Former Laureates

Edward Schillebeeckx

Edward Schillebeeckx

1982

The 1982 Erasmus Prize was awarded to E.C.F.A. Schillebeeckx, Professor in Dogmatics and the History of Theology at Nijmegen University. Edward Schillebeeckx (1914-2009), was a member of the Dominican order. He studied philosophy and theology at Ghent, Louvain and Paris, where he took his doctorate in 1951. Before being appointed in Nijmegen he taught at Louvain. Professor Schillebeeckx was a critical, reflecting theologian who, drawing partly upon other fields in the humanities, set out to interpret the Gospel for his time. His scholarly publications at the same time translate the theory of religious tradition into a dialogue between the church and society. In his view, innovation in the Church must arise from the basis, that same basis upon which every living community of Christ must flourish, in imitation of the first Christian community. A key word in Schillebeeckx’s theology is ‘liberation’, emanating from the hope that is founded in God, the Liberator. He endeavours to adapt Christ’s original message to the actuality of present-day events, without neglecting religious doctrine. In spite of his difficulties with the Church of Rome, Professor Schillebeeckx had great influence, not only in Roman Catholic circles. He was chief editor of the ecumenical International Periodical for Theology Concilium and has written many books of which Jezus, het verhaal van een Levende [Jesus, the Story of a Living Being] (1974) is best known.

Edward Schillebeeckx donated his Erasmus Prize money to the International Periodical for Theology Concilium. Concilium has a strongly ecumenical and interdisciplinary approach; it appears worldwide in six languages.