David Onnekink appointed Special Chair in Ecological Theology

Associate Professor of History David Onnekink has been endowed with the Martine Vonk Special Chair for Ecotheology at the Theological University of Kampen-Utrecht. "I would like to provide a green history," Onnekink says in the Nederlands Dagblad. "Where are our roots? This will help us think about what we should do now and where we are going."

Martine Vonk

The Martine Vonk Chair of Ecotheology, officially the Chair of Christian Ecological Thought, is an initiative of the Theological University Kampen-Utrecht and the Martine Vonk Foundation. The special chair is named after Martine Vonk (1974-2019), an ecologist who saw responsible ecological practice as a key aspect of Christian beliefs. Over the next five years, Onnekink will build on Vonk’s ideals to further the understanding of theology as connected to ecological issues, as he aims to re-examine the history of Western Christianity in relation to nature.

"It’s a shame that it never came to a good contact between broad groups of Christians and the environmental movement," Onnekink says in the Nederlands Dagblad. He hopes it will "become a given within the Dutch Christian community to talk about Christian ecological thinking, without immediately fighting each other on political points."

Rather than the usual one or two days, Onnekink will be working three days a week as part of the special chair position. "This indicates a feeling of urgency among the financial contributors of the special chair", says Theanne Boer, chair of the Martine Vonk Foundation. "And of course we hope it will not stop at these five years."

David Onnekink

David Onnekink is associate professor of History of International Relations. Onnekink has studied at the universities of Utrecht, York, and London, and received a PhD from Utrecht University in 2004 with a thesis on Hans Willem Bentinck (1649-1709), the 1st Earl of Portland.

Onnekink is specialised in international relations in the early modern age and particularly interested in religion. His research is focused on the worldwide history of the protestant mission and its connection to ecology.

Read more (in Dutch)

’David Onnekink aangesteld als bijzonder hoogleraar’, TU Kampen ’Bijzondere leerstoel Ecologische theologie’, Martine Vonkstichting ’David Onnekink nieuwe hoogleraar groene theologie. "Een buitengewoon begaafde onderzoeker en docent"’, Nederlands Dagblad
’Nieuwe hoogleraar groene theologie: "De best scorende landen op milieubeleid zijn protestants"’, Nederlands Dagblad
’Dr. Onnekink bijzonder hoogleraar christelijke ecologie’, Reformatorisch Dagblad