Dutch RC theologian. He became a Dominican in 1934. He was a professor at Louvain (1947–58) and then at Nijmegen (1958–82). He attended the Second Vatican Council not as a peritus (official expert), but as adviser to the Dutch bishops.
His book Jezus (1974; Eng. tr., Jesus, 1979), with its interpretation of the Lord as an eschatological prophet, caused an uproar in Rome. It was followed by Gerechtigheid en liefde (1977; Eng. tr., Christ, 1980). The increasing conservatism of the RC Church led him to postpone the completion of his planned trilogy, and in Kerkelijk ambt (1980; Eng. tr., Ministry, 1981) he called for changes in the RC theology of ministry on the basis of the pattern of the first millennium and modern needs. This concern cast a shadow over the last volume of his trilogy, Mensen als verhaal van God (1989; Eng. tr., The Church, 1990), in which a vision of the future influenced by Liberation Theology and inter-faith dialogue is darkened by experience of the hierarchical Church.