Johan Goud studied theology and philosophy at the Free University (Amsterdam), with some shorter stays in Tubingen and Leiden. He obtained his Ph.D. in Leiden with a dissertation on Karl Barths dialectical theology and the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas (1984). His publications include Emmanuel Levinas und Karl Barth: Ein religionsphilosophischer und ethischer Vergleich (Bonn-Berlin 1992), Een kamer in de wereld: religieus eclecticisme en de theologie (Utrecht 2000), 'In Search of Playful Seriousness' in H.Zock (ed) At the Crossroads of Art and Religion (Leuven 2008). The principal topics of his current research are the search for meaning in European, particularly Dutch, post-traditional literature; the alignment of eroticism and spirituality in the light of literature; diasporic thought and writing in philosophy and literature.
In 1999 he was appointed on the chair for Philosophical Theology from the Perspective of Liberal Christianity, since 2009 he is Professor of 'Theological Aesthetics: Religion in Literature and Art', at the Utrecht University.