Philosophy of Religion and Comparative Study of Religions

This page is about the research group Philosophy of Religion and Comparative Study of Religions. For the Dutch version, click here

The department Philosophy of Religion and Comparative Study of Religions provides education in the following area’s: philosophy of religion (including apologetics, philosophy of science & theology, religious sciences, hermeneutics and public theology), comparative sciences of religion, intercultural and comparative philosophy, and intercultural and comparative theology.

This page provides information concerning the department’s members and their research as well as its researchers in residence and media-items to which the members contributed or participated in.


The department is supervised by Professor dr. W.L. van der Merwe and further consists of:

  • Bijlert, dr. V.A. van (Assistant Professor Religious Sciences and Sanskrit)
  • Bruening, prof. dr. A. (Endowed Professor VU/PThU-chair for Orthodoxy and Peacebuilding in Europe)
  • Braak, prof. dr. A.F.M. van der (Endowed Professor in Buddhist philosophy in dialogue with other worldview traditions)
  • Brooks, dr. P. (PhD-candidate with prof. Van der Merwe and prof. Jansen)
  • Heijden, C. van der (PhD-candidate with prof. Van der Braak and prof. Van der Merwe)
  • Jansen, prof. dr. H.Y.M. (Endowed Professor, for the ‘Socrates Stichting’ for humanism in relation to religion and secularity)
  • Kalsky, prof. dr. M. (Endowed Professor on the Edward Schillebeeckx chair for Theology and Society)
  • Minnema, dr. L. (Associate Professor in Religious Sciences)
  • Moyaert, prof. dr. M. (Fenna Diemer Lindeboom Chair for Comparative Theology and Hermeneutics of Interreligious Dialogue)
  • Reitsma, drs. A. (PhD-candidate Theological Aesthetics)
  • Schrijvers, dr. J. (Researcher)
  • Vosloo, dr. R. (PhD-candidate with prof. Van der Merwe and prof. Moyaert)
  • Vroom, drs. A.L. (Assistant Professor in Philosophy of Religion)
  • Wit, prof. dr. J.H. de (Endowed Professor on the Dom Hélder Câmara Chair)


The department conducts the largest part of its research under the auspices of its own research centre ACCORD (the Amsterdam Center for the Study of Cultural and Religious Diversity).

Scientists affiliated to ACCORD as members or friends contribute to the research of ACCORD. This research encompasses the educational disciplines listed above and further deals with the broader themes of cultural and religious diversity, interreligious dialogue, non-western religions, humanism, and theology and society.

Research programs

At present the research of the department includes the following programs:

Research projectResearcher(s)
Interreligious dialogue and theology of religionsM. Moyaert, L. Minnema, A. van der Braak, A.L. Vroom, V.A. van Bijlert
Culture and transcendenceW.L. van der Merwe, M. Moyaert
Multiple religious belonging (MRB)M. Kalsky, A. van der Braak, W.L. van der Merwe
Humanism, religion and secularityY. Jansen, W.L. van der Merwe
Asian religions and their encounter with Western modernityA. van der Braak, V.A. van Bijlert, A. L. Vroom
Empirical hermeneutics and intercultural contextuality, including intercultural philosophyJ.H. de Wit, L. Minnema, W.L. van der Merwe, M. Moyaert
Russian Orthodoxy and the human rights discourse A. Brüning

Guest researchers

The department regularly cooperates with guest researchers from abroad, the so called Researchers in Residence. The last Researcher in Residence was dr. Caifang Zhu (Renmin University, Beijing). From August 15, 2013 the department welcomes prof. Victor Hori. Prof. Hori is associate professor in Japanese Religions at the McGill University of Montreal, Quebec. His visit runs till October 15.

See for more information prof. Hori's university profile.