Prof Jan M.N.E. Jans

Sessional Lecturer in Applied Ethics

One of our first and most 'faithful' visiting lecturers, Prof Jan Jans is an internationally renowned ethicist and the Secretary of the Research Ethics and Data Management Committee at Tilburg School of Humanities, Netherlands.


Jan Jans was born in June 1954 in Mechelen (Belgium); since 1981, he is married to Caroline Vander Stichele. He studied theology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) at which he was from 1985 until 1990 assistant of medical ethics at the Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Law. After obtaining the degree of Doctor in Sacred Theology (S.T.D./Ph.D) in 1990, he was from 1991 until 2005 assistant professor of moral theology at Tilburg Faculty of Theology (the Netherlands) and since 2006 associate professor of ethics at Tilburg University, School of Humanities. From 1993 until 2007, he lectured at ‘Bovendonk’ (Dutch seminary for late vocations) and from 1994 until 2003 he was professor at the ‘Theology for Ministry Summer Institute’ of the American College at Leuven. Since 2001/2002 he is visiting professor at St Augustine College of South Africa (Johannesburg) and has also lectured at the Universities of Fort Hare, Stellenbosch, Kwazulu-Natal, Western Cape and at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute in Cedara. He has given invited lectures at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Major Seminary of Alba Julia, Helsinki University, Aarhus University, Glasgow University, Liverpool Hope University, Groningen University, Irish School of Ecumenics in Dublin, Durham University, Heythrop College London, Leeds Trinity College and St. Paul University in Ottawa. Since 2008, he is member of various Institutional Review Boards in Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Tilburg and of the Ethics Commission of St. Elisabeth/TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg. He has been invited to be the external examiner of doctoral dissertations at Leuven, London, Glasgow, Tilburg, and Pietermaritzburg.

He is an active member of the European Society for Catholic Theology (2005-2007: board member and editor-in-chief of the journal Bulletin ET), the Internationale Vereinigung für Moraltheologie und Sozialethik, the Societas Ethica (board member since 2011), the Association of Teachers of Moral Theology [UK] (since 2013 acting secretary) and the Society of Christian Ethics [USA] (board member 2007-2011) and was vice-president of INSeCT (2008-2011). From January 2006 until the middle of 2011, he was director of the Center for Intercultural Ethics of Tilburg University. From 2008 until 2012, he served as director of education at Tilburg School of Humanities for the programmes in religious studies and care ethics, at the same time teaching in both programmes. Since 2010-2011, he has been invited to teach various concise modules on medical ethics and philosophy and ethics at the Hogeschool Geesteswetenschappen Utrecht.

From December 2015 on, after the end of his appointment at Tilburg School of Humanities as a result of a reorganisation, he is secretary of the One of, keeping his title of Associate Professor of Ethics.

Main areas of research interest within fundamental moral theology are images of God, personalism and ethical methodology. Included in but also going beyond moral theology are the issues of gender justice and intercultural ethics. A focus of ongoing research aims at exploring the concept of ‘neighbour’ as a hermeneutical key with regard to a characteristic non-exclusive Christian moral identity.



Zu-Ende: Sterben und Euthanasie-(gesetzgebung) in den Niederlanden. Ein moraltheologischer Kommentar, in: Imprimatur (Nachrichten und kritische Meinungen aus der katholischen Kirche) 35 (2002/1) 6-12.

Tussen leven en dood. Contouren van een moraaltheologie van het sterven, in: Herman Beck en Wim Weren (red.), Over leven. Leven en overleven in lagen, Budel: Damon, 2002, blz. 156-168.

*Euthanasie(gesetzgebung) in den Niederlanden. Eine kritische Bestand-aufnahme, in: Ks. Piotr Morciniec (Red.), Eutanazja w Dyskusji – Euthanasie in der Diskussion (Opolskz Biblioteka Teologiczna, 47), Opole: Wydzial Teologiczny Uniwersytetu Opolskiego (ISBN 83-88939-14-9), 2001, blz. 113-132 [Prawodawstwo eutanazyjne w Holandii. Krytyczny przeglad – blz. 93-111].

