From 1 September 2004 onwards, the Catholic University of Nijmegen is called Radboud University Nijmegen, after one of the first bishops of Utrecht, who lived in the beginning of the tenth century. Bishop Radboud was not only an administrator and a preacher. He also was a scholar and a poet. As a son of noble Frankish Christian parents, he went to the cathedral school of Cologne, where his uncle Gunther was the Archbishop at that time, and to the monastic school at the court of king Charles the Bald in France, and finally to the monastic school of Saint Martin's in Tours. At that time these were the centers of Christian scholarship and learning in Europe. Radboud devoted several decades of his life to his formation as a broad Christian scholar. In 899 Radboud became Bishop of Utrecht in the Netherlands, but because the Vikings then occupied that city, Radboud lived in the town of Deventer. He is known as one of the first Christian writers in the Low Countries. But he is also remembered as a friend of the poor.
Radboud really was a missionary bishop, combining the proclamation of the Gospel with the care for the needy and the advancement of culture. For that reason, he can be a proper patron saint and an example for our university and also for the Faculty of Theology.
I gladly invite you to join us. As we say: intercultural theology is a challenge for the 21st century. We accept this challenge in the spirit of our university's motto: In Dei nomine feliciter - happily in God's name!
Prof. dr. Ben Vedder
Dean of the Faculty of Theology
Radboud University Nijmegen