Karim Schelkens (°1977) is vice dean of research at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology (Tilburg University) and a Guest Professor at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (KU Leuven). In 2007, Schelkens obtained his PhD in Leuven, which was crowned with the C. de Clercq Award by the Royal Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. He has been a postdoctoral research fellow for the FWO-Flanders and earned a degree in postdoctoral studies at the Canadian Université Laval. As of 2015 he is associate professor of Religious History at Tilburg University. He has also served as Secretary General to the European Society for Catholic Theology (2012-2018), as a member in the NWO-Commission Humanities and Social Sciences, and is part of the Academic Council of UCSIA (Antwerp University).


Dr. Schelkens has authored/editored some twenty academic books and numerous contributions regarding contemporary history of religion in Late Modern Europe, on colonial history and on ecumenism. Currently, he specializes in the field of religious biography. In this regard, Schelkens published acclaimed biographies of Godfried Danneels and Johannes Willebrands. Furthermore, he is active in various international research projects, serving as academic board member of the project on The History of the Desire for Christian Unity (Istituto per le Scienze religiose, Bologna) and as one of the four chief investigators in a project on Vatican II (with Australian Catholic University and KU Leuven). Furthermore, he is member of the European Group in the intercontinental project Vatican II. Legacy and Mandate, and he participates in the research team of the Occidentes project - led by the Gregorian University, Sacro Cuore University and University of Navarra.


Dr. Schelkens teaches courses offering a basic introduction into the history of christianity in Europe, in its interaction with Judaism and Islam, and with a focus on the philosophical, juridical and political dimensions of the evolution of Christendom. Furthermore, he offers Ma-level courses on modern history of religion (focusing on issues such as the evolution of interreligious dialogue, the relationship between church and state, religious liberty, etc.) as well as an Ma-level seminar introducing students into the methodological and hermeneutic principles of contemporary historical research.


Recent publications

  1. Gerard Knuvelder

    Schelkens, K. (Accepted/In press). Gerard Knuvelder. In Encyclopedie van de Vlaamse Beweging Lanno.
  2. Hendrik W.E. Moller

    Schelkens, K. (Accepted/In press). Hendrik W.E. Moller. In Encyclopedie van de Vlaamse Beweging Lanno.
  3. Karel (Raymundus) van Sante

    Schelkens, K. (Accepted/In press). Karel (Raymundus) van Sante. In Encyclopedie van de Vlaamse Beweging Lannoo.
  4. Wouter Lutkie

    Schelkens, K. (Accepted/In press). Wouter Lutkie. In Encyclopedie van de Vlaamse Beweging Lannoo.
  5. L’ecumenismo riluttante di Roma. Da Mystici corporis (1943) alla rece…

    Schelkens, K. (Accepted/In press). L’ecumenismo riluttante di Roma. Da Mystici corporis (1943) alla recezione di Ecclesia Catholica (1949). In A. Melloni (Ed.), L'Unità dei cristiani. Storia di un desiderio (XIX-XXI secolo) (Vol. 2). Il Mulino publishing house.

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