*The Fish and Their Water. Implications of Anthropology as the Foundation of Ethics, in: Societas Ethica Jahresbericht/Annual 2001, The Sources of Public Morality – On the ‘Ethics and Religion’ Debate (Berlin), Aarhus: Societas Ethica, 2002, 253-258.

Menswaardigheid als ethische maatstaf, in: Chris Gastmans - Kris Dierickx (red.), Ethiek in witte jas. Zorgzaam omgaan met het leven, Leuven: Davidsfonds, 2002, 13-25.

Jan Grootaers & Jan Jans (eds.), La régulation des naissances à Vatican II : une semaine de crise. Un dossier en 40 documents constitué, introduit et commenté par Jan Grootaers & Jan Jans [Annua Nuntia Lovaniensia XLIII], Leuven: Peeters, 2002, xi + 332p.

Introduction théologique. Signification de l’intervention pontificale dans le débat de la commission conciliaire, in : Jan Grootaers & Jan Jans (eds.), La régulation des naissances à Vatican II : une semaine de crise. Un dossier en 40 documents constitué, introduit et commenté par Jan Grootaers & Jan Jans [Annua Nuntia Lovaniensia XLIII], Leuven: Peeters, 2002, 43-60.

 „Sterbehilfe“ in den Niederlanden und Belgien. Rechtslage, Kirchen und ethische Diskussion, in: Zeitschrift für evangelische Ethik 46 (2002) 283-300.

Hebzucht. Een echte (dood)zonde en een erge (hoofd)zonde, in: Rein Nauta (red.), Over zonde en zonden. Opstellen over de tragiek van het bestaan, Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers, 2002, 98-112.

Over het verdampen van de moraaltheologie. [Kroniek : Uitdagingen voor de theologie van de 21ste eeuw], in: Collationes (Vlaams Tijdschrift voor Theologie en Pastoraal) 32 (2002/4) 438-441.

De status van het embryo in Donum vitae. Kritische analyse van enkele sleutelpassages, in: Theo Boer en Angela Roothaan (red.), Gegeven. Ethische essays over het leven als gave, Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum, 2003, 78-94.

*Enjoying and Making Use of a Responsible Freedom. Background and Substantiation of Human Dignity in the Second Vatican Council, in: Societas Ethica Jahresbericht/Annual 2002, Sustaining Humanity Beyond Humanism (Bruxelles), Århus : Societas Ethica, 2003, 101-112.

Religious Leadership from the Perspective of Moral Theology, in: Bert Roebben, Leo van der Tuin (eds.), Practical theology and the interpretation of crossing boundaries. Essays in honour of Professor M.P.J. van Knippenberg, Münster – Hamburg – London: LIT Verlag, 2003, 133-144.

*Christian Churches and Euthanasia in the Low Countries. Background, Argumentation and Commentary, in: Ethical Perspectives 9 (2002/2-3) 119-133.

God gehoorzamen en/is goed handelen. Over de maieutische dialectiek tussen christelijk Godsgeloof en ethische verantwoordelijkheid, in: Rudi te Velde (red.), Doen wat God wil: zegen of ramp? Over ethiek en religie in het licht van Abrahams offer, Budel: DAMON, 2003, 160-173.

Christelijke identiteit en/in ziekenhuizen, in: Christelijke identiteit van maatschappelijke organisaties [Symposium van het Centrum voor Religieuze Communicatie – 22 mei 2003], Tilburg: Centrum voor Religieuze Communicatie, 2004, 26-32.

Christian Ethics: On the Difficult Dialectics between Faith and Ethics, in: Australian Ejournal of Theology, February 2004 – Issue 2.

*Fundamentos Filosóficos de la Bioética desde la Antropologia, in : Bioética - Centro de referencia de bioética Juan Pablo [La Habana, Cuba],  Suplemento Diciembre 2003, 21-26;

*The reform of public health service: who cares?, in: Societas Ethica - Jahresbericht / Annual 2003 - Economics, Justice, and Welfare / Wirtschaft, Gerechtigkeit und Gemeinwohl. 40. Jahrestagung in Sigtuna, Schweden. 20-24 August 2003. Aarhus: Societas Ethica, 2004, 114-120.

