Wibren van der Burg

LAPA Visitor, 2006-2007
Former Visiting Fellow, University Center for Human Values.
phone: +31 10 408 2912

Wibren van der Burg is Professor of Jurisprudence at Tilburg University, the Netherlands since 2001. From 2002 to 2006 he was also president of the national board of the Remonstrant church. He studied law and philosophy at Utrecht University and has held positions at Utrecht University and Tilburg University. He works in legal, moral and political philosophy. His main research project while in Princeton is a book with the provisional title The Dynamics of Law and Morality. Other projects focus on essentially ambiguous concepts, on the professional ideals of lawyers, and on the multicultural and multireligious society. Recent books (all in Dutch) are On Religion, Morality and Politics. A Liberal Alternative (2005); Dynamic Law. The Interaction between Law, Ethics and Society (2001); and The Imagination put into Practice. An Argument for Realistic Idealism (2001). He co-edited The Importance of Ideals. Debating Their Relevance in Law, Morality, and Politics (2004, with Sanne Taekema), and Rediscovering Fuller. Essays on Implicit Law and Institutional Design, (1999, with Willem Witteveen). He published in journals including Ethics, Bioethics, The Journal of Value Inquiry, Law and Philosophy, Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, and Ethical Theory and Moral Practice.

Life after LAPA
I finally finished my article about essentially ambiguous concepts, an idea which had been on my mind for several years. My second main research project was a book on the dynamics of law and morality. Not only did I conceive the basic structure and studied many relevant materials, but I also left Princeton with a first draft for most of the chapters. And thirdly, I wrote a first article (in Dutch) for my project on the legal professions and ideals, arguing that the twofold move towards instrumental and responsive law has led to a loss of autonomy for the professions and has contributed to less respect for the rule of law.


"Pour une éthique protestante libérale dans un monde changeant et pluriel," Revue de Theologie et de Philosophie, 137:193-209 (2005).

"The Irony of a Symbolic Crusade: The Debate on Opening Up Civil Marriage to Same-Sex Couples," in Social and Symbolic Effects of Legislation Under the Rule of Law (N. Zeegers, W. Witteveen and B. van Klink eds., Edwin Mellen Press, 2005).

"Religie en het publieke domein — een vrijzinnige invalshoek," Theologisch Debat 3(2):4-13 (2006). ["Religion and the public domain — a liberal perspective"]

"Juridische professies en de instrumentalisering van het recht," in Idealen van professionals, (Jos Kole en Doret de Ruyter red., forthcoming, 2007). ["Legal professions and the instrumentalization of law"]

"Gelijke zorg en respect voor de gelovige burger — een inclusief-vrijzinnige schets," in Scheiding van Kerk en Staat of Actief Pluralisme? Een benadering vanuit de mensenrechten, (P. de Hert red., Antwerpen: Intersentia 2007) ["Equal concern and respect for the religious citizen — an inclusive-liberal sketch"]

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