Research Tilburg School of Theology

PhD researchers Theology

Dr. H.J. Batt (Herbert)

PhD researcher

H.J. Batt (Herbert)

Supervisor(s)

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

Co-supervisor(s)

dr. L.H. Westra

Domain

Church History

Title

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

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.

W.J.A. Biemans (Ward)

PhD researcher

W.J.A. Biemans (Ward)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. J. Loffeld

Prof. dr. M.C.H. van Dijk-Groeneboer

Domain 

Practical Theology

Title

Pastoral accompaniment of migrant and intercultural couples before and after marriage in the Catholic Church in the Netherlands

Summary

The central question of this research is the following: to what extent do the experiences of migrant and intercultural couples who want to marry or are married between 2000 and 2021 in the Catholic church in the Netherlands and Belgium, show a pattern of cultural transition or cultural defence with regard to their integration in the Church community and the society at large?

This research proposal consists of four phases:

  1. literature search on the needs and effectiveness of pastoral accompaniment of young Christian couples before and after marriage;
  2. survey on the experiences and needs of intercultural and migrant couples who are preparing a marriage in the Catholic church or who have been married after 2000, with questions regarding marriage preparation and pastoral accompaniment, prayer life, dealing with conflicts within their relationship and integration in the local church community;
  3. in-depth interviews with migrant and intercultural couples on their experiences of marriage preparation and pastoral accompaniment after marriage, on their integration in the local church community and in the society at large;
  4. qualitative research among pastors, including migrant pastors and staff members of dioceses and religious movements, followed by a SWOT-analysis with regard to marriage preparation, pastoral accompaniment and integration of migrant and intercultural couples in the Netherlands. Also in this phase, a reflection will take place on the collected data and the insights from current migration theology and sociological theories on secularization, cultural transition and cultural defence. 
L.W.F.P. van den Bogaard (Leo)

PhD researcher

L.W.F.P. van den Bogaard (Leo)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Title

Metaphors and comparisons in Song of Songs

An examination of nineteen Dutch Bible translations

Summary

B.N.M. Brijan (Bernice)

PhD researcher

L.W.F.P. van den Bogaard (Leo)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Title

Metaphors and comparisons in Song of Songs

An examination of nineteen Dutch Bible translations

Summary

 

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

PhD researcher

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

Supervisor(s)

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

Prof. dr. P. Coda

Domain

Church History, Systematic Theology and Catholic Social Thought

Title

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

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. Brouwers (Sanneke)

PhD researcher

S.P.W. Brouwers

Supervisor(s)

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

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

Prof. dr. N.H.H. Kienstra

Domain

Pastoral Theology

Title

Moral distress and human dignity in the Dutch military context

A self- confrontational approach

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.

J.P. van Bruggen (Jan Peter)

PhD researcher

J.P. van Bruggen (Jan Peter)

Supervisor(s)

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

Prof. dr. E. Sengers

Co supervisors

Dr. P.H.J. Olsthoorn

Dr. T.P. op den Buijs

Domain

Practical Theology

Title

Moral Responsibility of Dutch soldiers on mission

Summary

E.L.M. Brussee (Eugène)

PhD researcher

E.L.M. Brussee (Eugène)

Supervisor(s)

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

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Domain

Church History

Title

Love and Eucharist in the Work of Augustine

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.

A. Cavallarin (Alberto)

PhD researcher

A. Cavallarin (Alberto)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. 

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. H. van Eijghen

Domain

 

Title

 

C.L. Coya (Carmen)

PhD researcher

C.L. Coya (Carmen)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. Marcel Sarot

Co-supervisor

Dr. Anton ten Klooster

Domain

Moral Theology

Title

A Revolution of Virtues: The Catholic Sources of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Summary

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK), a black pastor from the deep south of the United States, used natural law to argue not only civil disobedience but also leverage it in his fight for racial justice from the mid 1950’s until his death on April 4th, 1968. What is odd about his philosophical take on natural law and on virtue ethics is that it goes against the tradition of his Baptist faith. Furthermore, we learn from the transcripts of the Second Vatican Council, by the Council Fathers (while drafting Gaudium et Spes [GS]) that they understood MLK was influenced by Roman Catholic teaching and his theology was not incompatible with Roman Catholic Church. Thus, they incorporated MLK's theology into GS.  Although Dr. King and the movement have benefited from the teachings of the Church and King has been quoted by four popes, there is a lack of scholarship around MLK’s engagement with the Roman Catholic faith. This research will demonstrate how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. drew from Roman Catholic teachings on natural law, virtue ethics, as well as other Catholic sources like St Thomas Aquinas. For Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this knowledge was not just to advocate for oppressed blacks but fight evil and lead a revolution of virtues in a spiritual and corporal war for hope, faith, love, and justice.

C.E. Donker (Bert)

PhD researcher

C.E. Donker (Bert)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Prof. dr. J. Verheyden

Domain

Biblical Studies

Title

The Simplest Element

A stemmatic approach to the Synoptic Problem

Summary

 

W.H. van den Dool (Wim)

PhD researcher

W.H. van den Dool (Wim)

Supervisor(s)

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

Prof. dr. A.J. Beck

Domain

Historical Theology

Title

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

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 analyze 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 analyze 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 (Andy)

PhD researcher

A.R. Espinoza Pereda MA (Andy)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Domain

Exegesis

Title

Malachi’s blessings and curses in light of the covenantal blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28-30

A reader-oriented approach.

Summary

This will be a literary study of the book of Malachi with especial attention to the blessings and curses therein and the possible relation to the covenantal curses of Deuteronomy. The first part of this study will be a synchronic analysis focusing on the text (grammar, syntax, and semantics) and a description of text-immanent reader in the pericopes that specifically deal with blessings and curses in Malachi (1:6-2:9; 3:6-12) and Deuteronomy (28-30). The second part of this study will be a synchronic analysis exploring possible links between the blessings and curses in Malachi and the covenantal blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28-30. The third and final part of this study will discuss how these links affect the overall message of the book of Malachi.

