About the institute

The Benedictine tradition in the study of liturgy has given many strong impulses to the Liturgical Movement in the Low Countries. At the Theological Faculty of Radboud University, Nijmegen, this impulse was articulated especially in an interdisciplinary approach to worship as the ritual engagement of the faithful with the Church. This resulted in the first chair for Ritual Studies in the world, which was established in 2006, and in a continuous development of liturgical research and teaching in the last decade, in interdisciplinary dialogue with theories and methods, especially coming from Ritual Studies. In 2018 the BCL was founded to continue and strengthen this development. The aims of its research and teaching are:

  • to contribute to the development of Liturgical Theology in the academic field;
  • to serve the liturgical life of the Church in the Netherlands;
  • to set up and host an international network for scholars of Liturgical Studies, especially with a monastic background;
  • to strengthen the academic reflection in monastic and ecclesial communities;
  • to help professionals develop adequate forms of liturgical engagement.

Director Thomas Quartier in the St. Willibrord Abbey

The members of BCL work together with the partner faculty at the Catholic University of Leuven, especially the Liturgical Institute. The Centre is set up from its very beginning in close cooperation with the Pontifical Liturgical Institute St Anselm (PIL) in Rome, which is one of the most important institutes for the study of Liturgy in the world and the hosting institution for studying liturgy in the Benedictine tradition. It also participates in the Institute for Ritual and Liturgical Studies (PThU).

The BCL fulfills the following tasks:

  • it coordinates and teaches courses on Liturgical Studies and Ritual Studies at Radboud University and establishes a teaching network with partner institutions;
  • it facilitates and supervises research projects in the field of Liturgical Studies or similar disciplines, especially Ritual and Monastic Studies, also in cooperation with partner institutions;
  • it develops and coordinates research cooperation in the academic, ecclesial and monastic field;
  • it facilitates and organizes education programs in ecclesial, monastic and social institutions;
  • it facilitates and organizes valorization activities in the public arena.

Festive ceremony for the founding of the Benedictine Centre for Liturgical Studies