Dr Jan Jans will be giving a powerpoint presentation on Saturday 28 April at 10h00 in the CK Storey Hall, behind the Methodist Church on Main Road, Rosebank (entrance and parking via Chapel Road). The title is “Political Leadership and Morality: A reflection on dealing with the shadow sides of political power in a constitutional democracy”. Dr Jans is a theologian from the Netherlands
The point of departure for this paper is a remark made years ago by Archbishop Desmund Tutu: “It should not be that we feel ashamed of our political leaders”. In a first introductory way, a brief reflection on moral integrity and character is offered. The second part explores the need for ‘checks and balances’ with regard to political power in both the public sphere as well as in dealing with the private/internal shadow sides of political power by invoking the virtues of fortitude and temperance. In the final part, attention goes to the contributions of both Catholic social teaching on the role and responsibility of Catholic political leaders and Catholic social thought suggesting a narrative approach for moral integrity and character.
Jan Jans was born in June 1954 in Mechelen (Belgium); since 1981, he is married to Caroline Vander Stichele. He studied theology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), obtaining the degree of Doctor in Sacred Theology (S.T.D./Ph.D) in 1990. He was from 1991 until 2007 associate professor of at Tilburg University, in the Netherland. From January 2006 until the middle of 2011, he was director of the Center for Intercultural Ethics of Tilburg University. From 2008 until 2012, he served as director of education at Tilburg School of Humanities for the programmes in religious studies and care ethics. Since 2010-2011, he has been invited to teach various concise modules on medical ethics and philosophy and ethics at the Hogeschool Geesteswetenschappen Utrecht/Academie voor Geestes-wetenschappen. From December 2015 on, after the end of his appointment at Tilburg School of Humanities as the result of a reorganisation, he is secretary of the Research Ethics Committee, keeping his title of Associate Professor of Ethics.