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

PhD researcher

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

Supervisors

Prof. dr. M.C.H. van Dijk-Groeneboer

Prof.dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Domain

Practical Theology

Title

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

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 analyzed from the angle of a potential surplus of meaning. Possible principles and values regarding Catholic education and upbringing can be spotted here.
D.R.M. Godecharle (David)

PhD researcher

D.R.M. Godecharle (David)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Prof. dr. G. van Belle

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Title

The creative construction of Christianity in the Fourth Gospel

An intertextual and historical-critical study of John 6

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].

H.Q.C. Greiwe (Carsten)

PhD researcher

H.Q.C. Greiwe (Carsten)

Supervisor(s)

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

Co-supervisor 

Dr. K. Panters

Domain

Church History

Title

The History of the Quirinus Monastery at Neuss am Rhein in the Early Middle Ages

Summary

This dissertation is to present the history of the city of Neuss and its Quirinus Monastery in the early Middle Ages. The aim is to present a comprehensive monograph about the closely intertwined trajectories of city and monastery and thus of political, economic and religious developments in Neuss and its broader Umfeld. The study will include the early history of the women's monastery of St. Quirin and the connection between the foundation of the monastery and the development of the city of Neuss, the development of the local and regional history of Christianity, the specific aspects of female spiritual communities like Neuss, the early veneration of Quirinus in Neuss including the translation legend, as well as the question of the significance of the family of the Rhenish Palatine Counts for the foundation and development of the Quirinus monastery.

M.H.Q. Hagens (Quirien)

PhD researcher

M.H.Q. Hagens (Quirien)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M.C.H. van Dijk-Groeneboer

Prof. dr. J. Loffeld

Domain

Practical Theology

Title PhD project:

‘A new way of Christian presence in society’

Religious identity & Roman Catholic education in late-modern context

Summary

In this thesis new perspectives on the presence of the Catholic Church within late modern society and subsequently on religious education in catholic schools will be investigated from theological, anthropological standpoint.

The current dynamics of late modern society naturally enter into secondary schools as well. In the same vein, the current affairs and developments of the Church do not go unnoticed in the world of education. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly investigate the theological foundations for religious identity and education in Catholic schools and to investigate how to design this education in the most meaningful way so as to correspond to the needs of late modern society.

I will examine in which way theology can contribute to create a new model for religious identity and education in Roman Catholic schools. From an Ignatian perspective, I will examine a theological foundation for this model, which can be useful and applicable in late modern context, within diverse school compositions.

R.E. Hamilton (Ross)

PhD researcher

R.E. Hamilton (Ross)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. Marcel Sarot

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. Anton ten Klooster

Domain

Religious Studies; Practical Theology

Title

From the Desert to the Garden

Transforming Loneliness into Solitude with Henri Nouwen and Vincent van Gogh

Summary

Henri Nouwen and Vincent van Gogh often wrestled with the existential impact of being alone. By bringing new perspectives to both their own lives and work, this research will contribute to the wider study of solitude in Christian spirituality.

E.A. Hastings (Elizabeth)

PhD researcher

E.A. Hastings (Elizabeth)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. K. Schelkens

Prof. dr. P. de Mey

Domain

Systematic Theology

Title

The Relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Church in the International Bilateral Ecumenical Dialogues of the Anglican Communion

Summary

I shall conduct an historical-theological analysis of the Anglican Communion’s international bilateral dialogues, focusing upon the vital ecumenical issue of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Church. This is a timely topic for investigation, in view of the current impasse in the worldwide ecumenical movement. The issue concerns, inter alia, divisive claims of divine authority for teachings on the Holy Spirit's person and mission, and for various historic forms of ministry, worship, liturgy, the sacraments, and creedal and conciliar decisions. These pneumatological-ecclesiological concerns are central to much of the historic disagreement between the Christian ecclesial traditions.

For the most part, the Anglican international bilateral dialogues date from the 1960s onwards, involving respectively the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Old Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Reformed, and Baptist traditions.  Interactions between these bilaterals and the multilateral work of the World Council of Churches will be taken into account, in order to maintain a sense of the ecumenical movement as an inseparable whole.

The objectives are, first, to analyse the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Church in each bilateral, and second, to map Anglican theological and doctrinal positions on the same topic by means of a comparative survey across all the Anglican international bilaterals. This will hopefully contribute to an actively informed reception by the Anglican Communion of its own positions on the relationship between the Holy Spirit and Church across the full spectrum of its international bilaterals.

A. Heijstek-Hofman (Angelique)

PhD researcher

A. Heijstek-Hofman (Angelique)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M.C.H. van Dijk-Groeneboer

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. M.A.A. van Amelsvoort

Domain

Religious Education

Title

Value-oriented citizenship at public secondary schools

Summary

Our society is changing. Individualization is an ongoing process, our society has become more divers and because of globalization and digitalization, new information (whether real or fake) is available within seconds. Opportunities are growing exponentially and therefore life choices as well. These choices are based on values. Values find their roots in religions and non-religious worldviews and form a persons’ deepest identity. Strong values help to make life choices, to estimate information and become more resilient in the rapidly changing world. Education plays a vital role in guiding young people to develop values and make choices that help build a resilient society. Indeed, schools are places where people of different backgrounds come together and where they can learn and discuss important issues in current society.

