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Prof. Dr. Andreas Thier
Universität Zürich
Rämistrasse 74/11
CH-8001 Zürich

E-Mail: fhi@rwi.uzh.ch

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PhD position: The Jesuits and the Law and Morality of the Marketplace (16th-17th centuries)

17. Dezember 2019

Full-time PhD position at KU Leuven, Division for Roman Law and Legal History

Apply before: Saturday, February 15, 2020

This PhD position is part of the interdisciplinary research project “Innovation through Education: Pioneering Change in Law and Theology in Louvain’s Golden Age”. The project is led by an interdisciplinary team of KU Leuven researchers consisting of LECTIO members Prof Wim Decock (Roman Law and Legal History, spokesperson), Prof Wouter Druwé (Roman Law and Legal History), Prof Randall Lesaffer (Roman Law and Legal History), Dr An Smets (KU Leuven Libraries) and Prof Violet Soen (Early Modern History), with the support of Prof Mark Depauw (Ancient History/Digital Humanities), Prof Wim François (History of Church and Theology) and Prof Jan Papy (Latin Literature). The successful candidate will be affiliated to the Department of Roman Law and Legal History at KU Leuven's Faculty of Law (https://www.law.kuleuven.be/romrecht/engels). For more information about LECTIO, please visit http://lectio.ghum.kuleuven.be/.

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The rise of capitalism in the early modern period urged scholars to come up with a new normative framework to accommodate new commercial and financial transactions. This PhD project concentrates on the transformation of the Catholic morality and law of the marketplace prompted by these events in the Low Countries. Student notebooks featuring the teachings on law and economics by the Jesuit theologians Robert Bellarmine and Leonardus Lessius will be at the centre of this study. The PhD candidate will provide an in-depth, comparative study of the teachings of Bellarmine and Lessius on the legal framework for economic transactions. Special attention will be paid to the way in which Bellarmine and Lessius facilitated the transmission of the teachings of the School of Salamanca in the Low Countries while adapting them to local realities. At least part of the research will have to be based on the meticulous, philological analysis of hitherto unexamined and unpublished manuscript sources.

This vacancy is part of the large-scale project "Innovation through Education. Pioneering Change in Law and Theology during Leuven's Golden Age”, which will be conducted by 5 PhD students and their supervisors in the Faculties of Arts, Law and Theology. It investigates how Louvain professors in law and theology during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries adapted the content and methods of their teaching to the changing needs of society, in order to prepare the future elites for tackling the religious, political and economic challenges of their time. The source material consists of student notes that will be compared with printed material such as treatises and textbooks of the professors involved.


• You have a master's degree in law, history, Latin language and literature or equivalent, with excellent results. Students who will obtain their master’s degree in 2020 are invited to apply.

• You have an interest in the history of the interconnectedness between moral, legal and economic thought.

• You are able to read printed and/or written historical sources from the new era.

• You have good Latin skills or are willing to brush them up.

• You have good paleographic skills or are willing to acquire them.

• You have a good command of modern languages (oral and written), especially of English and Italian. Knowledge of French, German, and/or Spanish is an asset.

• You are prepared to carry out library and archive research in Belgium and abroad.

• You are good at dealing with deadlines.

• You are communicative, creative, cooperative and interdisciplinary, given the team-based character of the project.

• You will be present at your office in Leuven several days a week.


The net amount of the scholarship will be approx. 2000 euro/month, depending on age, professional experience and family status; in addition, the fellowship provides for social and health benefits, office space and a benchfee for research expenses.

Subject to positive evaluation after the first year and the second year, the scholarship has a total duration of 48 months (1+1+2).

The start date of the doctoral position is negotiable, but should not be later than 1 September 2020.

KU Leuven offers a wide variety of courses for PhD candidates, a minimum of which must be followed as part of the compulsory doctoral training program, the specific content of which may vary from one faculty to another.

The PhD candidates will benefit from a unique experience in an interdisciplinary environment with junior and senior experts in the fields of book history, digital humanities, history of law, history of church and theology, early modern history, religious history, and philology.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Wim Decock, tel.: +32 16 32 52 39, mail: wim.decock@kuleuven.be.

You can apply for this job no later than February 15, 2020 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Link to job offer on KU Leuven Jobsite

(ref. BAP-2019-773)