Photo of Karim Schelkens

Karim Schelkens


  • Warandelaan 2, Tias Building, room T 709

    5037 AB Tilburg


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Projects regarding Biography and religion, the Second Vatican Council, or regarding the history of the ecumenical movement are welcomed.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Karim Schelkens (°1977) is a full time Associate Professor in religious history at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology (Tilburg University) and Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (KULeuven).

In 2007, he obtained his PhD in Leuven, which was crowned with the C. de Clercq Award by the Royal Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. He has been a postdoctoral research fellow for the FWO-Flanders and earned a degree in postdoctoral studies at the Canadian Université Laval.

Schelkens has served as Secretary General to the European Society for Catholic Theology (2012-2018), is also a member of the academic board of the international research project on 'The History of the Desire for Christian Unity' (Istituto per le Scienze religiose, Bologna), and is part of the Academic Council of UCSIA (Antwerp University), and has served as a member in the NWO-Commission Open Competition Humanities and Social Sciences.

Schelkens has authored/editored some twenty academic books and numerous contributions regarding the contemporary history of religion in Modern and Late Modern Europe, and specializes in the field of Biography and Religion. In this regard, he published the acclaimed and widely received biographies of Godfried Danneels and Johannes Willebrands.

From 2018 to 2020, he was Director of the TST research program on 'The Transformation of Religion in Late Modernity' and currently he is the Director of the International Master Program on 'Christianity and Society'.

PhD supervision

Istvan Csonta, Redaction History of the Conciliar Decree on the Lay Apostolate Apostolicam Actuositatem, KU Leuven, 2020. Fidentia Research Fellowship (co-dir. with Prof. Dr. M. Lamberigts).

Jos Moons, The Spirit and the Church. A Redaction-Historical and Theological-Historical Analysis of the Pneumatological Renewal in Lumen Gentium’, Tilburg University, 2018.(co-dir. with Prof. Dr. H. Witte).

Dries Bosschaert,  Joys and Hopes of Louvain Theologians. The Genesis of Christian Anthropologies and their diverse Reception in Gaudium et Spes, KU Leuven, 2017 (Co-dir. with Prof. Dr. M. Lamberigts).

Erik Sengers, Roomsch socioloog – sociale bisschop. Johannes Aengenent als ideoloog en bestuurder van de katholieke sociale beweging, 1873-1935, UvT, 2016 (co-dir. with Prof. Dr. P. Van Geest)

Cassien Mulindahabi, Les deux récents synodes pour l’Afrique. Étude comparative et critique, KU Leuven, 2015. (Co-dir. with Prof. Dr. J. Verstraeten).

Sandra Peréz Arenas, The Doctrine of the Elementa Ecclesialia Before, During and After Vatican II and Its Implications for the Relationship Between the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformed Communities, KU Leuven2013. Research Fellowship International Academic Exchange Between Chile and Belgium (Co-dir. with Prof. Dr. J. Haers).

Current courses

Click here for my courses.

External positions

Guest Professor (KU Leuven)

1 Jan 2018 → …

Member Academic Council (UCSIA)

1 Oct 2015 → …


  • History Of Christianity
  • Council/History Of The Council
  • Vatican Ii
  • Dialogue
  • Catholic Church In The 19th And 20th Century
  • Religious Leadership
  • Ecumenism, Ecumenical Theology
  • History Of Church And Theology


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