This value-oriented education should teach about values, about differences between cultures, societies and religions, how to respect and deal with these differences, how to filter the overload of information and how to develop a well-founded opinion and identity, based on core values from religions and non-religious worldviews without excluding anyone. However, on public secondary schools in the Netherlands, there is very little value-oriented education about identity, values, morality, or ethics while especially on public schools many different cultures and religions meet each other. It is of great importance that public secondary schools have access to an educational method which gives space in the classrooms to learn these value-oriented educational goals. I therefore propose to empower the resilient society by developing an educating value-oriented citizenship method for public schools.

R.N. Hekman (Rieks)

PhD researcher

R.N. Hekman (Rieks)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M. Sarot

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. H.J.M.J. Goris

Domain

Systematic Theology

Title

Cosmic Eschatology

Consummation of non-human creation

Summary

Cosmic eschatology, that is the consummation of non-rational creation, is considered part of the depositum fidei of Christianity (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church nr. 1042- 1050). It is also a very important topic in view of the ecological crisis. However, in contemporary ecotheology cosmic eschatology suffers from fragmentation, while in mainstream theology it is virtually ignored since modernity. This research project aims at renewing cosmic eschatology by studying premodern sources and relating them to the systematic approaches in the eschatological views of Rahner and Moltmann.

P.H.W. Huiting (Pascal)

PhD researcher

P.H.W. Huiting (Pascal)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. R.A. te Velde

Prof. dr. E. van der Zweerde

Domain

History of Philosophy

Title

S. Kierkegaard and V. Solovyov on humanity, the divine and human freedom

Summary

In this research, I establish a dialogue between Danish philosopher Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855) and Russian philosopher Vladimir Sergeevič Soloviev (1853-1900) on the themes of humanity, divinity and freedom. Of course, the word ‘dialogue’ is used as a metaphor for what in fact is an analysis and comparison of texts produced by Kierkegaard and Soloviev on the abovementioned themes. From a historical point of view this dialogue is absurd, because Kierkegaard and Soloviev never met each other and apart from a very tiny fragment, Soloviev never acquainted himself with Kierkegaard’s texts.

The dialogue is nevertheless relevant considering the alleged common features of Kierkegaard’s and Soloviev’s thought, claimed by various authors. A dialogue between Kierkegaard and Soloviev is also a great opportunity to contrast their thoughts and in doing so, establish more clearly their sometimes parallel but often very different thoughts on humanity, divinity and freedom.

N.C. Iacob (Norel)

PhD researcher

N.C. Iacob (Norel)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M. Sarot

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. H.J.M.J. Goris

Domain

Systematic Theology

Title

Hermeneutics and the Doctrine of God. An Inquiry into the Hermeneutical Presuppositions of Open Theism and Classical Theism and a Plea for an Alternative

Summary

The divergence between Classical Theism (which teaches a timeless, impassible, and omniscient God), and Open Theism (which teaches a temporal, passible and most knowledgeable God), suggests that, apart from any possible fallacy committed by either side, there could be some mutually exclusive pre-understandings behind the two theological models. An analysis of the hermeneutical presuppositions involved in the debate can lead to a better understanding of the core to which this debate can be reduced.

Once this step is taken, this research will investigate the possibility that another methodological matrix can be devised and used in the effort to find a theological model for reconciling various aspects of God’s biblical portrait. Determining the limitations, strengths, and vulnerabilities of such a potential model requires its evaluation in the light of biblical doctrines that are connected to it (systematic theology) and of relevant philosophical questions (conceptual analysis, analytic theology).

B.J. Ipenburg (Ben)

PhD researcher

B.J. Ipenburg (Ben)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. K. Schelkens

Prof. dr. J. Dewulf

Domain

History of Christianity

Title

Christianity and Slavery in the Dutch Atlantic Colonial Empire in the 17th and 18th Century

Summary

The study examines the role of Christianity in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic colonial empire of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces. It analyzes the theological and moral background of colonial expansion and slavery. She examines the influence of the religious system developed in and imposed from the Netherlands on the life and "day-to-day practice" of the implementers of colonial policy: the crew of the (slave) ships, the administrators of the overseas trading posts and forts, the administrators of the plantation colonies, of the planters, pastors and missionaries in the West Indian colonies. And of the Natives and slaves. The study methodically draws on themes from and concerns of postcolonial theory.

L. Jansen (Lukas)

PhD researcher

L. Jansen

Supervisor(s)

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

Co-supervisor(s)

 

Domain

Church History

Title

 

A. de Jong (Anne)

PhD researcher

A. de Jong (Anne)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M. Sarot

Prof. dr. J. Loffeld

Domain

Practical Theology

Title

“Women and Nouwen”

Theological-Biographical Research into the Influence of Women on the Lived Faith and Theology of Henri J. M. Nouwen

Summary

This theological-biographical research will look at the influence of four important women on Henri Nouwen’s spirituality, as is evident in his life and theological writings. Researching these women and Nouwen will function as a practical theological case-study into the role of gender within the relationship between lived faith, as a private domain, and the practice of (systematic) theology, as a public domain.  

M.M.C. Koole (Mirjam)

PhD researcher

M.M.C. Koole (Mirjam)

Supervisor(s)

Em. prof. dr. M.J.H.M. Poorthuis

Prof. dr. E.P.N.M. Borgman

Domain

 

Title

De Weg van het gebed in het denken van A.J. Herschel (1907-1972) 

Een wijze van omgaan met de waarheid

Summary

 

N.A. Kroon (Nadia)

PhD researcher

N.A. Kroon (Nadia)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. N. Kienstra

Prof. dr. J. Loffeld

Prof. dr. A. den Heijer

Domain

Practical Theology

Title

Heavenly Light – a cross-case analysis in multiple-case studies using reports of near-death experiences and New Testament texts

Summary

This project examines the phenomenon of ‘heavenly light’ by exploring two sources (and thereby multiple ‘cases’) and their interrelationships: near-death experiences (NDE’s) and the New Testament. 

