• Studies

    Academic works on the Risale-i Nur Collection
  • 1

Wilhelmus G.B.M. (Pim) Valkenberg



Dr. Wilhelmus G.B.M. (Pim) Valkenberg


School of Theology and Religious Studies

The Catholic University of America

620 Michigan Ave. NE

Washington, DC 20064


Office:  (202) 319-6517

Fax:  (202) 319-5704

Electronic Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






  • Born October 6, 1954 in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
  • Married with Mrs. Th.J.M. (Dorothy) van Gaal, May 11, 1994. My wife currently works as Director of Religious Education and Faith Formation for the Catholic Community of South Baltimore, Archdiocese of Baltimore.
  • Three children: Yanah (J.M.E.), July 18, 1996; Joris (G.A.M.), January 22, 1999; Sophie (S.H.M), January 26, 2001
  • Two children living in the Netherlands: Irene Valkenberg, born on May 4, 1983 and Antonie Valkenberg, born on August 16, 1984.
  • Address: (private) 4911 Crowson Avenue, Baltimore MD 21212.



  • M.A. in theology, Catholic Theological University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, 1980
  • M.A. in pastoral studies, Catholic Theological University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, 1981
  • Research Fellow, Catholic Theological University of Utrecht, 1982-1987
  • Ph.D. in theology, Catholic Theological University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, 1990
  • Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology, Catholic University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 1987-2001
  • Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Theology of Religions, Catholic University of Nijmegen, 2001-2007
  • Director of education, Dept. of theology and religious studies, Catholic University of Nijmegen, 1999-2004
  • Visiting Professor of Theology, Loyola College in Maryland, Baltimore, 2006-2007
  • Associate Professor of Theology, Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, 2007-2011
  • Ordinary Professor, Religion and Culture, the Catholic University of America, 2011-





Books Authored and Books Edited

  • (ed., with Gürkan Çelik), Fethullah Gülen & de Vrijwilligersbeweging, Budel: Damon, 2010, 256 pp. (ISBN 978-90-5573-983-7)
  • (member of the editorial board of) Peaceful Coexistence: Fethullah Gülen’s Initiatives in the Contemporary World, ed. Ihsan Yilmaz et al., Leeds: Metropolitan University Press, 2007 (ISBN 978-0-955017-7-7)
  • Sharing Lights on the Way to God: Muslim-Christian Dialogue and Theology in the Context of Abrahamic Partnership (Currents of Encounter, 26), AmsterdamNew York NY: Editions Rodopi, 2006, xviii-387 pp. (ISBN 90-420-1799-6)
  • (ed., with Erik Borgman) Islam and Enlightenment: New Issues (Concilium 2005/5), London: SCM Press, 2005, 138 pp. (ISBN 0-334-03086-2)
  • (ed., with Gurkan Celik, Paul Cobben, Joannemie van Dijk), Voorlopers in de vrede, Budel: Uitgeverij DAMON, 2005, 96pp. (ISBN 90-5573-648-1)
  • (ed., with Barbara Roggema and Marcel Poorthuis) The Three Rings: Textual Studies in the Historical Trialogue of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Publications of the Thomas Instituut Utrecht, New Series vol. 11), Leuven – Dudley MA: Peeters, 2005, xxii-297 pp. (ISBN 90-429-1563-3)
  • (ed., with Ertürk Alasag, Greco Idema, Janneke Teunissen, Carla Robertson), In de voetsporen van Abraham, Budel: Uitgeverij DAMON, 2004, 159pp. (ISBN 90-5573-574-4)
  • (ed.) God en geweld, Budel: Uitgeverij DAMON, 2002, 141 pp. (ISBN 90-5573-384-9)
  • Words of the Living God: Place and Function of Holy Scripture in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (Publications of the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, New Series, vol. 6), Leuven: Peeters, 2000, viii-253 pp. (ISBN 90-429-0818-1)
  • (ed.) Begaanbare wegen: Christologie en dialoog, Kampen: uitgeverij Kok, 1998, 136 pp. (ISBN 90-242-9289-1)
  • (ed., with Frans Wijsen) The Polemical Dialogue: Research into Dialogue, Truth, and Truthfulness (Nijmegen Studies in Development and Cultural Change, 24), Saarbrücken: Verlag für Entwicklungspolitik, 1997, viii-179 pp. (ISBN 3-88156-695-3)
  • Leeswijzer bij ‘Mensen als verhaal van God’ van Edward Schillebeeckx, Baarn: Uitgeverij H. Nelissen – Nijmegen: Stichting Edward Schillebeeckx, 1991, 32 pp. (ISBN 90-244-1535-7)
  • Did Not Our Heart Burn? Place and Function of Holy Scripture in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (dissertation Cath. Theol. Univ. Utrecht), Utrecht 1990, x-440 pp. (ISBN 90-9003-235-5)



