The International Center for Law and Religion Studies congratulates Professor Rik Torfs, a member of the Center’s Academic Advisory Board, on his election on 17 May 2013 as Rector of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium). Professor Torfs’ four-year mandate will take effect on 1 August 2013.
Professor Torfs holds licentiate degrees from KU Leuven in law (1979), notary sciences (1980), and canon law (1981). In 1987, he successfully defended a doctorate in canon law. He was appointed lecturer of canon law at KU Leuven in 1988 and was promoted to full professor in 1996. He was Dean of the KU Leuven Faculty of Canon Law from 1994-2003. He has in addition been since 2000 visiting professor at both the University of Strasbourg (France) and the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa).
The author of nearly 350 articles and numerous books dealing with canon law, law, and Church and State relationships, Professor Torfs is editor of the European Journal for Church and State Research, is a member of the Board of Directors of the European Consortium for State-Church Research, and is a newspaper columnist and host of his own television program. In 2009 he became a member of the Commission for Intercultural Dialogue (Assises de l’Interculturalité) of the Belgian government.
Professor Torfs plays a prominent role in the Belgian media and commentates regularly on the relation between church and society. He was also active as a politician and served as a senator in the Belgian parliament.