About our Center
Catholicism is not only the starting point but it is the object of the Center’s research activities. The development of Catholicity has always been, and still is, a conflictual process; taking place against the background of theoretical and practical alternatives. Thus, the term ‘Catholic’ is not to be understood only in a confessional or denominational sense, but also in the original meaning of καθολικός, that is, as ‘universal’ or ‘all-encompassing’.
Of course, this aim does not intend to repeat and restore closed catholic milieus. Rather the CCS wants, in a true ecumenical spirit, to provide society with intellectual and religious resources that it needs to address current and future challenges. In this sense, the CCS also makes an essential catholic contribution to the national and international discussion on public theology. As a member institution of the Global Network for Public Theology, it forms part of a worldwide research organization that seeks to promote theological reflection upon global issues such as climate change, migration, international justice or human rights, as well as reflection upon the local problems of various countries and regions.
Theology is the academic reflection on the practice and content of the Christian faith for the sake of this praxis. In other words, the goal of theology is to recollect and develop the beliefs and practices of the Church as the community of the Christian faith. This is by no means a narrow and self-referential focus: the Christian faith has a textual, historical, theoretical, and practical dimension that interacts with, and is situated in a wider social and cultural context upon which theology reflects. Moreover, when practiced in an academic setting, theology becomes interdisciplinary by making use of scientific methods from other disciplines and hosting a conversation between them. Since Theology emerges from and is conducted for the sake of the ongoing practice and truth-claims of the Christian faith, there is a diagnostic and critical task that lends itself to the domain of academic assessment and expertise.
In October 2015, the CCS was launched. Since its very beginnings, it has gained broad international recognition, particularly on the field of systematic theology. Several cooperation projects with, for instance, the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University, The School of Religion at Trinity College Dublin, and The Berlin Institute of Public Theology at Humboldt University witness to this recognition. In 2016, the CCS became a member institution of the Global Network for Public Theology.
Last but not least, the CCS understands itself as a kind of think tank that can foster an informed debate about the catholic identity of Radboud University. Likewise, it serves as a platform to sustain this identity by bringing together scholars from across the whole campus and from abroad to consider how to give expression to the catholic signature of Radboud University.
Research areas of specialization
- Systematic Theology
- Church History and Heresy
- Eastern Christianity, Syriac, Religious Minorities in the Middle East
- Canon Law
- Contemporary Catholic Theology
- Liberation Theology, Feminism, and Gender
- Mysticism and Medieval Theology
- Spirituality (Carmelite, Benedictine, Ignatian, etc)
- Public Theology and Christian Ethics
- Philosophy of Religion