NDE’s are experienced by 4-8% of the world’s population. They are defined as experiences of continued consciousness and heightened awareness during life-threatening conditions that should severely impair the cognitive functioning of the brain. Among the frequently occurring elements of NDE’s are visions of light and encountering a being of light. This has profound effects on the NDE’r, both emotionally and spiritually. At the same time, experiences of ‘heavenly light’ and reflections on this type of light are found in the New Testament. A dialogue between the two sources could enrich our understanding of the nature and role of (visions of) heavenly light, both for those who experience it and those who seek to understand it in relation to the broader field of theology.

 

The research project consists of a multiple-case study, consisting of literature review and analysis of empirical data. The data is retrieved from an online database of NDE-cases and a selection of cases (texts) from the New Testament. These are analysed through inductive coding techniques, which are meant to result in two conceptual models of ‘heavenly light’. 

The conceptual models are compared in a cross-case analysis in order to arrive at a new, synthesized conceptual model that lays the foundation for a new description of heavenly light. Remaining differences are also analysed, which could result in the formulation of new angles of academic inquiry. The cross-case analysis is guided by principles of ‘Reciprocal Illumination’, a theological theory of comparison on the basis of equality and mutuality.

A.P.J. Litjens (Fons)

PhD researcher

A.P.J. Litjens (Fons)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Co-supervisor

Dr. F.G. Bosman

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Title

Prayerful life in pictures. A communication-oriented study of the psalm illustrations in the Psalter of Saint Albans

Summary

Thanks to digitization, many medieval manuscripts are accessible to anyone interested. This also applies to the Psalter of Saint Albans, which was published in 2003 on its own website (albani-psalter.de). More than 200 illustrated initials accompany the 150 psalms. This manuscript has been the object of art historical research for more than a century. In recent decades there has been a shift from an iconographic approach, with attention to the meaning of the image, to the image as a form of communication.

Within Biblical exegesis there is also a growing interest in a communication-oriented approach, in which a careful distinction is made between text-internal and text-external communication. This method is promising for studying the interaction between the text of the psalm and the psalm illustration. Psalm illustrations are regarded as 'texts' within this approach, which can be studied in the same way as psalm texts.

The research aims to contribute to the further development of a method to systematically relate biblical images to the biblical text and thus to the visual training of theologians, who are usually mainly trained in reading texts and its responsible use.

T. Luca (Tudor)

PhD researcher

T. Luca (Tudor)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. G.P.M. Ó Floinn

Domain

Biblical Theology

Title

The narrative form and the function of the phenomenon of misunderstanding of the disciples and its development in the Gospel according to Mark

Summary

A series of phenomena can be seen in the Gospel of Mark. An interesting phenomenon that exists throughout the gospel is the misunderstanding of the disciples in relation to acts and words of Jesus. They don’t understand when Jesus performs miracles. They misunderstand him and this misunderstanding is noticeable, especially in the three predictions of Jesus’s suffering and death (Mk. 8:31-33, 9:30-32, 10:32-40). This research proposes an analysis of this failure to understand as a literary phenomenon. The method choose for this research is a literary-narrative one. 

N. Mathew (Nevin)

PhD researcher

N. Mathew

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. J. Loffeld

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. A.M. ten Klooster 

Domain

Practical Theology

Title

Growing in Love

Developing a Concept of Conjugal Love for the Syro-Malabar Church in Discussion with Amoris Laetitia

Summary

This project analyses the gradual development of the notion of conjugal love in the magisterial teachings and aims to elaborate the new perspectives on conjugal love developed in Amoris Laetitia (the recent post-synodal apostolic exhortation on family and marriage). Through this analysis, the research will point out the ethical developments in the theological understanding of marriage, as articulated in the magisterial teachings. Traditionally the procreative dimension of marriage was over-emphasized and the relational aspect of mutual love was more or less neglected, as is evident in Amoris Laetitia: “its call to grow in love and its ideal of mutual assistance are overshadowed by an almost exclusive insistence on the duty of procreation” (AL 36). At present, the theological discussions are guided by the relational aspect of conjugal love rather than by the traditional double end finality of marriage. The accent on conjugal love as the “unique love of friendship” is more characteristic of the present position of the magisterial teachings than the double finality doctrine on the purpose of marriage. 

Based on this gradual development of conjugal love and especially on how it has been developed in Amoris Laetitia, I intend to develop a paradigm of conjugal love in the cultural context of the Syro-Malabar Church. The ongoing practice of ‘assisted marriage’ and the grip of patriarchy in Kerala society will be the major points of discussion related to the growth of love in marriage. Pope Francis makes clear that “[w]e need to find the right language, arguments and forms of witness that can help us reach the hearts of young people […] inviting them to take up the challenge of marriage with enthusiasm and courage” (AL 40). The research will elaborate the relevance of contextual conjugal ethics through the critical analysis of Amoris Laetitia and focusing on the context of the Syro-Malabar Church.

R. Nazarenko (Roman)

PhD researcher

R. Nazarenko MA (Roman)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M.J.H.M. Poorthuis

Prof. dr. E.J. Alam

Domain

Interreligious Dialogue

Title

Scriptural Reasoning

A new theological approach in interreligious dialogue

Summary

The proposed dissertation aims at showing that in interreligious dialogue – which in this application is limited to Christian-Islamic dialogue - the method of Scriptural Reasoning (SR) may constitute a profound challenge enabling as it does a sharper and more profound insight of both the differences and the similarities between Islam and Christianity based on the Holy Scriptures and some other authoritative sources of both religions.

A.N. Nwachukwu (Anthony)

PhD researcher

A.N. Nwachukwu (Anthony)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. W.M. Speelman

Prof. dr. W. Ihejirika

Domain

Narrative

Title

The Reign of Poverty in Nigeria

A Narrative Investigation of People's Stories

Summary

The research project seeks to provide a more integrated vision of the complex situation of poverty in Nigeria by a narrative research of the stories of the people immediately involved with it.

