Willem B. Drees is a philosopher who also was trained as a physicist and theologian. From 2015 until 2018 he served as dean of the Tilburg School of Humanities and professor of Philosophy of the Humanities, and from 2008 until 2018 as the editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. He teaches and writes on human self-understanding and religion in today’s multicultural and technological world.
He has an advanced degree in theoretical physics from Utrecht University, where he completed his studies under M. Veltman (Nobel Prize 1999). While teaching mathematics and physics, he studied theology and religious studies. He earned a doctorate in philosophy of religion at Groningen University, with the study Beyond the Big Bang: Quantum Cosmologies and God (Open Court, 1990), and another doctorate in philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with a study published as Religion, Science and Naturalism (Cambridge University Press, 1996). He was extraordinary professor for philosophy of nature and of technology from a liberal-protestant perspective at Twente University (1995-2001).
At Leiden University, he served as professor of philosophy of religion and ethics (2001-2014). His first day of teaching was September 11 2001, a day that made the ambivalence of religion and the need to understand the diversity within religions even more obvious. He was the last dean of the Faculty of Theology (2005-2008), and vice-dean of the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University (2009-2013). From 2002 until 2008, he served as president of ESSSSAT, the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology. Twice has he received a Fulbright Grant (1987, 1993), spending time in Berkeley at CTNS, the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Chicago at the ZCRS, the Zygon Center for Religion and Science and Princeton with CTI, the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton and the Princeton Center for the Study of Religion.