Articles in English (some recent articles in Dutch or German):


  • “Learned Ignorance and Faithful Interpretation of the Qur`an in Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464)” in Learned Ignorance: Intellectual Humility among Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Oxford University Press, 2011)


  • “Sifting the Qur’ an: Two Forms of Interreligious Hermeneutics in Nicholas of Cusa” in: Interreligious Hermeneutics in Pluralistic Europe, ed. by David Cheetham Ulrich Winkler, Oddbjorn Leirvik and Judith Gruber (Amsterdam – New York: Editions Rodopi, 2011).


  • Die Schrift mit der Kirche lesen`: Joseph Ratzinger, die Tradition der Geheimnisse des Lebens Jesu und ‘theologische Exegese’ in Amerika,” in: Der Jesus des Papstes: Passion, Tod und Auferstehung im Disput, Hermann Häring (Hg.), Berlin: Litt Verlag, 2011, S. 37-54.


  • “Abraham: Conflicting Interpretations and Symbol of Peaceful Cooperation”, in: Encounters of the Children of Abraham from Ancient to Modern Times, eds. Antti Laato, Pekka Lindqvist, Leiden: Brill, 2010, pp. 313-326.
  • “Das Konzept der Offenbarung im Islam aus der Perspektive Komparativer Theologie”, in: Reinhold Bernhardt, Klaus von Stosch (Hg.), Komparative Theologie: Interreligiöse Vergleiche als Weg der Religionstheologie (Beiträge zu einer Theologie der Religionen, 7), Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 2009, pp. 123-145.
  • Pim Valkenberg, “Fethullah Gülen’s Contribution to Muslim-Christian Dialogue in the Context of Abrahamic Cooperation”, in: Islam in the Contemporary World 1: the Fethullah Gülen Movement in Thought and Practice. Conference Proceedings November 12-13, 2005, Rice University, Houston, Texas. Somerset N.J.: Tughra Books, 2009, pp. 1-10.
  • “De Dialoog tussen moslims en christenen – een theologisch perspectief”, in:  Marianne Moyaert en Paul Kevers (red.), Wanneer alteriteit realiteit wordt: Christendom en islam, Bijbel en Koran, Leuven – Voorburg: Acco, 2008, 213-230.
  • (with Harm Goris) “‘In Hem is Gods volheid lijfelijk aanwezig’: Jezus en de religies”, Tijdschrift voor Theologie 48 (2008) 403-421
  • “Towards ‘Abrahamic Learning Communities’: How to Learn from Violence and Prejudices in Interreligious Polemics on Abraham and his Family”, in: Your Heritage and Mine: Teaching in a Multi-Religious Classroom, eds. Lena Roos & Jenny Berglund (Studies on Inter-Religious Relations, 43) Uppsala: Swedish Science Press, 2008, pp. 154-162
  • Review of: Kenneth Cragg, The Qur’an and the West, Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2006, in: Modern Theology 23/4 (Oct. 2007), 648-50
  • “Nicholas of Cusa and the Relation between Learned Ignorance and a Faithful Christian Interpretation of the Qur’ān”, in: Jaarboek 2006 Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, Henk J.M. Schoot (ed.), Utrecht 2007, pp. 35-61
  • (with Gürkan Celik), “Gülen’s Approach to Dialogue and Peace: Its Theoretical Background and Some Practical Perspectives”, The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations 7/1 (2007) 29-38
  • Review of: David Burrell, Faith and Freedom: An Interfaith Perspective, Malden MA / Oxford 2004 in: Modern Theology 2007/1, 137-139
  • Being Found while Seeking: In Search of  a Basic Structure of Root Metaphors in Muslim Spirituality”, Studies in Spirituality 16 (2006): 39-58.
  • “Does the Concept of ‘Abrahamic Religions’ have a Future?”, in: Islam and Enlightenment: New Issues (Concilium 2005/5), eds. Erik Borgman, Pim Valkenberg, London: SCM Press, 2005, pp. 103-11
  • Aquinas and Christ’s Resurrection: the Influence of the Lectura super Ioannem 20-21 on the Summa theologiae”, in: Reading John with St. Thomas Aquinas: Theological Exegesis and Speculative Theology, eds. Michael Dauphinais, Matthew Levering, Washington D.C.:Catholic University of America Press, 2005, pp. 277-89.
  • (with Marcel Poorthuis, Barbara Roggema)Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Three Related but Discordant Voices”, in: The Three Rings: Textual Studies in the Historical Trialogue of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, eds. Barbara Roggema, Marcel Poorthuis, Pim Valkenberg, Leuven: Peeters, 2005, pp. ix-xxii.
