Edward Schillebeeckx Centenary Conference

Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands

27 - 30 August 2014

Conference Theme

Conference Programme

Call for Papers Colloquium for Junior Scholars

Conference Registration


From August 27th-30th 2014, a theological conference will be held in honour of Edward Schillebeeckx' 100th birthday. The conference is organized by the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies of the Radboud University Nijmegen in collaboration with the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the Catholic University Leuven, Heythrop College London, and the Edward Schillebeeckx Foundation.


Key note speakers include Lieven Boeve, Erik Borgman, William Cavanaugh, Siobhán Garrigan, Emmanuel Katongole, Sebastian Kim, Annemarie Mayer, Aristotle Papanikolau, Elizabeth Phillips, Anna Rowlands and Graham Ward, and many others.


Conference Theme


In current political conflicts around the world, religion plays a major part. Disagreements about law, community, and modern living are often caused by conflicting interpretations of religious texts, religious leadership and religious beliefs in view of the political developments in a globalizing and secularizing society. This has led to numerous, sometimes rather violent public debates on religious pluralism, religion and secularization, or the separation of church and state, but fewer on the reconsideration and transformation of theological ideas about public life. Contemporary views on the public sphere and the directions it should take, are related, however, to religious ideas about history, community, and our common future, which indicates a necessity for the renewal of theological views of public life.


What role does, could or should theology play in current discussions about our political realities? Is there a place for theological worldviews in the public conver­sation about policy-making? Should theology critically unmask the underlying theological and metaphysical sources of contemporary politics? Should theology contribute to the liberation of communities of poor and suffering people? Which theological traditions and theories can offer substantial contributions to current political challenges?


Themes and questions borrowed from the theology of Edward Schillebeeckx will serve as a starting point for reflecting on new questions in public and political theology. Among the many questions and central points for research, we must ask, what is the impact and authority of Holy Scriptures in matters of contemporary life? What is the political significance of Jesus Christ? Which views on grace, theocracy, the Kingdom of God or the apocalypse could be brought into conversation with political visions of the future? What are the political implications of the Church’s liturgy and leadership? How should the Church act in the political situation it finds itself in? How does religious life embody the space for divine action in the world?


For further information, please contact Dr. Stephan van Erp


Conference Programme


Tuesday 26 August 2014

·         Arrival participants of the colloquium for PhD’s, postdocs and junior scholars


Wednesday 27 August 2014

·         Colloquium for junior scholars

·         Arrival participants of the Conference

·         Welcome by the Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the Radboud University Nijmegen and the Chair of the Edward Schillebeeckx Foundation

·         Opening Lecture: Dr. Stephan van Erp (Radboud University Nijmegen):
Edward Schillebeeckx and the Theology of Public Life

·         Conference Reception


Thursday 28 August 2014


·         Session 1: Theological Hermeneutics: ‘If Politics Isn’t Everything…’

This session will discuss topics in political and public theology: the relationship between the theological and the social and/or political, the political significance of theological hermeneutics, the theological balance between tradition and contemporary culture, modern theology’s discovery of the historical as a theological source, and the role of ethics and mysticism in political theology.


Chair:              Prof. Robert Schreiter (Catholic Theological Union Chicago)

Speakers:        Prof. Sebastian Kim (York St John University)

Dr. Edmund Kee-Fook Chia (Australian Catholic University)

Prof. Siobhán Garrigan (Trinity College Dublin)

Dr. Carsten Barwasser (University of Oxford)


·         Session 2: Christology: ‘The Praxis of the Reign of God’

This session will discuss topics concerning the relationship of Christology and politics: the relationship of Christ and culture, the significance of Christ in a secularizing and globalizing society, the political implications of the resurrection, the relationship between new theologies of Creation and Christology, the politics of the Cross, and the unicity and universality of Christ in a plural society.