M.A. Ospino Finol (Manuel)

PhD researcher

M.A. Ospino Finol (Manuel)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Domain

Biblical Studies

Title

Paul as a Reader of Isaiah

A Communication Oriented Analysis

Summary

It is a well-known fact that Romans contains the highest number of marked quotations and allusions to Isaiah among the Pauline letters. However, these Isaiah quotations and allusions have been studied from the standpoint of the theological and missiological argument elaborated by Paul in Romans, which means that the intertextual relationship has very often been studied from a semantic perspective. In this research, however, I propose to study the Isaiah quotations present in Romans 9:30-10:21 as part of a Communication Oriented Analysis applied to that pericope. In doing so, I plan to study the intertextual relationship between the text-immanent author of the mentioned pericope with the text-immanent reader of the Isaiah quotations. This research follows a communication-oriented exegesis in order to analyze the communication process present in Romans 9:30-10:21 and explore the intertextual relationship between that text and the Isaiah texts that are there quoted. In order to do this, the text is firstly analyzed syntactically and then semantically. Secondly, the communication process of Romans 9:30-10:21 is studied to see the relationships between the text-immanent author with the text-immanent reader. After this first analysis has taken place, the same method is to be applied to the Isaiah texts quoted in the Romans pericope, that is, the Isaiah texts are to be also studied applying Communication Oriented Analysis doing exegetical work on those texts in their own contexts. Once this is done, the question of the intertextual relationship between the text-immanent author of that pericope with the text-immanent reader of the Isaiah texts there quoted may be explored and synthesized.

W.M. Otte (Wim)

PhD researcher

W.M. Otte (Wim)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. B. J. Koet

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Domain

Digital Humanities, Exegesis

Title

The contextual lexicographic reinterpretation of Paul’s letter-spirit antithesis in 2 Corinthians 3:6

Summary

Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians is relatively difficult to comprehend, due to questions about the integrity of the epistle, difficult Greek language, and lack of sufficient information about the historical context. Within this letter, verse 3:6 is notorious challenging: “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter (γράμμα) but of the Spirit (πνεῦμα); for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

In the Church, this text is historically interpreted as a hermeneutical guideline to read the Old Testament, with an allegorical, spiritual reading preferred over a more literal interpretation. However, the question is whether γράμμα and πνεῦμα should be considered as antithetic. Perhaps we are biased due to the developments in dogmatics since the Reformation, in which ‘letter’ and ‘spirit’ have become opposites. Efforts to remap their meaning, away from the allegedly hermeneutical guideline, have been presented. However, these efforts critically depend on semantic re-evaluations based on intertextual allusions to texts outside Paul’s epistle. Extensive intertextual lexicographical mapping is currently difficult to perform, hampering the semantic characterization.

This project aims to characterize the meaning of γράμμα and πνεῦμα in 2 Cor. 3:6 with a co-text-dependent lexicographical language tool, modelled on and validated with a large ancient Greek corpus of extant texts, including the New Testament. The development of a generic co-text-dependent lexicographical tool to systematically map the semantic relationships between ancient Greek words will hopefully, apart from its use in characterizing 2 Cor. 3:6, fill a more general void in exegeses of extant texts

J.J.J. Pater (Jonathan)

PhD researcher

J.J.J. Pater (Jonathan)

Status

PhD Candidate NWO project Parabels and the Partings of the Ways

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M.J.H.M. Poorthuis

Prof. dr. A.B. Merz

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. H.L.M. Ottenheijm

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Title

Meal Parables in Jewish and Christian Sources

Summary

Meals are an important element of many rabbinic parables. In both the New Testament and Rabbinic literature the meal is not only an occasion to relate parables, but the meal itself is often central to the narrative of the parable. The motif is often connected to eschatological discourse, but can also serve other purposes. Meal parables have not yet been studied in scholarly research on early Jewish and Christian meals. The project aims at an integrated analysis and comparative reading of Rabbinic and Christian meal parables in their literary, social, halakhic, and historical contexts. The research will consist of a narrative and literary critical (tradition and redaction narrative) analysis of extant Rabbinic parables. Questions here are how are meals represented and conceptualized in the parables (which motifs are associated with the meal and what is their significance) and how the parables are located in a literary context. The research will also focus on halakhic (meal etiquette and cultic rules) and social aspects. Meals constitute a major focal point for social relations, as they establish community, preserve it or question it. Here the guiding questions will be whether meal parables express awareness of changing religious affiliations and social belonging. The approach of the project is multidisciplinary and will combine insights from various methods in an expanded Bildfeld analysis of the parables.

P.C.J.M. Paulissen (Jarell)

PhD researcher

P.C.J.M. Paulissen (Jarell)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M.C.H. van Dijk-Groeneboer

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. F.G. Bosman

Domain

Cultural Theology

Title

Sects, cults and religious organisations in digital games

Summary

In a number of digital games, the player is forced or encouraged to interact - usually in an antagonistic fashion - with numerous fictional (or fictionalised) cults, sects or other organisations that carry strong religious connnotations. Oftentimes such organisations are portrayed as very powerful, secretly influencing top-levels of government, working towards a sinister goal involving either oppression or widespread destruction, or both, with its fanatical members supporsedly brainwashed into believing they are serving a highter purpose. More often than not, however, these goals turn out to be nothing more than personal gain to their leaders. As digital games often involve combat sequences, these groups are often depicted as strongly militaristic in nature, boarding on extremism and terrorism.