Spreuken. Deugd en ondeugd. (Het hart als spiegel), in: Frans Maas, Jacques Maas, Klaas Spronk (red.), De bijbel spiritueel. Bronnen van geestelijk leven in de bijbelse geschriften,  Zoetermeer/Kapellen: Meinema/Pelckmans, 2004, 303-310.

ABC van aidspreventie. Voor- en tegenstanders van condooms tegen aids, in:  Tertio [Christelijk opinieweekblad] Nr. 236 (18 augustus 2004), 1; 5.

The paradox of ‘Therapeutic Cloning’, in: Trefoil (The Southern African Catholic Quartely) No. 267 – 2004, 47-48.

‘Neither Punishment nor Reward’. Divine Gratuitousness and Moral Order., in: Ellen van Wolde (ed.) Job’s God = Concilium 2004/4, 83-92.

Jan Jans (Hrsg.), Für die Freiheit verantwortlich. Festschrift für Karl-Wilhelm Merks zum 65. Geburtstag [Studien zur theologischen Ethik, 107], Freiburg i.Ue.: Academic Press Fribourg;  Freiburg i.Br./Wien: Herder, 2004, 298 blz.

Divine Command and/or Human Ethics? Exploring the maieutical dialectics between Christian faith in God and responsibility, in: Jan Jans (Hrsg.), Für die Freiheit verantwortlich. Festschrift für Karl-Wilhelm Merks zum 65. Geburtstag [Studien zur theologischen Ethik, 107], Freiburg i.Ue.: Academic Press Fribourg; Freiburg i.Br./Wien: Herder, 2004, 35-49.

*Churches in the Low Countries on Euthanasia. Background, Argumentation and Commentary, in: Paul Schotsmans & Tom Meulenbergs (Eds.), Euthanasia and Palliative Care in the Low Countries [Ethical Perspectives Monograph Series 3], Leuven –Paris-Dudley, MA : Peeters, 2005, pp. 175-204.

*Beneath the Headscarf. Human Rights versus Religious Pluralism?, in: Societas Ethica Jahrbuch/Annual 2004 - Pluralism in Europe/Pluralismus in Europa? 41. Jahrestagung in Ljubljana (Slowenien), Erlangen-Nürnberg: Societas Ethica, 2005, 117-125; en in: Stefan Heuser & Hans G. Ulrich (eds.), Pluralism in Europe – One Law, One Market, One Culture?, Berlin: LIT, 2006, 104-112.

Kenmerkend en eigenaardig (Ethiek uit het vuistje), in: Zin in zorg (Tijdschrift van Reliëf over zorg, ethiek en levensbeschouwing) 7 (2005/3) 23.

*The Belgian “Act on Euthanasia”: Clarifying Context, Legislation, and Practice from an Ethical Point of View, in: The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 25.2 (2005) 163-177.

*Information Technology and Responsibility – ‘Dealing with Virtual Janus’, in: Societas Ethica Jahresbericht/Annual 2006 – Political Ethics and International Order/Politische Ethik und Internationale Ordnung, 43. Jahrestagung in Oxford, Erlangen: Societas Ethica, 2007, 494-504.

Extra ICT Nulla Salus Est? In Search of an Internethics to Deal With Virtual Janus, in Grace & Truth (A Journal of Catholic Reflection for Southern Africa), Vol. 25 No 3 (November 2008), 44-57.

Waarom religies zo moeilijk doen over seks. Seksualiteit is en blijft een mysterie, in: Wat bezielt de mens? Vier bespiegelingen over religie in samenleving en cultuur, Tilburg: Faculteit Theologie en Religiewetenschappen, 2006, 27-34 [ISBN 90-78445-01-7].

What’s the fuss? The difficulties of religion(s) with sexuality, in: Trefoil (The Southern African Catholic Quartely), N° 271 (2007/1) 33-34; 57-58.

Genetische selectietechnologie? Ethiek binnen PGD en PGS, in: Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidszorg & Ethiek 16 (2006/3) 90-92.

