You are here: Home / Research / Research Units / Research Unit of Theological and Comparative Ethics

Research Unit Theological and Comparative Ethics

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies contains five Research Units: Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology and the Study of Religions, Theological and Comparative Ethics, History of Church and Theology, and Pastoral and Empirical Theology. These research units have been entrusted with the teaching of theology and religious studies in the Faculty programmes, with research, with the formation of research personnel, and with social and ecclesiastical services related to each discipline.
  (c) Marc Chagall

In line with the hermeneutical approach of the Leuven Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, theological ethics is developed through an intensive dialogue between the Judeo-Christian tradition and the contemporary social, cultural and (bio)technological context.

Characteristic of research in theological ethics at the KU Leuven is the continuous interplay between fundamental ethics and applied ethics, bridging Christian ethical reflection and professional expertise. Ethical expertise in a particular field contributes to the refinement and the deepening of the fundamental points of departure, while in turn fundamental ethical reflection challenges the often implicit presuppositions of studies in applied ethics.

More information on research in fundamental and applied theological ethics and on the research strategy for 2012-2015.



Top of page


  • Bert Broeckaert: world religions; comparative ethics; palliative care
  • Yves De Maeseneer: theological anthropology; fundamental theological ethics; theology and aesthetics
  • Johan De Tavernier: personalism; Christian ethics; applied ethics
  • Kris Dierickx: medical ethics (genetics, biobanks, reproductive technologies)
  • Chris Gastmans: care ethics; nursing ethics; ethical issues at the end of life
  • Thomas Knieps: theology of marriage and family; sexual and conjugal ethics; lay and marital spirituality
  • Paul Schotsmans: medical ethics (euthanasia, palliative sedation, institutional ethics)
  • Johan Verstraeten: Catholic social thought; ethics of peace and war; business ethics

Top of page

All members of the Research Unit

List of members

Top of page

Research Centres and Groups

Top of page

Second-Year Doctoral Evaluations

Top of page