Violet Soen is professor Early Modern History at the University of Leuven. She has a special interest in the political and religious history of the Spanish Monarchy, the Low Countries and France, and their borderlands. Her fields of expertise include religious war and peace, inquisition and reconciliation, church-state relationships, book history, history of the universities and elite studies.

After studying history in Leuven and Bielefeld, she obtained a masters degree in European Studies at the Université Catholique de Louvain. She gained her PhD in Early Modern History at the KU Leuven in 2008. After that she was Max Weber Research Fellow at the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy. In 2010, she was appointed at the KU Leuven. In the spring term of 2011, she was a visiting fellow at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, in the spring term of 2014 she is visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York. She did archival research in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and Monaco, funded by different research foundations.

Violet Soen is member of the editorial board of the Revue d'Histoire ecclésiastique. The Louvain Journal for Church History ( She also takes part in the board of the international Reformation Research Consortium ( and the Flemish-Dutch Association for Early Modern History ( In addition she serves as secretary for the History Section of the Koninklijke Zuid-Nederlandse Maatschappij voor Taal-, Letterkunde en Geschiedenis ( Finally, she is member of the scientific committee of the Fondazione per le scienze religiose in Bologna ( She is member of the Young Academy Flanders (

She is the author of a book on noble, royal and imperial peace attempts during the Dutch Revolt. It appeared with Amsterdam University Press in 2012, and is free to access on It has been awarded with the Erik Duverger-prize 2011 for historical studies from the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium. Previously, she wrote a monograph on the sixteenth-century inquisition in the Low Countries, for which she received an award in religious history from the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium in 2004. She published different articles and book chapters in English, French, Spanish and Dutch.