Monthly Archives: February 2019

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 4-7, 2019

From 4-7 March, I will be chairing two panels on philosopher James K.A. Smith’s trilogy during the Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion in Bologna. Read more about the panels here:

‘This panel considers James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies (Desiring the King, Imagining the King, Awaiting the King) and discusses the potential for scholars in Law and Religion to engage with his public theology along the lines of the legal-theological approach as recently suggested by Stefanus Hendrianto in the journal Law and Method. The panel examines Smith’s reservations concerning natural law doctrine as can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, among other traditions. It explores the potential to use perspectives from Smith’s public theology – in connection with other Christians thinkers such as Augustine – as a legal-theoretical alternative to ideas advanced by Ronald Dworkin and Jürgen Habermas. It will further consider the relevance of Smith’s work in the more general context of public administration. The organizers welcome paper proposals engaging other public theologies than Smith’s, as long as the focus remains on their potential for law and religion scholarship.

• Hans-Martien ten Napel (University of Leiden)


• Leonard Taylor (Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway) – Christian Poiesis: A Reading of Awaiting the King. Imagining with the Cultivation of a Posture the New Political Community through the Prism of Catholic Political and Liturgical Thought’ 
• Neville Rochow (Notre Dame Law School) – Australia – A ReImagining of Rawls’ Veil of Unknowing and Original Position 
• Michael Borowski (Independent Researcher) – Mining “the Kingdom” – Appropriating James K.A. Smith’s Trilogy for an Ethical Foundation of (German) Public Administration 
• Mariëtta D.C. van der Tol (University of Cambridge) – Conceptions of National Belonging in Protestant Political Thought 
• Hans-Martien ten Napel (Leiden University) – What’s Wrong with James K.A. Smith’s Criticism of Natural Law?’ 
• Yaron Catane (Bar Ilan University) – The New Dimensions of Public Religion in the Public Sphere’

The panels will be held on Tuesday, March 5, from 14:30 onwards, in
Sala Rubicone – Aemilia Hotel, Via Zaccherini Alvisi, 16. Please stop by if you’re around.

For more information, see

See also:

Call for Papers, Panel on Public Theology and its potential for Law and Religion scholarship

Panel Chair and Presenter, First Annual Conference, European Academy of Religion, Bologna, 5-8 March, 2018

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 5-8, 2018


New review of book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (2017) in Ecclesiastical Law Journal

A new review of my book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (2017) in the Ecclesiastical Law Journal:

‘This book is an enjoyably spry reflection on the pitfalls of aggressive secularism and the atomistic tendencies of modern liberal individualism. Ten Napel deploys comparative legal method, interdisciplinary scholarship and social pluralist thought from Burke to neo-Calvinism (pp 12–18) but does not try to reinvent the wheel; the book’s thesis and scope are refreshingly modest. (…)

Ten Napel makes several important contributions. He paints a compelling picture of the deleterious effects of the 1960s revolution on liberalism. Anyone concerned with the fact that “liberal” is fast becoming a term of abuse will find much to admire here. He does a very good job of collating international strands of pluralism and committing them to the defence of a strong civil society. For a fellow traveller more familiar with the Anglo-German school of pluralism (Gierke, Maitland and Figgis), the exotic sources on display are fascinating novelties. Napel’s gentle conservatism never strays into polemic and this makes his timely plea for a more historically literate, culturally grounded and community-oriented vision of religious liberty all the more potent.’

Read the full review here:

See also:

Article ‘Institutional Religious Freedom in Review’

Book Review of Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom in Journal of Markets & Morality

Review of book on ‘Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human’

Lid, promotiecommissie, Alain Vannieuwenburg, ‘Pleidooi voor een lekenrenaissance. Een ideeënhistorische verkenning van de oorzaken en de gevolgen van de constitutionele verankering van de prerogatieven van de levensbeschouwingen in België met bijzondere aandacht voor het onderwijs’, 5 februari 2019

‘In België krijgen officieel erkende godsdiensten financiële steun van de staat. Mede daardoor is in België geen sprake van een ver doorgevoerd secularisme (scheiding van kerk en staat), terwijl dat wel wordt gezien als een leidend idee van moderne staatstheorieën. Promovendus Alain Vannieuwenburg dook in de geschiedenisboeken en verdedigt zijn proefschrift op 5 februari.’

Lees hier meer:

Ph.D. Thesis Committee Member For: Alain Vannieuwenburg, ‘Pleidooi voor een lekenrenaissance.’

‘In Belgium, officially recognised religions receive financial support from the state. Partly as a result, there is no clearly implemented secularism (separation of church and state) though this is considered to be a guiding notion in modern constitutional theories. PhD candidate Alain Vannieuwenburg delved into the history books and defends his dissertation on 5 February.’

Read more here:

Zie voorts:

Lid, promotiecommissie, D. van der Blom, ‘De verhouding van staat en religie in een veranderende Nederlandse samenleving’, 6 juli 2016

Blogpost ‘On the Close Connection between Religious Freedom and Liberal Democracy’

Hoe confessioneel was De Geer eigenlijk?