Theology @ KULeuven Newsletter
Theology @ KULeuven newsletter 3rd edition – July 2009
Table of contents
Dear Alumni and Friends of the Faculty of Theology, K.U. Leuven
Welcome to the third edition of our electronic newsletter Theology@K.U.Leuven. Summer has arrived at last, and with it the freedom from exams (bringing back fond memories for our Alumni, we’re sure) and the sense of well-deserved relaxation hangs in the air. For those students who are moving on to pastures new, please do stay in touch and welcome into our Alumni circle proper! For those who will be returning in the autumn, do take a well-deserved rest and enjoy the months ahead but remember, nothing in excess! Indeed, for those international students staying on here, Leuven has many wonderful parks in its surroundings to refresh the body and spirit (City Park, Park Abbey, Heverlee Park and the Botanical gardens to name a few). We are fortunate indeed to live and work in such a beautiful area. Make the most of it.
As we continue to forge relationships with our global community of graduates, don’t forget to do your part and pass this newsletter on to other Alumni or potential students.
Did you know...?
To get us warmed up for this edition, let us begin with a general knowledge question about our beloved K.U. Leuven. Maybe you have seen this logo for years, and certainly reproduced it on your respective papers, theses and dissertations and yet never inquired into its significance or meaning. Do you know what the K.U. Leuven seal represents?
The answer is as follows: the seal presents Mary, the mother of Jesus, to whom the university is dedicated, as 'Seat of Wisdom', Sedes Sapientiae. Every 2nd February the K.U. Leuven holds its annual celebration and awards its honorary doctorates on that day in her honour. The inscription around the seal reads Universitas Catholica Lovaniensis Sedes Sapientiae. Now you’ll never be caught out if a prospective student asks!
Who’s Who in the Faculty. Interview with Prof. em. dr. Roger Burggraeve
Prof. em. dr. Roger Burggraeve on the occasion of his emeritate
Dear Professor Burggraeve,
We really wanted to interview you for this edition of our newsletter as this was your last year teaching classes within the moral theology major of the Faculty of Theology, after being admitted two years ago to the status of emeritus. Now that a suitable successor has been found in the person of Dr. Yves De Maeseneer, hopefully somewhat calmer days lie ahead for you, even though you will undoubtedly remain very active.
I’m very happy that Yves De Maeseneer will take over the rowing and that he will fully look out for the interests of fundamental theological ethics. The further evolution of a biblically inspired ethic lies close to my heart; one that can – to speak in Levinasian terms – translate and communicate the wisdom of love ‘in common Greek’. I have full confidence that Yves’ philosophical background shall strongly contribute to this goal. In the meantime I personally hope to further develop my own philosophical reading of the bible, stimulated as I am, for example, by the challenge of being asked to teach a course at the international Brussels’ Institute “Lumen Vitae” entitled: “The Bible gives rise to thought. Towards a biblical anthropology and ethic”.
You have enjoyed a very long career in education, from when you first gave lessons as an assistant for the famous Magister Louis Janssens until this academic year. You have also had the privilege of teaching many generations of international students through our international programmes. Have you noticed certain shifts over the years? The Flemish students’ mentality has certainly changed throughout the generations, but did you notice the same for the international students?
Following my appointment to the position of associate professor in 1980 I received the added responsibility of teaching several courses in the International Programme: all courses that had to do with fundamental theological ethics. We basically followed two tracks. On the one side we explored a biblical ethic based on a philosophical reading of the Scriptures, where I was especially inspired by the Tamuldic thought of Levinas (both my Masters’ thesis as well as my doctoral dissertation dealt with the ethical and metaphysical thought of Levinas from his Jewish and philosophical background). The international students showed a lively level of interest in this approach. Both the classical exegetical methods and the confessional reading of the Scripture constantly challenged me to sharply present and further nuance my philosophical hermeneutic. The increase in the number of East European students among us over the last years, adding to those coming from Asia and Africa, have also challenged me to better connect revelation and biblical thought with each other.
