Research Unit of History of Church and Theology
At the crossroads of theology and history and rooted in a tradition of cutting edge source-based scholarship, Leuven research in the history of church and theology is characterized by an interest in both institutional and theological-spiritual aspects. The holding together of these dimensions gives the research unit its unique interdisciplinary profile. In research and teaching, the four traditional periods in the history of Church and Theology are covered (Christianity in Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Modern Period, and the Contemporary Period). Individuals whose life and thought are studied include Athanasius, the Cappadocians, Augustine, Ruusbroec, Driedo, and Congar. Thematically, research focuses on topics as diverse as theological controversies (Arianism, Donatism, Pelagianism, Reformation and Catholic Reformation, Modernism, and Nouvelle théologie), the history of councils (especially Vatican II), patristic sermons, medieval mysticism, the Bible in the vernacular, history of missions, and the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church towards sports. Over the years research centres have been founded to facilitate and structure initiatives: Centre for the history of the Faculty of Theology at Louvain, Centre for the study of the Second Vatican Council, Centre for the study of Augustine, Augustianism and Jansenism, Institute for the Study of Spirituality, Study and Documentation Centre Capuchins in the Low Countries). These centres are places where important archival material or rare book collections are preserved and made accessible; they stimulate research and interaction at the level of the institution and the international academic world.