In the Research Master programme, I co-teach the course 'Religion, Ethics, Pluralism' with Kim Knibbe. It is one of the three course units that provide the 'generalist' training. You learn to analyse responses to religious diversity from different angles: historical, anthropological, sociological and philosophical. We explore how you can use your own research expertise to make a fruitful connection to the topic and the theories you have analysed in the classes.
My own research interests lie in the historical and philosophical part of the curriculum. I am interested in the role of religion in ethics and political thinking, and more broadly in the history of ideas. For instance, I have worked on the changing face of virtue ethics, from Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy to its use in today's political election programmes.
At the moment I am intrigued by the changing attitudes towards consolation in Western culture. While philosophers and theologians in the past wrote letters of consolation and treatises about how to offer comfort to the bereaved, the culture of a highly argumentative approach to death and dying has increasingly come under pressure. What can this development tell us about the role of religion, about changing views about the self, reason, emotion and human fulfilment? To cut a long story short, consolation is an understudied but fascinating and highly significant cultural 'marker' for the development of Western culture.
Are you interested in such questions yourself? Come and have a chat.