Propter solam procreationem… Contraceptie in de katholieke traditie, in: Guy Verhulst (ed.), Contra-HAHA-ceptie. De contraceptie en haar bewogen geschiedenis met vrij-veilige cartoons en safe sex humor voor het goede doel, Aalst: Ronde Tafel 46 (Lannoo), 2006, 227-229.

*Politics and/or Ethics? Same sex unions as a case study for intercultural political ethics, in: Societas Ethica Jahresbericht/Annual 2006 – Political Ethics and International Order/Politische Ethik und Internationale Ordnung, 43. Jahrestagung in Oxford, Erlangen: Societas Ethica, 2007, 505-511.

‘Je moet de weg zelf gaan’, in: [Ministerie van Justitie], Horen, zien en zwijgplicht? Wegwijzer huiselijk geweld en beroepsgeheim, s.l.: s.e., [2007], 23-24.

The moral status of the human embryo according to Donum Vitae: Analysis of and Comment on Key Passages, in: Julie Clague, Bernard Hoose & Gerard Manion (eds.), Moral Theology for the Twent-First Century. Essays in Honour of Kevin Kelly, London: T & T Clark, 2008, 97-105.

*‘Mind Your Own Business!’ Anonymous Theology in the Treaty of Lisbon?, in Doctrine & Life Vol. 58 (2008) No. 5, 33-41.

*Just a Piece of Cloth? The European debate on ‘the Islamic headscarf’ as a case study and paradigm for an emergent intercultural ethics, in: The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, 28.1 (2008) 25-43.

Moralisme met macht opgelegd. Waarom Humanae vitae faalde, in Tertio (Christelijk opinieweekblad) nr. 443 – 6 augustus 2008, p. 11. [uitgebreide versie]

*And God Created Darwin? An Ethical Analysis of and Reflection on Semi-Creationism, in: Societas Ethica Annual/Jahrbuch 2008 – Ethics of the Life Sciences, 45. Annual Meeting in Lammi (Finland), Lausanne: Societas Ethica, 2009, 18-23.

Vrijgevigheid. Over een deugddoende omgang met eigendom, in Louke van Wens-veen en  Harm Dane (ed.), Zuinigheid met vlijt. Over calvinistische (on)deugden, Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum, 2009, 26-36.

Paolo Segneri S.J., Grouwelyckheyt der doodt-sonde (1702), in: Paul Begheyn S.J., Bernard Deprez, Rob Faesen S.J., and Leo Kenis (Eds.), Jesuit Books in the Low Countries 1540-1773. A Selection from the Maurits Sabbe Library [Documenta Libraria XXXVIII, Jesuitica Neerlandica III), Leuven: Peeters, 2009, pp. 229-232.

Uitdagingen van de hedendaagse techniek voor de katholieke moraaltheologie. Casus: voortplantingstechnologieën, in: René Munnik (red.), God, mens en techniek. Over religieuze existentie in een technologische cultuur [Annalen van het Thijmgenootschap 99/1], Valkhof Pers, 2011, 148-158.

*Until the end willed by God? Moral theology and the debate on 'euthanasia', in: Studies in Christian Ethics, 24 (2011) 477-486.

*Typisch und Eigenartig. Krankenhäuser auf der Suche nach ihrer christlich-katholische Identität, in: Konrad Hilpert (Hrsg.), Theologische Ethik im Pluralismus [Studien zur theologischen Ethik 133], Fribourg i. Ue.: Academic Press Fribourg / Freiburg I. Br.: Herder, 2012, 285-290.

[red.], Humanities Perspectives. Junior Research at the Tilburg School of Humanities in 36 Snapshots, Tilburg: Tilburg University, 2013 144 p., ISBN/EAN 978 974 1671 202.

Euthanasie in den Niederlanden und Belgien: Ethische Elemente der neueren Debatte, in: Diakonia – Internationale Zeitschrift für die Praxis der Kirche, 45 (2014/3), 171-176.


Hegemonic Masculinities – An Urgent Challenge for Theology and the Churches;  to be published in a major South African journal of theology or ethics

“"Downright Pelagian"? Gaudium et Spes 17 and the discussion on who is 'in possession' of conscience, in: Vatican II – Remembering the Future, Georgetown University Press, 2016.