Asking Questions About Asking Questions

On the Anthropocene: An Interschool Symposium

by Karim Schelkens (red.)Arnold Smeets (red.)
Contributors: Peter AchterbergErnst Hirsch BallinWim van der DonkPaul van GeestTobias KleinAlkeline van LenningMartine PrangeKarim SchelkensArnold SmeetsHan Somsen

In June 2022, scientists from all five schools of Tilburg University, representing a variety of academic disciplines ranging from economics, over law, philosophy and sociology, to the-ology, gathered on campus for a symposium on 'asking questions'. The aim, triggered by the fifteenth anniversary celebration of the theological faculty, was to set up an open scholarly ex-change, challenging all those present to engage both in open dialogue and critical self-reflection on our disciplines. And, while no plans had been made to publish any results, the striking experience that this moment of intellectual sharing had brought more than just the sum of separate contributions, led us to reconsider. Our reflection on the challenges posed by the Anthropocene reflected a striking common awareness of the need to debate the very nature of scholarly habits, and for that matter, of the role of a university at the dawn of the 21st century. The result is this booklet, which we are happy to share in open access, hoping it will serve as an impetus for further interdisciplinary initiatives.

Edited by Karim Schelkens and Arnold Smeets

Table of Contents


About the Authors

Professor Peter Achterberg is Full Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Professor Ernst Hirsch Ballin is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus and former Professor of Dutch and European Constitutional Law, Tilburg Law School.

Professor Wim van de Donk is Rector Magnificus and President of the Executive Board of Tilburg University.

Professor Paul van Geest is Full Professor of Church History, Department of Biblical Sciences and Church History, Tilburg School of Catholic Theology.

Professor Tobias Klein is Full Professor of Econometrics, Department of Econometrics and Operations Research, Tilburg School of Economics and Management.

Professor Alkeline van Lenning, is Full Professor of Multidisciplinary Education, particularly in Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is Dean of the University College, Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences.

Professor Martine Prange is Full Professor of Humanity, Culture, and Society, Department of Philosophy, Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences.

Professor Karim Schelkens is Endowed Professor of Church History at the Department of Biblical Sciences and Church History, Tilburg School of Catholic Theology.

Dr Arnold Smeets is coordinator of impact and post-initial education, Tilburg School of Catholic Theology.

Professor Han Somsen is Full Professor European Law, Department of Public Law and Governance, Tilburg Law School.


Cover illustration: Claudius Ptolemaeus. Cosmographia, Donnus Nicolaus Germanicus Cartographer Johann the Blockhutter of Armsheim, engraver Johannes Schnitzer of Armsheim, Ulm: Lienhart Holle, 16 July 1482. © Wikimedia Common

© 2022 Tilburg University


Karim Schelkens and Arnold Smeets


DOORLORI / Lori Lenssinck


Open Press Tilburg University ©

ISBN: 9789403687117

DOI:  10.26116/nm1z-f634

This book has been made available Open Access under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license (CC BY-NC-ND): This license allows users to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

Tilburg, 2022