Born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands (1954), I studied philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In 1982, I received my ph.d. at this university with a dissertation on Hegel’s Faith and Knowledge. From 1983 to 1991, I worked at the UTP (Heerlen) as an assistant professor and was appointed in 1989 as a full professor of philosophy. From 1991 to 2006 I worked as a full professor at the KTU (Utrecht); from 1993 to 1996 and from 2004 to 2006 I served as the principal of this institute. From 1997 to 2003 I was President of the Dutch Catholic School Council (0,2 fte.). Since 2006, I work as a full professor of philosophy at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology; from 2009 to 2012 I served as vice-dean for research and in 2013 as interim-dean. I am a board member of several international philosophical societies, as well as of some foreign agencies for accreditation of study programs and research evaluation. I have been a guest professor at several universities abroad.
My fields of expertise are questions about religion in the public sphere, religious diversity and truth, tolerance, intercultural philosophy, philosophy as a quest for wisdom, the future of the Catholic Church, and Hegel and his contemporaries (Kant, Jacobi , and Fichte). I am a member of the Board of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, and the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie (responsible for the program of the World Congress of Philosophy). In the field of academic policy, I am a member of the Advisory Board of AKAST (the German accreditation agency for study programs in theology) and AVEPRO (the Vatican agency for the improvement of education and research in theology). I have served as chair/member of several panels for the accreditation of study programs and research evaluation in the humanities in Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia.
Central in my teaching are interaction with students and showing the relevance of complex philosophical insights for numerous concrete, topical questions. In order to realize this I study in my classes, together with the students, primary philosophical texts on a specific topic, thereby making use of study-questions, which I discuss with the students. Moreover, I give numerous topical examples in order to show how philosophical theories shed an innovative light on contemporary issues.
In my research, I collaborate with colleagues from Europe, the USA, and China as a member of large international projects (for an overview of the results, see my list of publications). In the field of academic policy, I collaborate with colleagues from Europe (accreditation of study programs and research evaluation) and throughout the world (the World Congress of Philosophy).