  • (with Adelbert Davids)John of Damascus: the Heresy of the Ishmaelites”, in: The Three Rings: Textual Studies in the Historical Trialogue of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, eds. Barbara Roggema, Marcel Poorthuis, Pim Valkenberg, Leuven: Peeters, 2005, pp. 71-90.
  • “Polemics, Apologetics, and Dialogue as Forms of Interreligious Communication between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages”, in: Religious Polemics in Context, eds. T.L. Hettema, A. van der Kooij (Studies in Theology And Religion, vol. 11), Assen: Van Gorcum, 2004, pp. 376-83.
  • “Interreligious Dialogue as Polemical Conversation”, in: Theology and Conversatiom: Towards a Relational Theology, eds. Jacques Hears, Peter De Mey (Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 172), Leuven: Unversity Press / Uitgeverij Peeters, 2004, pp. 475-85.
  • “The Future of Religion: From Interreligious Dialogue to Multiple Religious Identity?”, Studies in Interreligious Dialogue 14 (2004) 95-107.
  • (with H.J.M. Schoot) “Thomas Aquinas and Judaism”, Modern Theology 20 (2004) /1, 51-70. Also in: Aquinas in Dialogue: Thomas for the twenty-first century, eds. Jim Fodor, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, Malden MA / Oxford: Blackwell Publishing 2004, pp. 47-66.
  • “Christian Identity and Theology of the Trinity”, in: Identity and Religion: A Multi-disciplinary Approach, eds. Ad Borsboom, Frans Jespers (Nijmegen Studies in Development and Cultural Change, 42), Saarbrücken: Verlag für Entwicklungspolitik, 2003, pp. 267-90.
  • “Jacques Dupuis as a Theologian with a Reversed Mission: some remarks on his controversial theology of religious pluralism”, in: Mission is a Must: Intercultural Theology an the Mission of the Church, eds. Frans Wijsen, Peter Nissen (Church and Theology in Context, vol. 40), Amsterdam New York: Editions Rodopi, 2002, pp. 147-58 .
  • “John of Damascus and the Theological Construction of Christian Identity vis-à-vis Early Islam”, in: Jaarboek 2000 Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, Utrecht 2001, pp. 8-30
  • “Confessing One God amongst Muslims and Jews: an ecumenical-theological conversation”, International Review of Mission 89 (2000) nr. 352, 105-14.
  • “Christ and the Spirit: Towards a Bifocal Theology of Religions”, in: The Myriad Christ: Plurality and the Quest for Unity in Contemporary Christology, eds. Terrence Merrigan, Jacq              ues Haers (Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 152), Leuven: University Press / Uitgeverij Peeters, 2000, pp. 121-29.
  • (with Geert Driessen) “Islamic Schools in the Netherlands: Compromising between Identity and Quality?”, British Journal of Religious Education, 23/1, 2000, 15-26.
  • “How to Talk to Strangers: Aquinas and Interreligious Dialogue in the Middle Ages”, in: Jaarboek 1997 Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, Utrecht 1998, pp. 9-47.
  • “The Myth of a Dialogue between Equals: Who Needs Interreligious Dialogue in Western Europe?”, in: The Polemical Dialogue: Research into Dialogue, Truth, and Truthfulness, eds. Pim Valkenberg, Frans Wijsen, Saarbrücken: Verlag für Entwicklungspolitik, 1997, pp. 85-104.
  • “Christ and the Other Ways”, in: Die widerspenstige Religion: Orientierung für eine Kultur der Autonomie? (FS H.Häring), Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1997, pp. 377-96.
  • “‘By the Power of the Passion of Christ: The Place of Christ in Aquinas Theology of Penance, in: Tibi soli peccavi: Thomas Aquinas on Guilt and Forgiveness, ed. Henk J.M. Schoot (Publications of the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, New Series, vol. 3), Leuven: Peeters, 1996, pp. 151-74.
  • The Functions of Holy Scripture in Aquinas Theology on the Resurrection of Christ”, in: Atti del IX Congresso Tomistico Internazionale, vol. VI: Storia del Tomismo, Fonti e Riflessi (Studi Tomistici 45), Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1992, 13-22.
  • Readers of Scripture and Hearers of the Word in the Mediaeval Church”, Concilium 1991/1, London: SCM Press, 47-57.




