brémond d'Ars and the CNRS-Research Group 'Modernity and Catholicism' at Paris (in French).
Chairman of the editorial board of the series "Utrechtse Studies"
Member of the Board of Advisors of the "Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Religions- und Kulturgeschichte"
Member of the Board of Advisors of the "Tijdschrift voor Sociologie"
Member of the Board of Advisors of KADOC (Catholic Documentation and Research Centre, KULeuven)
2003 Erik Sengers 'Al zijn wij katholiek, wij zijn Nederlanders'. Opkomst en verval van de katholieke kerk in Nederland sinds 1795 vanuit rational-choice perspectief.
20.-22. November 2008 Co-organisation with Wim Damberg of the international conference "Delokaliserung der Grosskirchen? Die Verlagerung der religiösen Produktion in den intermediären kirchlichen Instanzen" - in German.
My teaching is broadly situated within the field of sociology of religion: general sociology of religion, sociology of religious education, historical and comparative sociology of Catholicism and of the world religions
G.A.F. Hellemans teaches the following subjects:
Teaching activities elsewhere
From 2001 till 2008 guest professor in the sociology of religion at the Faculty for Catholic Theology at the University of Leuven (Belgium)
Room U 917A
PO Box 80101
3508 TC Utrecht
Last amended: 27 August 2009