While there are numerous sociological and theological studies that focus on existing religious organizations, the study of their virtual and fictional (or fictionalised) counterparts as they appear in digital games seems to be absent from academia. The overalll aim of this thesis is therefore to analyse how this kind of organisation is aesthetically and rhetorically depicted in digital games, whith the intention of building a theorectical framework stimulating and enabling more in-depth research into this topic. For this reason, the present study will be explorative in nature.

M.J.A.M. Peeters (Michael)

PhD researcher

M.J.A.M. Peeters (Michael)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M. Sarot

Prof. dr. R. Roukema

Domain

Systematic Theology

Title

A theological reading of the parable of Luke 15:11-32 through the use of its Wirkungsgeschichte, with special attention for its pedagogical themes

Summary

With the story of Luke 15:11–32, commonly known as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son,” one of the best-known and most beloved pieces of the New Testament, the Christian tradition seems to offer an original, rich, and fruitful contribution to the understanding of the “educational event.”

Among its many themes and possible meanings, what does the parable of Luke 15:11–32 say on pedagogy? Does it shed light on the “educational event”? In its reception history, where does the pedagogical element come into play and in what way? How can we integrate what we find in the tradition of interpretation into a coherent theological interpretation that does justice to this part of the parable’s richness of meaning?

By doing systematic research on the reception history of this text, focusing on the figure of the father and his pedagogical approach towards his sons, I intend to further uncover the richness of this unique parable.

F.A. Pinilla Torres (Antonio)

PhD researcher

F.A. Pinilla Torres (Antonio)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. Dr. Natascha Kienstra

Co-supervisor(s)

Prof. Dr. Griet Galle (Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven)

Prof. Dr. Stefan Ramaekers (Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven)

Domain

Ethics Education

Title

Ethics and Play 

An Interpretive Framework and Heuristic Model for Ethics Education

Summary

My project investigates why and how ethics education (EE) is practiced in schools. To account for this, my aim is to offer (i) an interpretive framework and (ii) a heuristic model for the study of EE practices in terms of the relationship between play and ethics. 

  1. The relationship between play and ethics has been studied by scholars in several fields, who have come to see play as the symbolic performance in and through which human beings participate in the generation of meaningful ethical relations. In that sense, the interpretive framework will systematize different perspectives on the relationship between play and education in order to ground the practice of EE.
  2. In view of the relationship between play and ethics, EE practices will be seen as the (trans)formation of enacted, value-laden, and communal relations with oneself, others, and the world. This will allow the analysis of the pedagogical, axiological (i.e., value-related), and context-specific elements that configure EE practices by means of a heuristic model. 

Considering that ethics is a field of dispute, where normative disagreements between persons can and do appear, my project will finalize with the application of the framework and model to normative conflicts in concrete EE practices. Here, I will focus on how normative conflicts emerge, develop, and end in EE practices in order to highlight the conditions that facilitate their successful resolution. In that sense, the project will clarify why and how teachers and students in EE disagree on their evaluations of what is good or right, while also suggesting better ways to deal with these conflicts.

T. Plankina (Tatiana)

PhD researcher

T. Plankina (Tatiana)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. R.V.J. Faesen

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. I.M.K. Bocken

Domain

Spirituality

Title

The meaning of self-denial in the Carmelite mystics

Summary

Renunciation of self, of his will, is the hallmark of mysticism of the Carmelite order. Renunciation of self to achieve unity with God appears in the writings of the most significant in Catholic mysticism Carmelite mystics, such as, Teresa de Avila, Elizabeth de La trinité, Teresa de Lisieux, Juan de La Cruz. Each of them expounds and interprets the meaning of renunciation in the context of his mystical experience. Thus, for example, Teresa of Avila in her main work "The Inner castle" proves the importance of renunciation to achieve unity with God and gives certain instructions on how to achieve this through renunciation. Juan de La Cruz describes the renunciation in the context of his experience of suffering and the experience of communion with God. Theresa of Lisieux also describes her path of self-denial to achieve unity with God in her experience of communion with God, emphasizing the relationship of self-denial and trust in God. The topic of self-denial is the main theme in the concept of their mysticism.

H.A. Robben (Heleen)

PhD researcher

H.A. Robben (Heleen)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. K. Schelkens

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. J.W.J. van Gennip

Domain

Church History

Title

Dutch Women and Catholicism's Global Turn to Dialogue

Historical network analysis of the Ladies -of Bethany and their Impact on Vatican II's conciliar Dialogue Agenda

Summary

This research project focusses on a group of Dutch Catholic Women, the Ladies of Bethany, who were present in Rome during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). The meeting center that was under the care of the Ladies of Bethany was a popular spot during the council. The Ladies of Bethany hosted lecture nights and received many guests (catholics, protestants and orthodox).

Historical research on the Second Vatican Council however, has been primarily focused on the role of the clergy and has neglected the role of women. The French-Canadian scholar Ph. Roy listed over 4.000 academic studies on the Second Vatican Council since the 1970s (Roy 2012), and most of these studies concern the drafting process of documents by theologians and clergy, thus excluding the presence of women from the historical studies on Vatican II.

By combining the study of newly available collections of historical data with the method of social network analysis (Düring 2016), this project will map the neglected impact of the Dutch ‘Ladies of Bethany’ (LoB) and their Foyer Unitas, on the U-turn of global Catholicism in the 1960s. I intend to challenge the dominant framework which holds that the worldwide impact of the Second Vatican Council (with effects as worldwide communities committing to interreligious dialogue and peacebuilding) was the result of formal decision-making processes led by a group of male clergy members.

M.A.C. Roseeuw (Marc)

PhD researcher

M.A.C. Roseeuw (Marc)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. C.H.C.M. Vander Stichele

Co-supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. M.H.M. Hoondert

Domain

Bible and Visual Culture

Title

The contribution of Toni Zenz's artworks to theological discourse.