The other track that I tried to follow in my teaching and research was the struggle of how to relate theological ethics with pastoral (and education). That in fact was the reason behind my course “An Ethics of Growth for Difficult Pastoral and Educational Situations”. This course was clearly marked by my being a Salesian of Don Bosco as well as by my commitment to accompany young people in the ‘Today’s Youth’ Centre at Groot-Bijgaarden (Brussels), where I participated on a weekly basis for more than 30 years. In reality, the young people were my real professors. They helped me discover how we, as Christians – whether educators, pastors or theologians – are challenged to develop an ethic within a context where choices or behaviours either do not, or only partly, answer to Christian ideals. I called it both ‘an ethic of the lesser good’ and an ‘ethic of liberation’. At first confrontation, this often set the international students’ classical schemes regarding the relationship between Christian norms and pastoral theology up against the ropes, but through the explicit confrontation with their own pastoral practice, they also discovered the possibilities inherent to an ethical-growth model. It helped them to honestly face up to the pastoral reality of their own country and culture and within that to discover ‘seeds of growth’. The discussions that came out of that whole process were also a real learning curve for me. I discovered how important it is to develop a growth-ethic that doesn’t take away from the radicalness of the gospel.
Did you find that it was easier to teach about certain topics in your courses to international students rather than to Dutch-speaking students, and were there specific topics where the internationals found it more difficult?
It was an important experience to discover that parallel courses in the Dutch-speaking and English-speaking programmes could never simply be considered as being identical due to the difference in the student bodies. On the one side were the Dutch-speaking students, who were not only marked by our own Western culture but who also had many other relational issues as well as questions about faith and meaning because of their young age. The international students, on the other hand, were strongly motivated and had a desire to learn based both on their mature age, their pastoral practice in their homeland as well as their ‘being sent’ to study in Leuven. While Dutch-speaking students often listen to professors from the standpoint of their personal struggles with faith, searching as they are for answers to their questions about meaning, for international students, especially the priests and religious, it’s the pastoral questions that come to the fore. That is in any case what I found in my course “An Ethics of Growth” (cf. supra).
Yet I also experienced a certain type of equality between the two student groups. Or to put it differently, students generally don’t want their professors to be of the kind who do research and teach courses in ivory towers, but to be those who communicate their knowledge in such a way that it can feed the students’ search for meaning as well as their faith. I always found this to be a commonly recognisable expectation from all my students.
For decades now, you have been able to stimulate your Dutch-speaking students with your ethical vision on marriage and sexuality. But it is true that you also found it important as a Salesian to help young people outside the academy in their growth towards meaningful sexual experience. Could you give a short presentation of your work for Today’s Youth for our international readers?
As I said above, I worked for more than 30 years in the youth pastorate for the Today’s Youth Centre at Groot-Bijgaarden (Brussels). When Prof Louis Janssens asked me to become his assistant in 1974, my first question, almost as an objection, was whether I could still continue with my youth work. I will never forget what he replied: “You must continue to do that, for a moral theologian must never become an armchair scholar”. I thus continued with that commitment for young people throughout my whole career. To put it more concretely, I went every Tuesday and Friday morning, and every weekend, to Groot-Bijgaarden to help accompany groups of young people (16-20 year olds) regarding meditation days and training weekends. I also did my bit for numerous publications and books that Today’s Youth produced concerning the issue of ‘relationships’ for young people from 16 years old, as well as many other projects (radio programs, records and CDs, video’s, musicals ...). It was precisely this educative and pastoral practice that lay at the foundation for my attempt to develop a growth-ethic, both academically and in terms of moral theology. I am thankful to Prof. Jim Keenan, who during the congress in May 2008 on the occasion of my emeritate, situated my humble attempt to conceive a Christian ethic for vulnerable and hurting people within the further development of moral theology per se, see J. DE TAVERNIER, J. SELLING, J. VERSTRAETEN, P. SCHOTSMANS (eds.), Reponsibility, God and Society. Theological Ethics in Dialogue. Festschrift Roger Burggraeve, Leuven-Paris, Dudley, MA, Peeters, 2008, pp. 287-304.
Since your doctorate you’ve developed a special preference for the work of the Jewish thinker Emmanuel Levinas. During the above mentioned international congress organised on the occasion of your emeritate, which resulted in the BETL volume Responsibility, God and Society: Theological Ethics in Dialogue (Leuven, Peeters, 2008), Levinas also received ample attention. Can you recall hearing any new insights about Levinas that you did not know before at that time? Has your own view on Levinas changed over the years?
For me the congress was a strong academic event and at the same time a moving experience personally. The presence of Levinas’ daughter Simone, together with her husband George Hansel, who stayed for the whole congress including the emeritate celebration on Saturday 10 May 2008, touched me especially deeply. Her presence not only spoke of appreciation but reminded me of the solidarity that had grown up between Levinas and myself since 1975 – a solidarity that I always experienced as a ‘divine gift’ and as a responsibility towards his thought.
