Karim Schelkens (°1977) is dean of 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. Más allá de un catolicismo eurocéntrico

    Schelkens, K. (Accepted/In press). Más allá de un catolicismo eurocéntrico. In S. Arenas (Ed.), Intervenciones de los Obispos Chilenos en el Concilio Vaticano II Ediciones Universidad de Chile.
  2. The Bible and Theology - Some Historical Reflections on the Path Towa…

    Schelkens, K. (Accepted/In press). The Bible and Theology: Some Historical Reflections on the Path Toward Dei verbum. In P. Van Hecke (Ed.), The Soul of Theology: On the Role of the Study of Scripture in Theology (Annua Nuntia Lovaniensia; Vol. 76). Peeters Publishers.
  3. Christianity in The Netherlands

    van Gennip, J., & Schelkens, K. (Accepted/In press). Christianity in The Netherlands. In K. Ross, T. Johnson, & A. Kaptijn (Eds.), Christianity in Western and Northern Europe (Vol. 8). (Edinburgh Companions to Global Christianity). Edinburgh University Press.
  4. Asking Questions about Asking Questions. On the Anthropocene - An Int…

    Schelkens, K., & Smeets, A. (Eds.) (2023). Asking Questions about Asking Questions. On the Anthropocene: An Interschool Symposium. Open Press Tilburg University.
  5. Asking Questions as a Means to (Re)Connect the Dots of Scholarship

    Schelkens, K. (2023). Asking Questions as a Means to (Re)Connect the Dots of Scholarship. In Asking Questions about Asking Questions: On the Anthropocene Open Press Tilburg University.

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