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Dr Rik Van Nieuwenhove

General Information:

Dr Rik Van Nieuwenhove is originally from Flanders but he has been residing in Ireland since 1993. He studied Moral Sciences, Philosophy and Medieval History in the Universities of Ghent and Leuven. After obtaining his PhD he became a Lecturer in Theology in the School of Theology and Religions, Trinity College Dublin. In 2003 he joined the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in Mary Immaculate College.

His main expertise lies in medieval theology (Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure) and spirituality (Ruusbroec), theology of the Trinity, soteriology, and the relation between theology and art.

Apart from many articles in international journals Dr Van Nieuwenhove has published a number of books, including Jan van Ruusbroec. Mystical Theologian of the Trinity (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press), a work which has been hailed as “the definitive study of Ruusbroec” (Choice, November 2003) and “essential reading for all interested in theology and spirituality” (Calvin Theological Journal 40 (1), April 2005). He has co-edited (with J. Wawrykow) The Theology of Thomas Aquinas (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), which received the “Outstanding Academic Title” accolade from Choice (January issue of 2006, p. 794). He has also co-edited a volume in the Classics of Western Spirituality Series, entitled Late Medieval Mysticism of the Low Countries (NJ: Paulist Press, 2008, in press). With Declan Marmion he wrote a book for Cambridge University Press, entitled Introduction to the Trinity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). He has finished An Introduction to Medieval Theology, also for Cambridge University Press, to be published towards the end of 2011.

Dr Van Nieuwenhove is married with two children. He enjoys walking and listening to classical music.

Publications (a selection):


  • 2012. Van Nieuwenhove, R., An Introduction to Medieval Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • 2011. Van Nieuwenhove, R. & Declan Marmion, An Introduction to the Trinity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2008. Van Nieuwenhove, R. et al. (eds.), Late Medieval Mysticism of the Low Countries . Classics of Western Spirituality. NJ: Paulist Press.
  • 2005. Van Nieuwenhove, R. & J. Wawrykow (eds.), The Theology of Thomas Aquinas. Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.
  • 2003. Van Nieuwenhove, R., Jan van Ruusbroec. Mystical Theologian of the Trinity. Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.

Articles in Journals:

  • 2010. Van Nieuwenhove, R., “Catholic Theology in the Thirteenth Century and the Origins of Secularism” in Irish Theological Quarterly 75 (4): 339-354.
  • 2009. Van Nieuwenhove R., “The Religious Disposition as a Resource to Resist Instrumentalisation” in The Heythrop Journal 50 (4): 689-96.
  • 2007. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“The ‘Sophisti-fication’ of Education” in: http://www.lumsa.it/Lumsa/Portals/File/ConvegnoDocentiSett06/VanNieuwenhove.pdf
  • 2005. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“Albert Camus and Simone Weil on the Absurd,” Irish Theological Quarterly (2005): 70/4, p. 343-54
  • 2005. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“The Christian response to suffering, and the significance of the Church as Body of Christ” in Angelicum 82 (2005): 595-609
  • 2004. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“Karl Rahner: theologian of the experience of God?” in Louvain Studies 29/1-2 (2004): 92-106
  • 2004. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“The Religious and the Aesthetic Attitude,” in Literature and Theology 18/2 (2004): 160-172
  • 2003. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“St Anselm and St Thomas Aquinas on “Satisfaction”: or how Catholic and Protestant understandings of the Cross differ,” Angelicum 80 (2003): 159-176.
  • 2002. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“Dealing with Diversity: the Patristic Perspective,” in The Many Voices of the Bible (ed. Sean Freyne and Ellen van Wolde) Concilium (2002) 1: 93-101.
  • 2002. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“De ‘analogie’ van het geloof. De relatie tussen bijbelexegese en theologie, geschiedenis en geloof,” Tijdschrift voor Theologie 42 (2002): 361-377.
  • 2001. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“The Franciscan inspiration of Ruusbroec’s mystical theology: Ruusbroec in dialogue with Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas,” Ons Geestelijk Erf 75 (2001): 102-115.
  • 2001. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“In the Image of God: the Trinitarian Anthropology of St Bonaventure, St Thomas Aquinas and the Blessed Jan Van Ruusbroec Part I,” Irish Theological Quarterly 66 (2001): 109-123 and 227-37.
  • 2000. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“Ruusbroec: Mystical Theologian of Phenomenologist of the Mystical Experience?” Journal of Religion 80 (2000): 83-105.
  • 2000. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“Neoplatonism, Regiratio and Trinitarian Theology. A Look at Ruusbroec,” Hermathena 169 (2000): 169-188.

Articles in Books:

  • 2008. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“Jan van Ruusbroec on theology of the Trinity, mystical experience and the nature of meditation” in R. Hammerling ed., A History of Prayer. From the Early Church to the Reformation. Leiden: Brill, in press.
  • 2008. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“The Necessity of the Superfluousness of Religion,” in Culture, Technology and Religion, M. Breen & E. Conway (eds.) ( Dublin : Columba Press, forthcoming ). 
  • 2005. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“Experience and Mystical Theology in the Fourteenth Century. An Examination of Ruusbroec” in Encountering Transcendence. Contributions to a Theology of Christian Religious Experience edited by Lieven Boeve, Hans Geybels and Stijn Van den Bossche. Leuven : Peeters, 2005, p. 411-424
  • 2005. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“Bearing the marks of Christ’s Passion: Aquinas’s Soteriology” in The Theology of Thomas Aquinas (co-editor with J. Wawrykow) Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press , 2005, p. 277-302
  • 2003. Van Nieuwenhove, R.,“Technology and Mystical Theology” in Technology and Transcendence (eds. M. Breen, E. Conway and B. McMillan. Dublin : Columba Press, 2003, p. 186-194
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