During the congress the need for ongoing discussion between Levinas, Christian theology and ethics really came home to me, even if it all remains difficult and complex. For that reason is it important to grant more attention to Levinas’ Jewish roots and framework, without locking him into that context exclusively. He is a thinker of multiple belongings: Jewish and rabbinic thinking, Russian literature (Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy…), Greek philosophy, European literature (Shakespeare)…
My own vision has certainly undergone further nuances and development through constantly going back to the texts of Levinas over the years, through reading the many studies of others and of course by participating in many discussions about his thought. Of course, the numerous people who have looked me up to ask my advice about Levinas, or to present their research project to me, have also helped me to better outline the meaning of Levinas for ethics and theology. A special time for me was the two year long Levinas seminar, comprising 10 doctoral students who all engaged with Levinas (among others) within the framework of their studies. This resulted in a book “The Awakening to the Other. A Provocative Dialogue with Emmanuel Levinas” (Leuven, Peeters, 2008). I offered this book to these 10 young researchers during my emeritate celebration with the challenge to set forth the discussions with Levinas and Judaism in their own way.
It is true that at one point my interpretation of Levinas’ thought underwent a large shift or better, a radicalisation. Whereas I initially, and for a long time, laid the emphasis on the alterity of the other (and therefore of God) as being beyond me, that is, the way of the ‘transAScendence,’ through constantly and fundamentally re-reading Levinas’ most difficult second key work ‘Otherwise than being’ (1974) I discovered the huge importance of the way of ‘transDEScendence’. It is not only the epiphany of the face that makes me asymmetrically responsible - this responsibility also nestles itself within as ‘the other in me’. Indeed it presupposes that the other had already nestled itself within me before each intentional act and free choice of my own. Preceding my own actively taken up responsibility for the other, I am already marked in my being through this other than myself. I am, despite myself, committed to the other. This leads Levinas to redefine the Western subject from one of active self-determination to a passive ‘being-through-and-for-the-other’. I have, in fact, already been set on the path towards the other even before I can set myself on this path towards the other. Levinas also discovered in this ‘other in me’ a divine affection, the idea of God as the Good-in-me. In that sense a person is a theological being, who ‘through the divine Other’ is inspired and animated towards ‘being for the other’. From a Christian point of view this ‘immanence of God’s transcendence’ can be linked with the Spirit of God who was poured out in our hearts as love (cf. Rom 5:5).
You established the Centre for Peace Ethics within the Faculty of Theology that annually organises the Peace Day, together with Pax Christi, Flanders. Can you comment on the importance of such a centre within the Faculty of Theology?
In 1986 I established the Centre for Peace Ethics together with Prof. Johan De Tavernier who was then a doctoral student under my promotership as well as an assistant within the theological ethics department. Later I also brought in another doctoral student, Didier Pollefeyt. For many years the three of us organised readings and international colloquiums (every two years), in association with Pax Christi, Flanders concerning current social themes (among others, nationalism, holy war, forgiveness, human rights, family violence etc.) Not only were these themes socially situated, but each time we developed them as challenges for Christian theological and ethical thought. These colloquia produced many books both in Dutch and in English. The relevance of these activities and publications from the Centre for Peace Ethics was to be seen in the fact that we placed the meaning of faith for society, culture and human civilisation under the spotlight. This contributed to the social task of the Faculty.
After their emeritate, some professors would like to live as far away as possible form the Faculty; you moved to a place close by and well-known by our international students, the Holy Spirit College. There you fulfil the task of spiritual director. What does this role involve? Can you share some personal impressions from your life in the College?
I wanted to stay in the neighbourhood of my Faculty, so as not to lose contact with the academic world, colleagues and students as well as just to remain available. Moreover it allows me to keep participating in the projects of the Centre for Peace Ethics as honourary chairperson. I gladly responded to Prof. Paul Schotsmans’ request, as president of the Holy Spirit College, to become the spiritual director for foreign students (from Asia and Africa) who stay in the College for their studies (theology, philosophy, canon law). I’m available for spiritual advice and direction. We try to give our community spiritual form thanks to the weekly Wednesday evening mass, the confessional opportunities and the worship once a month. It is also important to be close to our international students (the priests) in a discreet but real way whenever they are confronted with the death of a parent, other family member or someone close to them. A compassionate presence creates solidarity.