Summary

Research questions: 1. 'What works of art did Toni Zenz create?’ An exhaustive catalogue. 2. ‘What substantive meanings does Toni Zenz place in his artworks?’ The theological meaning of Zenz's artworks according to the artist himself. 3. ‘Who is the artist Toni Zenz?’ An analytical description of his life.

Starting from this basis, we answer the question: ‘What relationship can be sought between sculptor Toni Zenz's artworks and theological discourse?’ Explained in two subquestions: a. ‘Are there theological concepts or is there a theological praxis that gave rise to the formal language of Zenz's art?’ b. ‘Can we recognise in Toni Zenz's artistic oeuvre incitements to express theological concepts or to stimulate theological praxis?’

We confirm this thesis based on data in seven case studies, selected through an inductive survey of 732 artworks and an examination of the relative similarities and differences with artworks on the same themes in Christian iconography. Using a comparative method, we trace the uniqueness of Zenz's art and demonstrate the contribution of Zenz's art to theology. We establish reciprocal links between the selected artworks and the liturgical, dogmatic, biblical, folk devotional, sacramentological, pastoral and church historical sciences.

H.J.M. Ruel (Huub)

PhD researcher

H.J.M. Ruel (Huub)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. C.N. de Groot

Prof. dr. J.J. Graafland

Domain

Theology and Religious Studies

Title

Catholic Social Thought and Corporate Governance in Multinational Corporations: A Conceptual and Empirical Exploration

Summary

Despite business’ increased involvement in dealing with grand challenges such as climate change, environmental damage, income inequality, poverty and human rights, businesses and especially multinational corporations (MNCs) are also being criticized by NGOs, interest groups, societal actors, politicians and governments around the world for tax evasion, excessive CEO pay, environmental damage and natural resources exploitation, poor labor conditions, and modern slavery and child labor. A root cause of corporate misconduct lies in MNC’s corporate governance systems. Over the past 50 years the Anglo-American shareholder focused model was leading in academic corporate governance research. This model assumes that maximizing the financial wealth of shareholders is the purpose of business. This purpose is increasingly being criticized since it is considered as a cause of natural and human resources exploitation and corporate misconduct. Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ continued the critical line of earlier Papal Encyclical Letters regarding the negative impact of profit-driven, short-term focused business activities, a result of a shareholder focus of the firm, on human and natural resources.

Catholic Social Thought (CST) as an intellectual line of thought puts forward that the purpose of business is to serve the common good (John Paul II, 1991) and considers businesses as ‘a community formed for the sake of filling the needs of society’ (John Paul II, 1991). CST can be moral source for corporate governance of MNCs. Scholarly work on the relationship between CST and corporate governance is in its infancy though. This PhD project takes this as the point of departure with the following overarching research question consisting of two components: (1) How does Catholic Social Thought inform corporate governance and (2) what is the influence of a corporate governance system that is shaped in line with Catholic Social Thought on the performance of multinational corporations (MNCs) and its interactions with the external business environment?

M. Sato (Makiko)

PhD researcher

M. Sato (Makiko)

Supervisor(s)

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

Prof. dr. M.A. Smalbrugge

Domain

Church History

Title

Lying and the human being

How the concept of lying shaped Augustine's anthropology

Summary

Lying is a serious everyday problem for human individuals and societies. Despite the importance of this issue, Sissela Bok’s 1978 book Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life pointed out that academic research on lying had been inadequate until then. Following that, more research on the ethics of lying began. Two books written by Augustine of Hippo, De mendacio and Contra mendacium, attracted attention. Academic studies of Augustine’s arguments concerning lying in these two books have mainly examined the validity of his theory from semiotic or ethical point of view. Often these studies have portrayed Augustine’s thought as a strict ban on lying that is impractical. However, such a portrayal did make possible comparison of Augustine’s theory with that of other philosophers. A careful examination of Augustine’s texts does not support limiting the concept of lying to the semiotic dimension, nor do they support accusations of unrealistic dogmatic ethics. Beginning from his earlier works through his later works, Augustine presents various arguments about the concept of lying. These arguments are closely related to the development of his theological anthropology. Because of the impact of Augustine’s anthropology on western thought, closer examination of its relationship of his theory of lying is required. Through comprehensive analysis of Augustine’s arguments concerning lying, we will gain better understanding of his theological anthropology. The dissertation will make up for the deficiencies of the previous studies by examining the concept of lying throughout his writings.

M.J. Sinninghe Damsté (Maurits)

PhD researcher

drs. M.J. Sinninghe Damsté (Maurits)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Domain

Biblical Sciences

Title

Questions in Luke 1:5-2:52

Their functions in the development of the communication between the text-immanent author and the text-immanent reader

Summary

The asking of questions plays a significant role in the four canonical Gospels, as Douglas Estes, amongst others, has demonstrated with his recent research. 1 In texts, the communication between the intra-textual characters and, via these, between the text-immanent author and the text-immanent reader, may take place through “questions”. In some cases the text-immanent author may indeed communicate directly with the text-immanent reader, and this may also be accomplished through “questions”. With the aid of a communication-oriented exegesis of Luke 1:5-2:52, the proposed research will endeavour to discover and describe whether and how questions posed in the text, either from character to character, or directly from the text-immanent author to the text-immanent reader, contribute to the development of the narrative and, in doing so, to the development of the knowledge of the text-immanent reader.

E.M. Steenvoorden (Esther)

PhD researcher

E.M. Steenvoorden (Esther)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. D.J.L.A. de Crom

Domain

Bible Studies: Old Testament

Title

Reading the Signs

A communication-structured analysis of how the implied reader is guided by the text of Judith.

Summary: 

Every text is sending a message from a sender to a receiver. The difference between the world within the message and the one outside is especially notable in written texts. Therefore, a distinction between the real author (RA) and the text-immanent author (IA), but also between the real reader (RR) and the text-immanent reader (IR), must be made. 

