Cardinal Willebrands

Biography Project Cardinal Willebrands Research Centre

Any initial survey of Johannes Willebrands’s biographical itinerary can suffice to demonstrate that the life and work of Willebrands is of central importance for the development and evolution of Roman Catholicism throughout the twentieth century. The conferences devoted to his personality in 2009 have only strengthened the awareness of an enduring lack of knowledge on the history of Catholic involvement in the history of the twentieth century ecumenical movement, and of Willebrands’s pioneer role in this movement. Therefore, the Cardinal Willebrands Research Centre – in a close collaboration of its two founding institutes: the TST and the Cardinal Willebrands Archive Foundation – has taken the initiative to support the writing of an academic biography of the late cardinal Willebrands. This project fits with the intentions and aims of the Centre, and in order to complete such undertaking, the CWRC-board has appointed Karim Schelkens as biographer. As a guest researcher at Tilburg University Dr. Schelkens will collaborate closely with the Centre’s staff, and his research activities will be embedded in the international and interconfessional network of scholars created by the Centre. A constant collaboration is set up with Rev. Leo Declerck – responsible for the inventorying of the Willebrands Archives. The process of composing the biography is put under the guidance by a committee consisting of the CWRC staff members, and supported by the members of the academic Advisory Board as well as by the members of the Honorary Board.