Finally, have you any good advice to give to your successor?
I already gave my wishes to Yves above but I would also like to formulate a wish for Thomas Knieps who’s taking over my course “Christian sexual, marital and family ethics,” which gives me great pleasure. In these times, when marriage seems to be in retreat, it’s an important task to deepen and better profile a Christian anthropology, theology and spirituality in such a way that it can radiate its power and dynamic in a secular, post-Christian culture. To achieve this in a realistic way an anthropological, theological and ethical reflection on “marriage as process” (matrimononium in fieri) is needed, and this both before as well as during the marriage itself. This also offers the suitable embedding for the further development of a realistic and hopeful growth-ethic, that is, and remains, more necessary than ever.
Many thanks Roger!
Peter De Mey and David Bolton (translation interview)
The Unveiling of the renovated Collegium Veteranorum
After much planning and a full make-over, the Veteran’s College was festively opened and a commemorative plaque unveiled on 1st July.
Established in 1778 in the former buildings of the Jesuit College, from which the 17th century façade still remains, the College was intended for the pastoral training of graduated theologians. The Pope’s College and the Major and Minor Aula’s were subsequently added in 1826-27. In 1837 the buildings were named after Maria-Theresia (1717–1780), the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, who reigned as Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia.
The whole history of the college can be followed in a beautiful powerpoint presentation available at http://theo.kuleuven.be/cms2/uploads/file/veteranorum/Powerpoint%20Veteranorum.pdf It’s a fascinating story!
On August 11, 2009 the buildings will finally become the new offices for the Dean of the Faculty (Prof. Lieven Boeve) the two Vice Deans (for Education Prof. Didier Pollefeyt and for Research Prof. Reimund Bieringer respectively), administration, study advice and IT support. Home at last!
The restored 17th century façade of the College.
View of the building from the rear.
During the proclamation ceremony, the Dean reminded us that our Faculty has students from more than 60 countries and enjoys a real cosmopolitan environment. He highlighted the ambassadorial role of the newly acclaimed Master and Doctoral students as they witness in their own country to the academic training they receive at K.U. Leuven, a real crossroads where Church, society and Academia all interface.
Dean Prof. Lieven Boeve at the proclamation and unveiling ceremony.
Twice during the ceremony we had the pleasure of listening to a musical intermezzo of works of Mozart led by Prof. Peter De Mey.
After the proclamation, the unveiling of the commemorative plaque in the new building was carried out by Prof. Marc Vervenne, Rector of the K.U. Leuven, and Louis Tobback, Mayor of Leuven in the presence of Prof. Koenraad Debackere, General Manager of the K.U. Leuven, Prof. Lieven Boeve, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, and Cardinal Danneels, the Grand Chancellor of the K.U. Leuven, who dedicated the building. A humorous moment occurred when the Rector tentatively touched the wall behind the plaque to make sure it was dry (it was!). The event was broadcast live into the Major Aula of the Maria-Theresia College to the enjoyment of all present.
Leuven Mayor, Louis Tobback (2nd from left) prepares to unveil the commemorative plaque with the Rector Prof. Marc Vervenne (3rd from right). Also in the photo Prof. Koenraad Debackere (1st left), Cardinal Danneels (2nd from right) and the Dean of the Faculty Prof. Lieven Boeve (1st right).
“In my Father’s house are many mansions” – a suitable and even prophetic word for the building indeed!
Cardinal Danneels consecrates the building.
I think we may all agree with the words of the Rector who stated his hope that that the College may in truth become a “House with many mansions” (citing John 14:2 as given on the plaque), and indeed “a house that is also a home”. And in light of that we may also echo the words of the former Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Mathijs Lamberigts, that the College may become a “collegium rerum novarum”. So be it! The happy occasion was later followed by a reception.
Thanks especially to Christophe Brabant and also Anne Vandenhoeck for the photos. Others may be consulted at http://theo.kuleuven.be/page/proclamatie2009/
As an interesting aside, swifts love to nest in such buildings, just under the eaves. Due to the mess they inevitably make, the holes are often blocked up. However, one might say that in the interest of 21st century ecological theology, the architect creatively came up with a type of nesting box, which can be pushed into the various holes. On the outside the hole is covered and looks neat, but the swift can easily enter and make a nice home for its young. St Francis would be proud! I am thankful to Johanna, a swift lover from Leuven, for the photos taken below showing the insertion of the nesting boxes (http://swiftlyswifts.blogspot.com/2009/05/collegium-veteranorum.html).
