Research portal

Profile photoP.H.A.I. Jonkers
Full Professor
(Re)actualizing Catholic identity in advanced modernity
Department of Systematic Theology and Philosophy
Phone: +31 13 466 3844 / + 31 13 466 3800
Mobile phone: + 32 473 848467


My teaching and research expertise covers philosophy of religion, metaphysics, philosophy of culture, and history of modern philosophy (especially Hegel and his contemporaries). Furthermore, I have been participating (mainly as the Chair) in several national and international committees for quality assurance, especially for study and research programs in theology and the humanities.


Since 2007, I am employed as full professor of philosophy at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology. From 2009 till 2013 I was vice-dean for research, and in 2013 interim dean of the TST. From 1991 till 2006 I was full professor of philosophy at the Catholic Theological University at Utrecht, which merged with Tilburg University on July 1st 2006. From 1993 till 1996 and from 2003 till 2006 I was rector of the CTU. From 1983 till 1991 I taught philosophy at the University of Theology and Pastoral Care at Heerlen, first as assistant professor and from 1989 as full professor.


In 1982, I received my Ph.D. in philosophy, summa cum laude, at the Institute of Philosophy of the Catholic University Leuven (Belgium), with a dissertation on Hegel's, Faith and Knowledge (supervisor: prof. dr. A. Wylleman). From 1976 till 1983 I worked as an assistant at the same institute, preparing my dissertation, giving seminars and doing administrative work for the Center for Metaphysics and Philosophy of God (director: Prof. J. Van der Veken). From 1972 I studied philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy and received in 1976 the degree of licentiate in philosophy, magna cum laude.

Current Research:From Rational Doctrine to Christian Wisdom. A Philosophical Exploration (2013-2017)

The aim of this project is to explore the philosophical presuppositions of the idea of wisdom (in particular Christian wisdom) as a form of life orienting knowledge. This general theme will be developed in several specific subprojects: A discussion with contemporary political philosophy on whether the idea of wisdom as life orienting knowledge sheds a new light on the conditions for religions to participate in the public debate; Approaching God as a source of wisdom as an innovative contribution to philosophical theology; New ways of thinking philosophically about Christian identity; Exploring new opportunities for religion and Church in a secular society through the idea of Christian wisdom; Religious tolerance and the notion of the intolerable; Religious evil. All these research projects are situated against the background of the role of religion in the public space, which is characterized by radical pluralism, individual expressivism, eroding tolerance, growing uncertainty about (religious) identity, etc.

Administrative Activities and Positions (selection)

Current and upcoming:
- Member of the Tilburg University Commission for Academic Integrity (since 2016).
- Co-ordinator for Western Europe of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (since 2015).
- Member of the Scientific Board of AVEPRO, the Vatican agency that monitors the academic quality of the Catholic theological faculties in the EU (since 2010).
- Member of the Advisory Board of Akast, the agency for quality assurance and accreditation of canonically recognized theological study-programs (since 2010).
- Member of the Board of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion (since 2008).

- Member of an expert team for the evaluation of academic research in the humanities in Estonia (May 2017)
- Member of an expert team for the accreditation of study programs in Theology, Universität Regensburg, Germany (January 2017)
- Chair of the Tilburg University Internal Advisory Panel for Individual Research Grants (2010-2016).
- Chair of the Accreditation Panel of Study-programs in Theology and Religious Studies, Lithuania (October-November, 2015).
- Chair of the Midterm Review Committee for Research at the Theological University Kampen and the Theological University Apeldoorn (March-May, 2015).
- Chair of the Panel of a Research Assessment Exercise in the humanities for the Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre, Lithuania (January-April, 2015).
- President of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion (2010-2012).
- President of the Dutch Catholic School Council (NKSR) (0,2 fte, 1997-2003).

Guest Professorships

- Christ University, Bangalore, India (August 2015).
- Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania (October 2011).

Ph.D. Supervision

- Jeff Shawn Jose, The Role of Religion in Public Sphere according to Rawls and Gandhi:
Exploring Reasonable and Spiritual Overlapping Consensus (TiU, ongoing)
- Julia Enxing, Sinful and Holy? Sin and Guilt as a Challenge for Catholic Theology and the Church. (Philosophisch-theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main), Habilitation, 09.11.2017), second supervisor.
- Roshnee Ossewaarde-Lowtoo, Towards a Spirited Modernity: the Transcendent Humanism of Charles Taylor, Paul Valadier and Joseph Ratzinger (TiU, 08.05.2015)
- Bob van Geffen, Hoe God verschijnt in het denken. Het katholieke denken van Maurice Blondel in gesprek met Jean-Luc Marion en met de christelijke filosofie. (TiU, 28.05.2013)
- Henk-Jan Prosman, The Postmodern Condition and the Meaning of Secularity (Utrecht University, 04.07.2012), second supervisor.
- H. Clement, Antwort auf den Nihilismus? Die philosophische Theologie von Wilhelm Weischedel (TiU, 14.11.2006).
- Ruud Welten, Fenomenologie en beeldverbod bij Levinas en Marion (KTU, 04.10.2001).
- Rico Sneller, Het woord is schrift geworden. Derrida en de negatieve theologie (KTU, 26.02.1998).
- Anton Simons, Carnaval en terreur. De ethische betekenis van Bachtins Rable. (KTU, 13.11.1996)


- Companion in the Order of Saint Gregory the Great (Holy See, 2004)
- First Prize Winner of an Essay Competition, organized by the Radboudstichting (Netherlands,1985)
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