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Jonas Slaats

Doctoral Candidate


Jonas Slaats studied philosophy and anthropology (Comparative Sciences of Cultures) at the University of Ghent and Religious Sciences at the University of Louvain. Ever since, he’s been active in various sorts of local and international peace work—often with a distinct focus on cultural and religious diversity. For example, he’s worked as the coordinator of the Expertise Centre on Islamic Cultures in Flanders, he’s been a board member of the European branch of United Religions Initiative, a worldwide network of interreligious grass roots organisations, and a researcher at Kif Kif, Belgian’s largest grassroots anti-racist movement in Belgium. He currently teaches teaches classes on ethics, spirituality and religion at the KDG University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Antwerp.

Combining his academic background with his experience in social work and journalism, he initiated the Halal Monk project, an interfaith web project that presented various dialogues with influential scholars, artists and activists from the Islamic world. The most important interviews of the project were gathered in the book Soefi’s, punkers en poëten: Een christen op reis door de islam, which won the 2015 Belgian Religious Book of the Year audience award.

Jonas continued to research several topics on the crossroads of religion, mysticism and politics, resulting in op-eds & articles in both mainstream Belgian media (such as De Morgen, Knack and De Standaard) and niche media (such as MO*, Kif Kif, Nieuwwij and Volzin.) His latest book publications include Fast Food Fatwa’s: over islam, moderniteit en geweld (Fast Food Fatwas: about Islam, modernity and violence), Revisioning Sufism and Religie Herzien: voorbij het wij-zij denken van religie van seculier versus religieus. (Revisioning Religion: beyond the us-and-them thinking of secular versus religious). His English writings are often published under the pseudonym ‘Jonas Atlas’.







Religie Herzien, Davidsfonds, 2020. https://jonasslaats.net/boeken/religie-herzien-voorbij-het-wij-zij-denken-van-seculier-versus-religieus

Re-visioning Sufism, Yunus Publishing, 2019. https://jonasatlas.net/re-visioning-sufism

Soefisme Herzien, Yunus Publishing, 2018. https://jonasslaats.net/boeken/soefisme-herzien

Fast Food Fatwa’s: over moderniteit, islam en geweld, Davidsfonds, 2017 https://jonasslaats.net/boeken/fast-food-fatwas-over-islam-moderniteit-en-geweld

Halal Monk: A Christian on a journey through Islam, Yunus Publishing, 2015. https://jonasatlas.net/halal-monk-christian-journey-through-islam

Soefi’s, punkers en poëten: een christen op reis door de islam, Averbode, 2015. https://jonasslaats.net/boeken/soefis-punkers-poeten-een-christen-op-reis-door-de-islam



Naar een omslag in het denken over religie, in Narthex: tijdschrift voor levensbeschouwing en educatie, 21/2, VDLG, 2021.

Over balken en splinters in het oog van de samenleving, in Frank Maet & Steve Michiels (eds.), Zelfcensuur, Luca School of Arts, 2021.

Kolonialisme, secularisme & terreur, in Tijdschrift voor Geestelijke Leven, 74/2, Licap-Halewijn, 2018. http://tijdschriftgeestelijkleven.weebly.com/tgl-ndeg-2-2018.html

Personalisme en spiritualiteit: Voorbij de mythe van de held, in Dries Deweer & Steven Van Hecke (ed.), De Mens Centraal: Essays over het personalisme vandaag en Morgen, Pelckmans Pro, 2018. https://www.pelckmansuitgevers.be/de-mens-centraal-e-book.html

Gandhi’s economische inzicht, in Luc Bouckaert (ed.), Mahatma Gandhi: Spiritualiteit in actie, Yunus Publishing / SPES-forum, 2017. https://yunuspublishing.org/mahatma-gandhi-spiritualiteit-in-actie

Islam and Peace, in Contributions to Conflict Management, Vol 24: Business, Ethics and Peace, Emerald, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1572-832320150000024009  



Seven Myths about Religion: Rupert Sheldrake and Jonas Atlas, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnCQExyHjAA

How colonialism and racism determined our view on religion, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGx1e173jvE


The religion-secularism-spirituality ternary and its function in contemporary discourses on religion

Researchers: Jonas Slaats

In his PhD project Jonas aims to bring the critical research about the religion-secularism binary in dialogue with the research on ‘being spiritual but not religious’. He asks the question whether the dominant contemporary view of religion should be approached as a religion-secularism-spirituality ternary rather than a religion-secularism binary and if so what its discursive function and social impact might be. Does ‘spirituality’ truly allow us to bridge the gap between the religious and the secular? Or is it in fact yet another type of ‘othering’ in disguise?

Jonas Slaats

Doctoral Candidate

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