  • Introductory courses on World Religions, Nijmegen and Heerlen (1994-1998)
  • Introductory courses on interdisciplinary approaches to the phenomenon of religion for students in religious studies, Nijmegen (1999-2004)
  • Introductory courses on Christianity as local and global religion, Nijmegen (2005-2006)
  • Undergradaute courses on christology and ecclesiology for theologians, Nijmegen (1988-1992)
  • Undergraduate courses on God in the dialogue between Abrahamitic religions for students in religious studies, Nijmegen and Heerlen (1992-2006)
  • Undergraduate courses on Christology and Saviour Figures for students in religious studies, Nijmegen and Heerlen (1992-2005)
  • Undergraduate course on the Theology of Non-Christian Religions, Leuven (1999-2000)
  • Undergraduate course on Recent Models of Systematic Theology for students in theology, Utrecht (1990-1991)
  • Graduate courses on the Theology of Creation for theologians, Nijmegen (1990-1994)
  • (in English) Graduate courses on Contemporary Christologies for the M.Phil programme of St. Augustine College of South Africa, Johannesburg (2000, 2002)
  • (in English) Graduate courses on Theological Hermeneutics in Intercultural and Interreligious Perspective for students of the Nijmegen Graduate School of Theology (2000-2003)
  • (in English) Graduate course on Christology in Intercultural and Interreligious Perspectives for the students of the Nijmegen Graduate School of Theology (2002, 2005)
  • (in English) Graduate course on Mission in Various Religious Traditions, for the students of the Nijmegen Graduate School of Theology (2002-2004)
  • Introduction to Theology, Loyola University Maryland (Fall semester 2006 - 2010).
  • Christian Theology and World Religions, Loyola University Maryland (Spring semester 2007 – 2010). Some of these courses are service-learning courses.
  • Christianity and Islam (seminar), Loyola University Maryland, Spring 2007, and Fall 2007 – 2010)
  • Honors Course: The Medieval World, Loyola University Maryland, Spring 2008.
  • First Year Experience (with core advising), Loyola University Maryland, Fall 2008 & 2009
  • Undergraduate seminar: The Mysteries of the Life of Christ in Theology and Music, Loyola University Maryland, Spring 2009.
  • Ethics: Peace Ethics, Loyola University Maryland, Spring 2010.
  • Alpha course “Children of Abraham: Polemical Encounters & Peaceful Coexistence” (Introduction to Theology with core advising), Loyola University Maryland, Fall 2010.