Doctoral Excursion to Cologne
On 27 May 2009, several doctoral students from our faculty took a coach-trip to Cologne as part of the annual doctoral excursion organized by the Research and Doctoral Commission led by Prof. Reimund Bieringer, Prof. Johan Leemans and Mrs. Marie Lefere.
We were all punctually there at 7:00 opposite St. Michael's Church on the Naamsestraat to board the coach to Cologne. At some point on the bus we were treated to cake by one of our company whose birthday it was. Happy birthday Ellen!
Smooth traffic and an expert bus-driver at the wheel meant that we arrived in Cologne around 9:30, half an hour ahead of our first appointment at the Diözesan- und Dombibliothek Köln. We disembarked outside the Cologne Cathedral, and as we strolled to our first port of call, had a moment to pause and reflect at a sculpture depicting the three lives of Edith Stein (Jewess, philosopher, and Carmelite nun) and the road she traveled to Auschwitz along with so many who died in the Holocaust.
We were met at the diocesan library by Prof. Dr. Heinz Finger who gave us an extensive tour of the library and its facilities. We then congregated in a seminar room to watch him display some of the library's medieval treasures, manuscripts of historical and artistic importance to the diocese of Cologne. This was a rare treat indeed, and digital technology was at hand to capture these medieval masterpieces in megabytes.
Again on schedule, we next made our way to lunch at Früh, a stately old Cologne Brauhaus near the Cathedral (named after Peter Josef Früh, but those familiar with German will also know that früh means 'early', which resonated with our early start that morning). There we were served their home-brewed beer and Cologne specialties like ox tail, schnitzel, wurst and sauerkraut, and of course, boiled belly pork. Even the odd salad can be spotted among the tables of contented faces.
After that, it was off to the Romanesque churches of St. Ursula and St. Andrew, it having been decided to keep a visit to the Cathedral till after we visited the musea. Unfortunately, yours truly, spurred on by a debilitating caffeine urge after lunch, was waylaid by the lure of a Starbuck's white chocolate mocha such that he missed out on the important visit to St. Ursula's, whose name is inextricably linked to the history of Cologne. Rejoining the group for the second church visit, St. Andrew's, was rewarding since in its crypt lies buried an important figure of medieval church history and philosophy, Albert the Great, the teacher of Thomas Aquinas.
Since it was then time for museum visits, two groups parted along amicable lines: one group went to visit the Römisch-Germanisches Museum right beside the Cathedral, whereas another group interested in paintings, sculptures and graphics from the Middle Ages to Impressionism decided to visit the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, near the Cologne City Hall, where apart from beautiful art pieces, they were also treated to stunning views of the Cologne Cathedral and City Hall.
Our final visit was of course reserved for Cologne's most famous landmark, the Kölner Dom, whose imposing twin spires make for the largest façade of any church in the world. It was only completed in 1880, 632 years after construction began in 1248. The two towers are 157m tall, for a time the tallest church spires in the world until Ulm Cathedral was completed in 1890.
Tired, yet happy, we boarded the Bergkoning coach, which was dutifully waiting for us at the appointed place and time (18:00) and after another peaceful ride of chatting, or napping, we returned safely back to Leuven by 21:00.
Many thanks to all who helped make this a memorable trip!
Report: Emmanuel Nathan. Pictures: Emmanuel Nathan and Petri Assenga.
More pictures can be consulted at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39062521@N07/sets/72157619176474020/ and the Community for current doctoral students of the Faculty of Theology on TOLEDO (http://toledo.kuleuven.be/).
International Evening and Talent Show Theology's got Talent
On Thursday 26th March, the student association of the English Theology programmes – SAInTS – held their annual ‘International Evening & Talent Show’. It turned out to be a huge success. The biggest classroom the Faculty has to offer was packed with students from all over the world, enjoying each others company and above all a fabulous show.
The evening began with an informal gathering where people could chit chat with friends and discover more about the backgrounds of their (fellow) students, especially regarding the wonderful world of desserts students brought from there home kitchens.
The actual Talent Show was introduced by a speech from the programme director of the English programmes, professor De Mey. It was soon shown that Theology’s got a lot of – secret and less secret – talents. Over Flemish beers, nibblings and desserts, people could listen to beautiful Flemish songs by doctor-songwriter Stef Van den Branden and watch the fabulous performance of juggler-seminarian Mark Bentz.
