Bezinning op een kantelpunt in de geschiedenis van de Katholieke Universiteit. | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 31 Number 1
  • ISSN: 0778-8304
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9484

Abstract

Abstract

Both the Catholic University in Nijmegen and the Calvinist Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam underwent a transformation in the 1960s. In the course of the 1960s it became clear that the original objectives with which the Catholic University was founded, in 1923, were no longer valid. Changing times called for a new positioning. The ‘Schillebeeckx Committee’ devoted itself, from 1966 onwards, to rethinking ‘character and function’ of the Catholic University. The Committee was composed of six leading professors and six students. The intention was not to formulate new principles but to take into consideration a plurality of thoughts, ideas, and opinions about the identity of the university. The work of the Committee took much more time than planned. When the Committee finished its activities in 1971, nothing was the same as in 1966, when it had started. The Committee arrived at the conclusion that the process of de-confessionalisation was unstoppable, which was nothing to be sorry about. The contemporary student population, for example, was practically indifferent towards the Catholic identity of the university. Another conclusion was that the university should offer a permanent platform for a dialogue, or a confrontation, between faith and science. The primary goal of the university would be the same as before: the practice of universal science combined with a special concern for the meaning of science for humanity. In hindsight, the profound discussions within the ‘Schillebeeckx Committee’ would prove to be the first of a seemingly endless debate on the identity of the university.

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