Tilburg School of Catholic Theology
Department of Practical Theology and Religious Studies
- the religious modernisation paradigm
- (historical) sociology of Western Catholicism in modernity
- 'pillarisation' (growth and decline of political subsocieties) in Europe since 1800
Since 2007 professor in the sociology of religion at the School of Catholic Theology at Tilburg University
Since 1996 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)
Professor in the Sociology of Religion
Western Catholicism in modernity
Following the German sociologist of religion Kaufmann and Gabriel, I try to understand religions and religious evolutions in the last centuries by considering them as being involved in complex processes of religious modernization. After developing an historical-sociological long-term view on religious modernization, resulting in the book The Age of World Religions (published in Dutch in 2007 and in German in 2010), the paradigmatic framework is being used now to analyze the evolution of the Catholic Church in Western modernity, from the French revolution till the 21st century, yet with an emphasis on contemporary developments. The basic idea reads: consider religion (and thus also Catholicism) as part and parcel of modernity and not as its opposite.
Contacts are being laid with sociologists and historians of Catholicism. Good contacts have already been established with a.o. Wilhelm Damberg (Bochum) and Karl Gabriel (Münster), with Marc Hooghe, Jan De Maeyer and Patrick Pasture (Louvain), with Raf Vanderstraeten (Ghent), with Urs Altermatt and Franziska Metzger (Fribourg), with Anthony Carroll (London), with Marjet Derks and Marit Monteiro (Nijmegen).
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 KADOC (Catholic Documentation and Research Centre, KULeuven)
- William Arfman, Remaking Ritual. A comparison of Catholic, Protestant and non-ecclesial rites of collective commemoration
- Bart Van Dijk, De invloed van lijden en geweld op de ontwikkeling van de geloofsidentiteit van aalmoezeniers in de krijgsmacht
- Theo Wagenaar, Receptie van de Katholieke Sociale Leer in Nederland 1945-2010
- Rob van der Toorn, Turkse Alevieten en het lokale immigratiebeleid in Europa
My teaching is situated, broadly speaking, in 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: 10 December 2013