Doctoral student Greg Grimes gave us a nice taste of his own song repertoire. The extended list of performances – 12! – did not merely include Flemish and American talent. The wicked rock songs played by Polish Erasmus student Lukasz were received with great acclaim. As the matter of fact, we could state that the evening was ruled by rock music. The band ‘In Between Covers’ made the Faculty shake to its foundations – and regarding the current state of the building …! We also owe many thanks to this band’s lead singer Arne, who was our sound man and who made it possible for everyone to use his band’s professional PA-system, which certainly contributed to the show’s success. Gisella promoted the Damiaan fund raiser ‘Buy a Tie, Save a Life’ during her clown act and it deserves to be mentioned that the profit gained was 142 euros.
The show got it’s ‘Grand Finale’ through the wonderful performance by ‘Sueños Latinos’: the entire crowd joined in the cheerful and compelling rhythm of their Latin Folk songs.
The fact that we were able to get such a big and mixed audience together may be called a great achievement, for both students’ sections. Quoting the Dean, professor Lieven Boeve, it “was fantastic to see how both groups mingled”. Personally, I think we may also stipulate how this show could set an example of how people of different nationalities can indeed get together, which is a hopeful sign in the light of the far right reactionary demonstration which took place at the very same time.
Many thanks be to all the people who cooperated to make this show an overwhelming success.
Jessica van ’t Westeinde
ETL –Free Trial Offer
To all students and alumni of the Faculty
Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses (ETL), founded in 1924, is a quarterly publication by professors of Theology from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve).
Each volume totals ca. 1300 pages.
Issues 1 and 4 contain articles, book reviews and chronicles in various languages (English, French, German, Dutch).
Issue 2-3 represents the annual Elenchus Bibliographicus, an extensive bibliography of books and articles which appeared during the preceding year. The bibliography (ca. 15,000 entries) covers the entire field of Theology and Canon Law: History of Theology, History of Religions, Old and New Testament, Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology, Sacramentology and Liturgy, Moral and Pastoral Theology, and Canon Law.
The ETL editors and Peeters Publishers would like to give you ETL issue number 85/1 (2009) completely free for your perusal.
Send an email with the information below to Rita.Corstjens@theo.kuleuven.be, and we will send you your free issue!
Last name :
First name :
I would like to receive the free issue of ETL number 85/1 (2009).
Please send it to the above address/ I will come pick it up at the ETL office in the faculty library*.
* Please choose one.
You will receive this issue without any further obligation.
Gilbert Van Belle
1. Here’s a sampling of recently published books by faculty staffin English
L. Boeve, M. Lamberigts & M. Wisse (eds.,) Augustine and Post-Modern Thought, Leuven: Peeters, 2009.
Annemie Dillen, When Love Strikes : Social Sciences, Ethics and Theology on Family Violence, Leuven : Peeters, 2008.
Mary Elsbernd & reimund Bieringer, When Love is Not Enough: A Theo-Ethic of Justice, Manila: Ateneo De Manila University Press, 2008.
Ian Kerr & Terrance Merrigan, The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Bénédicte Lemmelijn, A Plague of Texts A Text-Critical Study of the So-Called ‘Plagues Narrative’ in Exodus 7,14–11,10 (Oudtestamentische Studiën/Old Testament Studies, 56), Leiden – Boston, Brill, 2009 Leiden : Brill, 2009.
Herman Lombaerts & Didier Pollefeyt (eds.,) Pensées neuves sur le cours de religion, Bruxelles : Lumen Vitae, 2009.
Leo Kenis (ed.,) Collegium Veteranorum Aedes Sacrae Facultatis, Leuven : Peeters, 2009.
Thomas Knieps-Port le Roi & Monica Sandor, Companion to Marital Spirituality, Leuven : Peeters, 2008.
2. Doctoral defenses
The following international students defended their dissertations successfully. As you can see from the list below, there is a wide range of topics covered, reflecting among other things, the extent of our faculty’s expertise. We wish all our graduates the very best with their continuing careers.
Randy Odchigue (Philippines), The Local Church in the Diverse Islands of Cultures: Towards a Filipino Ecclesiological Perspective. Promoter - Prof. dr. Peter De Mey. Defended 10.02.2009.
