Thomas Instituut te Utrecht (Tilburg University)

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History of the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht (Tilburg University)

The foundation of the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht in 1990 was preceded by teaching of and research into the theology of Thomas Aquinas at the Catholic Theological University. Since 1967 there were courses in which texts of Aquinas were read, and from 1977 until 1986 the Werkgezelschap Sint Thomas van Aquino held meetings in which texts were discussed.

In 1979 the Werkgroep Thomas van Aquino was established, in order to develop research projects concerning the theology of Aquinas. Despite the limited possibilities of the participants in terms of time available, this group succeeded in realising several projects and came together to read texts and discuss topics on a regular basis. Finally the soil was fertile to yield the foundation of a research institute: the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht.

Both working-group and institute are largely the fruit of the perseverance of prof. dr. F.J.A. de Grijs, chairman of the working-group and director of the Institute until 1996.

On March 7, 2000 the Thomas Instituut became an interuniversity institute of the Catholic Theological University Utrecht and the Theological Faculty Tilburg. Prof.dr. Herwi Rikhof was Director of the institute until September 2009.

In 2006 both these institutions became part of Tilburg University. The Thomas Instituut te Utrecht (Tilburg University) became one of the research institutes of the then Faculty of Catholic University of Tilburg University, now Tilburg School of Catholic Theology (TST).

From 2007 until 2012 and since 2017 again Henk Schoot is professor by special appointment on the Chair for Theology of Thomas Aquinas.
Since September 2009 he is Director of the Institute.

If you want to know more about the history and the work of the institute we refer you to:
  • H.W.M. Rikhof, "Thomas at Utrecht", in: F. Kerr (ed), Contemplating Aquinas. On the Varieties of Interpretation, SCM Press/London, 2003, pp. 103 -136.
  • The Annual Reports of the Institute, published in the Jaarboek Thomas Instituut and on the website.