The European Society of Catholic Theology (ESCT)/Europäische Gesellschaft für Katholische Theologie (EGKT)/ Association européenne de Théologie Catholique (AETC), founded in 1989, brings together many theologians from among the different countries of Europe. Its members work at theological institutes, universities, academies, seminaries, and within both Church and society. Accordingly, this European society is an international membership organisation in which both national and regional sections also exist, from Lithuania to Malta, and from Ireland to Slovakia.
The aim of the European Society for Catholic Theology is to promote the academic discipline of Catholic theology primarily at the intersection where Church and society meet. As a systematic reflection on ‘faith seeking understanding’, Catholic theology engages in interdisciplinary research and education which is, loyally and yet constructively, critical vis-à-vis the Church, while at the same time meeting the highest academic standards of the academy. The Society offers itself as a service both to the Church and to society across Europe by supporting its members, both lay and cleric, in engaging with the many questions which challenge Christian faith as well as contemporary European culture.
The organization aims to encourage the communication, promotion and support of theological education, research, and services. ESCT publishes a bi-annual journal in which the diverse problems that challenge contemporary theological debate in Europe are explored and discussed. Every two years, the society also organizes an international congress.
The international presidium coordinates the actions of the European wide organization. For 2013-2015, the president is Martin M. Lintner (Philosophisch-theologische Hochschule Brixen, Italy) with Pierre Van Hecke (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) as the vice-president (and president-elect). Two board-members take care of regional representation of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe: Katica Knezović (University of Zagreb, Croatia) and Piotr Morciniec (Opole University, Poland). The presidium also includes two ex officio-members: Karim Schelkens (Tilburg University, The Netherlands/ Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) serving as the secretary-general in charge of the general secretariat, and Gerhard Kruip (Universität Mainz, Germany) serving as the editor-in-chief of the society’s journal ET Studies.