Duncan Wielzen (Distrikt Nickerie), Popular Religiosity and Roman Liturgy. Toward a ContemporaryTheology of Liturgical Inculturation in the Carribean, Promoter – Prof. dr. Joris Geldof. Defended 28.03.2009. Full Text: http://hdl.handle.net/1979/2608
Merline Areeparampil, (India), A Relevant Theology of Women Empowerment in the Contemporary Catholic Church and Society in India, with Special Reference to Mulieris Dignitatem. Promoter – Prof. dr. Lambert Leijssen. Defended 28.05.2009 .
Full text :http://hdl.handle.net/1979/2691
Sydney Palmer, (USA), Mother and Woman on the Third Day: How John Teaches His Readers How to Read. Promoter – Prof. Dr. Gilbert Van Belle, Co-Promoter – Prof. dr. Marc Vervenne. Defended on 29.05.2009. Full Text: http://hdl.handle.net/1979/2687
Corneille Ntamwenge (Africa), L'éthique des affaires dans la lutte contre la corruption: Pour sauver la dignité de la personne humaine: l'Afrique centrale interpellée. Promoter – Prof. dr. Johan Verstraeten. Defended 02.06.2009.
George Panna (India) A Local Theological Reading of the Biblical Model for the Integral Liberation of the Marginals in Bijhan (North-India). Promoter – Prof. dr. Kristiaan Depoortere. Defended 18.06.2009.
Augustine Kallely (India), Growing Together: Toward an Integral View of Marital Love in the Kerala Context of Assisted Marriage. Promoter – Prof. dr. Joseph Selling Defended 24.06.2009.
Petri Assenga (Africa), Towards an African Model of Church as Family: A Socio-Anthropological, Ecclesiological and Pastoral Study based on Family Structures and Community Building Rituals among the Chagga in Tanzania. Promoter – Prof. dr. Thomas Knieps. Defended 26.06.2009.
Bertin Kalumba (Africa), Le nom divin YHWH comme marque distinctive de l’identité narrative d’Israël. Analyse thématique et approche intertextuelle d’Ex 6,2-8.Promotor– Prof. dr. Marc Vervenne. Defended 29.06.2009.
Tobias Okoro, A Theological Reflection on the Liturgical Celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation among the Igbo People of Southeast Nigeria in the Light of Post-modern Sensibility. Promoter – Prof. dr. Lambert J. Leijssen. Defended 30.06.2009.
3. Upcoming conferences
20/08/2009 – 23/08/2009 European Society for Catholic Theology Congress Limerick
The Department of Theology and Religious Studies in Limerick is hosting the 2009 Congress of the European Society for Catholic Theology. The theme is: The Eager Loonging of Creation: Interdisciplinary Theological Perspectives on Ecology and Economy.
All information as well as on-line registration facilities can be found at:
Further information from firstname.lastname@example.org
20/08/2009 – 25/08/2009 Prophetic Pastoral Care and Counselling
Many religions have a history of prophecy that continually changed the relationship among people and between people and God for the better. How can we be prophetic or act prophetic in our society and work environment today?
The conference aims to explore prophetic pastoral care and counselling through lectures based on exegesis, psychology of religion, philosophy of language, pastoral and practical theology, liberation and contextual theology and reflections on spirituality, art, discussions, field trips, workshops…
For more info, go to http://www.ecpcc.info or http://www.theopraxis.eu
14/09/2009 – 15/09/2009 New Perspectives on Paul and the Jews
The interdisciplinary academic seminar New Perspectives on Paul and the Jews will allow for scholars from various disciplines to enter into dialogue with one another on different aspects of Paul and the relevance for Jewish-Christian Dialogue. The goal of the seminar is to provide the opportunity for high-level academic discussion. For more information, see http://theo.kuleuven.be/page/conf_paulandthejews/
28/10/2009 – 31/10/2009 Leuven Encounters in Systematic Theology VII: To Discern Creation in a Scattering World
How do we discern in this world God’s creative presence? How do we become creative at the service of God’s people? A transdisciplinary approach to creation and its healing will focus our attempts at envisioning our scattering world as God’s graceful gift.
