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TST Annual Lecture: Kieran Flanagan

Annual Lecture Christianity and Society

The Dark Side of Modernity

With Brexit and crises over identity politics in an era of post-truth, the signs of the times cast long shadows over secularization, notably over its claims that religion has ‘disappeared’. Looming from the gloom are the intractable legacies of Christianity, to be found in the dark side of modernity, those of memory, ruins, the dark Gothic, and its spectres of sin and Satan.

Dr. Kieran Flanagan, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol has published numerous books and articles on sociology and theology, liturgy, visual culture and spirituality. His latest book is Sociological Noir. Irruptions and the Darkness of Modernity (Routledge, 2017). Forthcoming is The Light of Modernity: A Sociology of Seeking. It explores a radical solution to the darkness of modernity: the re-invention of tradition in Christianity.

Responses will be given by two leading Dutch authors on modernity and religion. James Kennedy is Dean of the University College Utrecht. He has written extensively on religion in modern Dutch history, including the role of the churches. His latest book is A concise history of the Netherlands (Cambridge University Press, 2017), translated as Een beknopte geschiedenis van Nederland (Bert Bakker, 2017).

Willem Schinkel is Professor of Social Theory at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His most recent books are De leegte van westerse waarden [The emptiness of Western values] (VUB Press, 2016) and Imagined Societies. A Critique of Immigrant Integration in Western Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2017).


13.30 Welcome with coffee and tea

14.00 Opening

Lecture by Dr. Kieran Flanagan The Dark Side of Modernity and the Re-invention of Christian Tradition

14.45 Break

15.00 Response by Prof. Dr. James Kennedy

15.30 Response by Prof. Dr. Willem Schinkel

16.00 Discussion with panel and audience

16.30 Concluding remarks by dr. Kees de Groot, coordinator of the Master Christianity and Society


About the Annual Lecture

Every year, Tilburg School of Catholic Theology organizes an annual lecture, addressing a theme at the crossroads of Christianity and Society. The lecture marks the content of the Master’s Program Christianity and Society, a one-year multidisciplinary program accessible for students from all academic disciplines or backgrounds who have completed an academic Bachelor’s degree. The program focuses on the question how Christianity influences law, politics, economics, modern art, science and world religions.

Previous keynote speakers were Godfried Cardinal Danneels, Prof. dr. Ernst Hirsch Ballin, René Grotenhuis, Willem Cardinal Eijk and Tomáš Halík.

Interested in our Master’s program in Christianity and Society?

Visit our web pages at

When and where

Friday 2 June 2017

Tilburg University, Dante-building room DZ – 02, Warandelaan 2, 5000 AB Tilburg.

Registration & information

The lecture is free of charge. If you wish to attend, please register by filling out the form on our website: or send an e-mail to no later than 24 May 2017.

For enquiries please contact the secretary’s office of the School.

Telephone +31 13 466 3800




Wanneer: 02 juni 2017 13:30

Einddatum: 02 juni 2017 17:00