Netherlands: PhD candidate in Philosophy at University of Amsterdam

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Job description

The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the NWO project Critique of Religion and the framing of Jews and Muslims in the Netherlands today, supervised by Prof. dr. Yolande Jansen, conducted in close collaboration with Prof.dr. Thijl Sunier (VU University Amsterdam), and the Socrates Foundation. Applications are now invited from excellent candidates who wish to conduct research on the framing of Muslims and Jews, Islam and Judaism in the Netherlands today, in the light of how modern political thought has theorized about religion in general, and about cultural and religious minorities in particular.

Project description

PhD-Project working title: Islam and Judaism, Muslims and Jews in the contemporary Dutch ‘Enlightenment’, in light of their genealogies in modern political philosophy. This project traces the genealogy of the notions of Jews and Muslims, Islam and Judaism, in modern political thought, especially within the liberal and secular traditions. Secondly, it reads contemporary Dutch critique of religion by a select number of public intellectuals as context-specific articulations of these earlier traditions of modern political thought.

Tasks will include:

  • completion and defense of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • regular presentation of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences, and two high quality journal articles to be co-authored with the other researchers of the group;
  • participation in the training program of ASCA.


  • A Master’s degree (or equivalent) with excellent grades in a relevant field, such as philosophy, intellectual history, cultural analysis, or religious studies, and preferably a combination of those fields;
  • good academic writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organizational skills;
  • proficiency in English and Dutch and, preferably, in German and French as well. Working language will be English, but interviews, debates and readings will often be in Dutch. In case of excellent proven research qualities, we could discuss the possibility of acquiring Dutch language skills during the first year of the project.

Conditions of employment

The PhD candidate will be appointed at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam. The total appointment is for 4 years for 0,8 fte under the terms of employment currently valid for the Faculty. In the first instance, a contract will be given for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months on the basis of a positive evaluation. The starting date of the contract is 1 December 2013.

Additional information

For further information, please contact

  • Prof. dr. Yolande Jansen
  • For a full description in PDF of the project, please  visit ourwebsite.  (There you will also find the description of the second PhD-project to be conducted as part of this research. This project, entitled Critique of Jewish and Muslim religious practices in the Netherlands between 2004-2015: Exploring the grey zone between the critique of religion and discrimination by means of a participatory approach, will be conducted at VU University Amsterdam, and the PhD candidate for project 2 will be appointed there. Applications for that project are welcome too).
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