It is the text-immanent author who decides how the characters (C) within the text communicate (actions and words) with each other, and by doing so manipulates the text-immanent reader. The knowledge the text-immanent reader receives from the text affects his understanding. The use of the linguistic tools by the text-immanent author have an effect on the text itself, and therefore on the message the text-immanent reader is receiving from the text.

In this communication-oriented analysis a text-linguistic (on two levels: text-syntax and domain analysis) and a narrative-critical analysis is made. This last analysis is mainly focused on the characters: their description and how they communicate between themselves within the text. Special attention will be paid to occurring discrepancies between the characters’ description and their actions. The importance of these discrepancies within this type of analysis, is not only what the discrepancies are, but also the possibility that they are a form of communication between the text-immanent author and the text-immanent reader. 

Based on the results of these two analyses the communication-oriented analysis is made. Not only is the written text taken into account, but also how the information is presented to the text-immanent reader, which characters are communicating together and how this all affects the understanding of the text-immanent reader.

C. Stok (Eli)

PhD researcher

C. Stok (Eli)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Prof. dr. M. Sarot

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Domain

Systematic Theology and Biblical Studies

Title

Revelation Theology and Revealing Dreams in the Joseph Narratives

Summary

Revelation theology addresses the question what we mean when we say that God reveals. Scripture testifies that God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, but also presents a multiplicity of ways in which God communicates to the world. One of these ways is through dreams, which feature prominently in the Joseph narratives. 

Despite the differences in context, role and elaborateness of character, there are striking similarities between Joseph in the Book of Genesis and Joseph in the Gospel of Matthew. They go to Egypt, ensure their families’ survival and experience revelatory dreams, as do others around them. However, there are also marked differences in the sort of dreams they have and how these are brought to fulfilment.

J. Thomas (Jomon)

PhD researcher

J. Thomas (Jomon)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. A.L.H.M. van Wieringen

Co-supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Domain

Biblical Studies

Title

A communication oriented analysis of Hardening oracles in Isaiah and Luke-Acts

Summary

The book of Isaiah is one of the most frequently quoted Old Testament books in the New Testament. The theological perspectives of the NT authors, especially those of the evangelists, are greatly influenced by Isaianic texts. Going through the gospel of Luke, one can find in it several motifs from Isaiah which indicates that Luke weaves Isaiah tightly into the structure of his double work, quoting at crucial places within the Narrative. One such example is the hardening oracles proclaimed in Isaiah 6:9-10. This particular text from Isaiah figures in Luke-Acts; the parable of the sower in Luke 8:10 and Paul’s declaration in Acts 28:26-28. At the same time, we do see Luke alluding to the particular Isaiah text differently in his respective gospel and Acts’ texts. In this context, through my research, I would like to study and explore the inter-textual relationship between the text-immanent author of the Isaiah text and the text-immanent reader of the two texts of Luke-Acts, respectively, by making use of communication-oriented analysis.

R.E.J.M. van den Toorn (Robert)

PhD researcher

R.E.J.M. van den Toorn (Robert)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. G.A.F. Hellemans

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. J.M.M.G.F. van Wiele

Domain

Religious Ethnography

Title

Turkish Alevis in Western Europe 

Comparative study of the receptive of local integration policies

Summary

The Alevis constitute the largest Muslim religious minority in Turkey, estimated at 15 to 22 million people. In their diaspora, the Alevis have settled mainly in Germany (600,000 to 1 million), in France (80,000 to 100,000), in the Netherlands (about 80,000) and in smaller numbers in other European countries (Belgium, Norway, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden).

In Germany and in France, the Alevis are well organized (Gumus 2007); to a lesser extent in the Netherlands. All three countries have national umbrella bodies under one European umbrella organization.

Alevis in Western Europe constitute minorities in host countries and therefore Alevis are part of integration policies. In the European context, four policy levels can be distinguished: EU policy, national policy, policy at the level of the German Bundesländer and local policy. By and large, Alevi immigration has many of the characteristics of Turkish immigration. Much sociological research has been done on Turkish immigration and integration (Ersanilli, 2009; Peters, 2010). The results of such research encapsulate the present doctoral research (Thränhardt and Böcker, 2010). This also applies to integration policies regarding other minorities (Michalowski, 2010).

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

PhD researcher

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

Supervisor(s)

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

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Domain

New Testament and Church History

Title

A deeper look at Jesus' dealings with children according to the evanglists and the Church Father' commentary

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?

A.H.C. Warringa (Alette)

PhD researcher

A.H.C. Warringa (Alette)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. P.J.J. van Geest

Prof. dr. B.J. Koet

Domain

Bible sciences and Church History

Title

I Corinth 11:2-16 Oppression of Women or a Call for Civilisation

Summary

This thesis has a threeforld purpose: (1) To prove from grammatical and rhetorical evidence that 1 Cor 11:2-16 was meant to generate more civilised thiking on men, women and their nature. (2) To explore the reception of 1 Cor 11:2-16 in early chruch history from this perspective. (3) A confrontation of hermeneutics between the interpretations investigated and Paul's text.

T.H.J.M. van der Woude (Thom)

PhD researcher

T.H.J.M. van der Woude (Thom)

Supervisor(s)

Prof. dr. K. Schelkens

Co-supervisor(s)

Dr. J.W.J. van Gennip

Domain

Church History

Title

Transisalanus

A historical-critical study of life and works of Bartholomeus Doorenweerd (1767-1832), pastor at Kampen

Summary

Central to this research proposal is the problematisation of the Catholic Enlightenment in the Netherlands in the period between the French Revolution and the Restoration. This is done by means of a historical-critical reconstruction of the life of Bartholomeus Doorenweerd, based on his ego documents and secondary source material.