Get to know us


Director Abraham Kuyper Center

René van Woudenberg

Professor of Philosophy

I am a professor of philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where I teach Epistemology and Metaphysics. Since 2013 I am the director of the Abraham Kuyper Center. The topics I research are the epistemology of reading and interpretation, philosophical foundations of the humanities, future certainties, the relation between the sciences and the humanities and the relation between Christianity and learning.


Jeroen de Ridder

Associate professor

I am an Associate Professor in Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Furthermore I am a professor by special appointment of Christian Philosophy, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen. Thirdly I am member of The Young Academy, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

My research focuses on issues in social epistemology, philosophy of science, and philosophy of religion. Currently, most of it is in collective epistemology and political epistemology: can groups have beliefs and knowledge, are there collective intellectual virtues, how do people form and change beliefs about politics, what determines the epistemic performance of groups? I teach on these same issues, but I also enjoy teaching general epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, and business ethics.

Rik Peels

Associate professor

Rik Peels is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department (Faculty of Humanities) and the Beliefs & Practices Department (Faculty of Religion and Theology). His main research topic is the ethics of belief. He has developed a theory of responsible belief, studied ignorance, criticized scientism and developed a common sense alternative, explored the ethics of religious belief, and delved into the epistemic responsibilities of universities. He is currently leading an ERC Starting Grant named "Extreme Beliefs: The Epistemology and Ethics of Fundamentalism" (2020-2025), and with Jeroen de Ridder and René van Woudenberg, he is leading a TWCF funded project on Progress in the University (2020-2023) at the Abraham Kuyper Center.

We work, and have been working, with great philosophers and scientists.


Lex Bouter

Professor of methodology and integrity

Lex Bouter has a tenured chair in Methodology and Integrity at the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers and the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit. He is currently involved research and teaching on research integrity topics. He was professor of Epidemiology since 1992 and served his university as its rector between 2006 and 2013. Professor Bouter has supervised 77 PhD students, of whom to date 17 were appointed as professor. He is the founding chair of the World Conferences on Research Integrity Foundation.

Joeri Tijdink

Assistant professor

Joeri Tijdink is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department (Faculty of Humanities) and at the Ethics, Law and Humanities department of the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. His main research focusses on research integrity, mental health in academia, research culture, publication pressure, open science, the validity of clinical trials and assessment of research and researchers. He is currently leading a H2020 WP in the SOPs4RI-project that creates policy for research performing and research funding organisations. He is also the author of the book Scholar on the Sofa, how to survive in academia (2019). Apart from his work as a researcher, he works as a clinical psychiatrist and is cofounder and chair of De Jonge Psychiater (, a not for profit organization that discusses and promotes research in psychiatry.

Gijsbert van den Brink

Professor of theology and science

Prof. van den Brink holds the University Research Chair for Theology & Science at the Faculty of Theology. His research is focused on the interface of Christian faith and the natural sciences, but Van den Brink also participates in wider debates on the relationship between science and religion. His current research is concentrated on two projects: (1) the way in which evolutionary theory coheres with classical theistic beliefs; (2) the nature and future of theology as an academic discipline. This first project issued in his Reformed Theology and Evolutionary Theory (Grand Rapids 2020), a precursor of which appeared in Dutch in 2017. The output of the second project is mainly in the form of scholarly papers and contributions to conferences.

Samira van der Loo

Project manager Abraham Kuyper Center

As a project manager at the Abraham Kuyper Center, I organise seminars, lectures and I handle communication. My background is in event organisation as I worked for two years for the OtherWise foundation in Wageningen, organising events on social, environmental and epistemic justice. Alongside my work for the AKC I am a master student in Humanistic Studies at the University for Humanistic Studies in Utrecht. My interests include philosophy, science, poetry and arts. Specifically I am interested in how science shapes our worldview, how knowledge is related to power and the role of religion in our secular society.

Tamarinde Haven

PhD Student ‘The Epistemic Responsibilities of the University’

Tamarinde Haven is a postdoc researcher at Charité Berlin. She was a PhD Student in the project ‘The Epistemic Responsibilities of the University’ at the Abraham Kuyper Center. This project focusses on collecting evidence on fostering research integrity but with a view to generate generalizable insights. The main research question is: What do members of our academic community consider to be the most salient aspects of the research culture that promote or hinder research integrity, and which do they believe to be the most important barriers to responsible conduct of research and the most promising interventions to prevent research misconduct and questionable research practices?

Here you can find more information on the PhD project:

Wout Bisschop

PhD Student ‘The Epistemic Responsibilities of the University’


I am a Ph.D. student in philosophy and work on the epistemology of interpretation. After BA’s and MA’s in Philosophy and in Theology and Religious Studies in Leuven and Amsterdam, I did a year of graduate work at the University of Notre Dame, IN. My current project is part of the Templeton funded research project ‘The Epistemic Responsibilities of the University’.

Areas of expertise

My main philosophical interests are in the fields of epistemology and hermeneutics, but I deeply appreciate how philosophy fosters an interest in basically everything.


My Ph.D. research concerns philosophical questions about the nature, purpose(s) and standards of textual interpretation. Interpretation is an important way to form beliefs and to obtain knowledge. Its methodology, however, faces a number of important challenges. For example, can an interpretation be correct or incorrect? What does it mean to say that our ‘worldview’ determines our reading of a text, and how would that affect the justification of an interpretation? What exactly is the aim, or what are the aims, of interpretation, and what does that imply for the standards of interpretation? These and other hotly debated questions are not only important in their own right, but also fundamental with respect to the epistemic status of interpretative practices, as, for example, we find them in the humanities. The project develops an analytical account of the nature and justification of textual interpretation, and engages with a wide array of philosophical positions in the fields of epistemology and hermeneutics.



Iris Lechner

PhD Student ‘Epistemic Progress in the University’

I'm a PhD student working on the project 'epistemic responsibilities of the university', using both empirical methods and philosophical reflections we will create a taxonomy of these responsibilities. I have a background in philosophy, health sciences and research integrity, with a special interest in where science and philosophy meet.

Roland den Boef

PhD Student ‘Epistemic Progress in the University’

I am a Ph.D. in philosophy of science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2020). My current research investigates explanations in humanities disciplines like history, linguistics, and archaeology. To what extent do these explanations conform to the standard causal model of scientific explanation? What sets them apart from those given in the natural (and social) sciences? Do they shed light on the nature of humanist knowledge? I have also worked on the philosophy of social science (e.g., implicit bias) and ethics and epistemology.

Associate members

Since 2013, we have been working with many great philosophers and scientists. Please find everyone part of our informal network below. All these people work on the field of ‘Science and the Big Questions’.

Emanuel Rutten

Post Doc researcher

Edwin Koster

Assistant professor

Terence Cuneo

Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, University of Vermont, USA

Gerrit Glas

Professor of Philosophy of Neuro Science, VU Medical School

Kelvin McQueen

Assistant Professor, Chapman University, USA

Russ Shafer-Landau

Professor of metaethics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

David Widerker

Professor of Philosophy

Jan Boersema

Professor of Fundamentals of environmental sciencess

Leon de Bruin

Assistent Professor in Philosophy of Mind, Radboud University Nijmegen