  • Editorial Board, Jaarboek of the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht (1989-  )
  • Faith and Order section of the Dutch Council of Churches, on behalf of the Dutch Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops (1990-2000)
  • Steering Committee Churches in Solidarity with Women, Dutch Council of Churches and Dutch Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops (1994-2001)
  • Senior Member, Netherlands School of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (1995- 2007)
  • Member (1990-2007) and chair (1996-2001) of the Dutch Society of Catholic Theologians
  • Editorial Board, Begrip Moslims – Christenen (1998-2007)
  • European Society for Catholic Theology (1999-   )
  • American Academy of Religion (2004-   )
  • European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (2005-    )
  • European Research Network “Children of Abraham” (2005-   )
  • Editorial Board, Tijdschrift voor Theologie (2006-    )
  • Editorial Board, Studies in Interreligious Dialogue (2011-    )
  • Learned Ignorance Trialogue Group, sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California (2006-2007).
  • Member (2008-2011) and chairman (2010-2011) of the Steering Committee of the  Comparative Theology group at the Catholic Theological Society of America.
  • Mid-Atlantic Muslim – Catholic Dialogue, sponsored by Islamic Circle of North America and the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (2008-2013)
  • Special Interest Group on Christian-Muslim dialogue of the Catholic Theological Society of America (2008-2010)
  • Maryland Clergy Initiative group, sponsored by the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies and the Baltimore Jewish Council (2010-2012).




  • Pastoral work (adult education) for the Diocese of Breda in the Netherlands (1982-1984)
  • Lecturer in Christology for Advanced Education of Laypersons in the Archdiocese of Utrecht (1986-1990)
  • Study of Arabic language, Faculty of Arts, Catholic University of Nijmegen (1993-1995)
  • Member of bilateral theological consultations between Dutch Council of Churches and Middle East Council of Churches (1995, 1999)
  • Visiting lecturer, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (1999 Fall season)
  • Visiting professor, St. Augustine College of South Africa, Johannesburg, 2000 & 2002
  • Chairman of Interreligious Dialogue Foundation, Nijmegen, the Netherlands (2003-2006)
  • Visiting scholar, University of Notre Dame (2004 Fall season) with study trips to Chicago (CTU) and Boston (BC)
  • On December 1, 2008, I presented a paper on “the Christian Understanding of the Holy Land” at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore for a consultation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of Synagogues. Cardinal William Keeler, Archbishop emeritus of Baltimore, sent me a letter of appreciation for my paper and my contribution to the discussion.
  • During my tenure at Loyola University Maryland, I convened a dialogue group of Muslim and Christian clergy in the city of Baltimore. I have permanent relationships with some Muslim communities in Baltimore and the US, including the Muslim Cultural Community Center of Baltimore, Islamic Society of Baltimore, Ahmadiyya Community Baltimore, Rumiforum D.C., Rumiforum Maryland, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, Islamic Circle of North America, Islamic Society of North America, and American Islamic College. I have visited these communities, attended Iftar dinners and/or award ceremonies, interfaith conferences or other types of events.
  • For my courses on Christian Theology and World Religions I developed a model of partnerships with Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist communities in Baltimore in order to facilitate service-learning for my students in these courses. Between 2007 and 2010, more than 40 students served and learned with the following community partners: Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center; Muslim Cultural Community Center of Baltimore; The Learning Ladder at Oheb Shalom Temple; Jewish Museum of Maryland; Al-Rahmah School of the Islamic Society of Baltimore; Vikatadamshtri Buddhist Meditation Center; Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Building Program; Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation; Refugee Youth Program at CCBC.