For more details, go to http://theo.kuleuven.be/page/lest7/
4. Admissions and funding opportunities
Our Faculty is always happy to welcome new students from around the World. For those interested in finding out more, please visit www.theology.be, and for more information on the admissions procedure, please visit http://theo.kuleuven.be/page/admissions/
In view of the complex administrative process involved – including application for a student visa – candidates are required to apply on-line and submit the necessary information before April 1, to be registered for the following academic year (which begins September). While the International Admissions and Mobility Unit of the K.U. Leuven requires all applicants to pay an application fee of 50 EUR to process their file, candidates applying to the Faculty of Theology DO NOT have to pay this application fee.
All applications for the Theology Programmes in English must be done on-line (http://www.kuleuven.be/applicationform/?js=1). If this is a problem due to limited internet access, please send a detailed curriculum vitae instead.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us: email@example.com
Don’t forget that this is also your newsletter and one that will benefit from your input. In forthcoming editions we would love to include news from your own region. Do you have information or updates that would be of interest to other alumni? Then send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks!
Wishing all our readers a refreshing summer break,
Redaction team: David Bolton, Ignatius Edet, Martin Sebastian Kallungal
Editor-in-chief: Prof. Dr. Peter De Mey, Chair of the Theology Programmes in English
New Website Theology Programmes in English
The English version of the website of the Faculty of Theology has been profoundly revised. It’s more than worth your while to browse around. It will give you a good oversight of our faculty and answer many of your questions. Take a look at http://theo.kuleuven.be/page/en/.
The testimonials of staff and students included there (some snapshots of whom are given above) is a great introductory tool for perspective new-comers. Don’t be shy and click on through!
Parts of this article (those related to Publications) need to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(August 2017)
|Born||April 10, 1966 (1966-04-10) (age 51)|
|Occupation||Belgian catholic theologian, full professor of Systematic Theology and Dean|
Lieven Boeve [‘li:vən ‘bu:və] (born Veurne, April 10, 1966) is a Belgian Catholic theologian, and is full professor of Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where he currently also serves as Dean of the Faculty. Since 2012 he is also the chair of the Centre for Academic Teacher’s Training, KU Leuven. On 1 August 2014 he became the Director General of the Flemish Secretary for Catholic Education (VSKO).
In 1995 Boeve obtained his doctoral degree in Theology with a dissertation on the reception of postmodernity in theology. In 1997 he became part-time instructor at the KU Leuven, in 1999 he became full-time instructor. Between 1998 and 2003 he also lectured at the Faculty of Theology of the Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve.
In 2000 he set up a research group Theology in a Postmodern Context, supporting about ten research and doctoral projects on a.o. the study of the ‘theological method’, Christian faith in the actual culture, and the relation between philosophy and theology. Meanwhile he is also the coordinator of the GOA project on The Normativity of History, conducting historical-systematic research, and the interdisciplinary research group Anthropos.
From 2005 until 2009 Boeve was the international chair of the European Society of Catholic Theology.
In 2003 Boeve published Interrupting Tradition. An Essay on Christian Faith in a Postmondern Context, followed by a second more methodological work on the relation between theology and the actual context: God Interrupts History. Theology in a Time of Upheaval. In 2013 he edited Tradition and the Normativity of History, together with Terrence Merrigan. In 2014 he will publish Lyotard and Theology, Beyond the Master Narrative of Love. In addition Boeve is working on a book on the place of theology in the university, the church and society. Boeve also published several articles in scientific journals and books.
Lieven Boeve lives in Leuven together with his wife Maryleen Verhavert and their three children.
- ^Redactie KW. "Lieven Boeve volgt Mieke Van Hecke op als directeur-generaal katholiek onderwijs".
- ^"Research Group Theology in a Postmodern Context – Faculteit Theologie en religiewetenschappen KU Leuven". theo.kuleuven.be. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- ^"GOA-Project: The Normativity of History – Faculteit Theologie en religiewetenschappen KU Leuven". theo.kuleuven.be. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- ^"Research Group AnƟropos – Faculteit Theologie en religiewetenschappen KU Leuven". theo.kuleuven.be. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- ^"Eurotheo -". kuleuven.be. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- ^Lieven Boeve (2003). Interrupting Tradition: An Essay on Christian Faith in a Postmodern Context. Peeters Press. ISBN 978-0-8028-2667-1.
- ^Lieven Boeve (15 May 2007). God interrupts history: theology in a time of upheaval. Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-2813-4.
- ^Boeve L., Merrigan T., Tradition and the Normativity of History, Peeters, Leuven, 2013, X-215 p.
- ^Boeve L., Lyotard and Theology, Beyond the Master Narrative of Love, Londen, Bloomsbury, 2014