Chair:              Prof. Johannes Hoff (Heythrop College London)

Speakers:        Prof. Graham Ward (University of Oxford)

Prof. Erik Borgman (Tilburg University)

Prof. Aristotle Papanikolaou (Fordham University New York)

Dr. Martin Poulsom (Heythrop College London)


·         Presentation Website ‘The Edward Schillebeeckx Project’


Friday 29 August 2014


·         Session 3: Eschatology: ‘God, the Future of Man’

This session will discuss topics in eschatology and politics: the ‘eschatologies’ of current political and economic theories, theocracy as a cause for conflict, ethical and mythical aspects of grace, the critical and constructive value of prophetic and/or apocalyptic theologies, theologies of election, judgment, and just war in relation to theologies of justice and peace.


Chair:              Prof. Mary-Catherine Hilkert (Notre Dame University)

Speakers:        Prof. Lieven Boeve/Dr. Frederiek Depoortere (KU Leuven)

Prof. Christoph Hübenthal (RU Nijmegen)

Dr. Michael Kirwan (Heythrop College London)

Dr. Anna Rowlands (University of Durham)


·         Afternoon excursion

Visit of the exhibition ‘Schillebeeckx 100 Years’ at the Radboud University Nijmegen

Public ceremony and presentation of the Collected Works of Edward Schillebeeckx

Remembrance service in honour of Edward Schillebeeckx in the Dominicuskerk Nijmegen


·         Conference Dinner


Saturday 30 August 2014


·         Session 4: Ecclesiology: ‘The Church with a Human Face’

This session will discuss topics concerning Church, pluralism and political authority: the challenges of Catholic Social Teaching, new theologies of ministry, the Church as a sacrament of the world, democratic rule in the Church, and the challenges of globalization, diversity and pluralism for the catholicity of the Church.


Chair:              Prof. James Sweeney (Heythrop College)

Speakers:        Prof. William Cavanaugh (De Paul University Chicago)

Prof. Emmanuel Katongole (Notre Dame University)

Dr. Elizabeth Philips (University of Cambridge)

Prof. Annemarie Mayer (KU Leuven)


Call for Papers Colloquium for Junior Scholars


Paper Proposal Form (PDF)


Please open the online form in your browser and save it to your desktop. Then return the PDF-copy by email to Marijn de Jong.


Junior and emerging scholars (PhD’s, postdocs, junior researchers) are warmly invited to deliver papers of 20 minutes on topics related to the theme of the conference. Papers will be welcomed on the theology of Edward Schillebeeckx, or on research questions in public and political theology in relation to theological hermeneutics, Christology, eschatology, and/or ecclesiology. A limited number of travel grants for junior scholars will be available.


Please keep in mind the following guidelines:


Paper presentations will be 20 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of discussion.

Papers can be presented in English, French, or German.

Proposals should be in English and not be longer than 300 words.

Please indicate a title and three to five keywords that describe your paper.

Include a short academic profile (2-3 sentences).

Please indicate if you would like to apply for a travel grant.

Please fill in the Paper Proposal Form and send it to Marijn de Jong by email.

Deadline for submitting paper proposals is 1 February 2014.

Admission results: 1 March 2014.

Indicate if you would like to submit a written version your paper for peer review in anticipation of possible publication (cannot be guaranteed).  A deadline will be given after the conference for paper submission.


You will be notified about the results of the call for papers no later than 1 March 2014.


Conference Registration


Registration Form


Open the PDF version of the Registration Form in your browser and save it to your desktop, then fill out the form and return it to us by email to Stephan van Erp.

Please provide the following information for us on the form:










Postal Code:






E-mail address:


The Conference Fee is € 200, and includes lunches, dinners, and the conference excursion.


When you Register please indicate which of the following accommodation options you would also like to book (subject to availability):


Accommodation Option 1:     € 140

(4 nights in a twin room, incl. breakfast, for junior scholars participating in the colloquium)


Accommodation Option 2:     € 210

(3 nights in a single room, incl. breakfast, at the conference venue)


Accommodation Option 3:     € 105

(3 nights in a twin room, incl. breakfast, at a location nearby the conference venue, transport will be provided)


After receipt of your Registration Form, you will be sent further information about travel details and payment instructions via bank transfer. For further details or questions, please contact Stephan van Erp.


Registration Deadline: 1 June 2014