  • General editor of a book on World Religions:A Comparative Theological Approach, under contract with Anselm Academic Publishers since February 2010. I have brought together a group of four comparative theologians with Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist partners. I will survey the process and write an introductory chapter on comparative theology and the dialogical study of world religions, and on the possibilities for service-learning in such a study. I will write these chapters and do editorial work between September 2010 and July 2012. The book will be published in 2013.
  • Author, together with the Muslim scholar Asma Afsaruddin (University of Notre Dame, now Indiana University) of a book on the texts about the People of the Book in the Qur’an, to be published in a series Christian Commentaries on non-Christian sacred texts (Peeters publishers, Leuven; Catherine Cornille, Boston College, general editor).
  • A grant from Rumi Forum in Washington D.C. enabled me to do a fieldwork about Fethullah Gulen during a stay in Izmir (Turkey) in August 2009. The book, “Fethullah Gülen and the Renewal of Faith by Service” is about 220 pages (82,000 words) and is now in the process of final editing.
  • On April 16-17, 2010 I participated in a conference on “Thinking the Medieval Legacy for Contemporary Theology: An Encounter between Medieval Thought and Postmodern Challenges” at the School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, California. I have attached my lecture: “Can We Talk Theologically? Thomas Aquinas and Nicholas of Cusa on the Possibility of a Theological Understanding of Islam”. After the conference, the lecture has been accepted for publication by the organizer of the conference, Prof. Anselm Min.
  • During the summer of 2010 I used a Summer Research Grant to complete an article on “Said Nursi’s Commentary on surat al-fatiha: its role in Dialogue and Mutual Understanding between Christians and Muslims”, which is accepted as a lecture at the International Said Nursi Conference in Istanbul in October 2010. The article is available for participants in the conference and will probably be published in a peer-reviewed volume after the conference.
  • In December 2009, I gave a lecture, “The Gülen Movement as ‘Network of Faith-based Service Communities’ in the Dialogue between Muslim and Christian Religious Traditions” at the conference East and West Encounters: the Gülen Movement at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles LA. The lecture has been published in the conference proceedings (pp. 233-246) but is accepted for publication by the editors of a peer-reviewed scholarly publication.
  • On October 29, 2009 I gave a lecture at a conference on “Preventing Violence and Achieving World Peace” at the University of Maryland College Park. My lecture, entitled “Fethullah Gülen and Peace as Horizon of Tolerance and Dialogue”, has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed conference volume.
  • In January 2009, I finished the manuscript for an article on “Scripture in the Summa Theologiae”, to be published in The Cambridge Companion to the Summa Theologiae edited by Philip McCosker and Denys Turner.
  • For the Dutch Network of Dogmatic Theologians (XART), I presented a lecture on , I prepared two articles and two scholarly presentations: a presentation on “God’s Revealing Word in Dialogue between Christians and Muslims: Will, Reason or Self?” at their annual conference in the Netherlands, October 13-15, 2008. This lecture will be published in a volume of conference proceedings, probably in 2012 or 2013.
  • In December 2005 I presented an article on Fethullah Gülen and his contribution to Christian-Muslim dialogue. It has been published in the conference proceedings  in 2009 but it has been accepted after peer-reviewing by Prof. Dale Eickelman for publication in 2006.
  • In May 2004 I presented a paper on “The Importance of Abrahamic Dialogue for the Renewal of Christian Theology”, at a conference of the Intercultural Platform Istanbul, Turkey. The text has been posted on the internet ( www.interreligieuzedialoog.nl) for some time but has not been published as of yet.
  • In 2006, I wrote a chapter on “Responsible to God” for a volume on Islam: Surrender and Responsibility” (in Dutch) of which I functioned as an editor, together with a fellow-Christian and two Muslims. Publication of this book in the Netherlands has been postponed several times, but is now foreseen for Novemeber 2011.