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Jens Zimmermann

J.I. Packer Professor of Theology
BA (University of British Columbia), MA (University of British Columbia), PhD (University of British Columbia), PhD (Johannes Gutenberg University)

Dr. Jens Zimmermann was born and raised in Germany. He studied at the University of British Columbia, earning his first PhD in Comparative Literature in 1997. He taught at UBC briefly before moving on to Trinity Western University, where he held the Canada Research Chair of Interpretation, Religion and Culture from 2006 to 2016. In 2010, Jens earned a second PhD in Philosophy from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. While continuing at TWU, he also served as Visiting Professor of Philosophy, Literature & Theology at Regent College from 2016 to 2019. He was also a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge (Trinity Hall, 2017–2018), and a British Academy Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford (Christ Church College, 2018–2019). He is currently Visiting Fellow at the Center for Theology and Modern European Thought at The University of Oxford. 

As a philosophical theologian, Zimmermann’s main intellectual interests are philosophical anthropology (who we are) and epistemology (how we know). He has pursued these two central questions across a broad range of interests that include theological anthropology, patristic and modern theology, hermeneutics (theological and philosophical), European literature, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Hans Urs von Balthasar.

In addition to many scholarly articles, Zimmermann has authored and edited numerous books, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christian Humanism (Oxford UP, 2019), and Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism: Education and the Restoration of Humanity (Oxford UP, 2017). Recent editing work includes Acts of Interpretation: Scripture, Theology, and Culture (co-edited with S. A. Cummins, Eerdmans, 2018), and Sources of the Christian Self: A Cultural History of Christian Identity (co-edited with James Houston, Eerdmans, 2018). Zimmermann’s current major research project examines the impact of technology on human identity with particular focus on the concept of personhood. View the project webpage here. For a full list of publications see Zimmermann's website

Areas of expertise

  • Philosophical and Theological Anthropology
  • Philosophical and Theological Hermeneutics
  • Modern Theology (emphasis: Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
  • Existential Phenomenology (Heidegger, Gadamer, Levinas)
  • Cultural and Intellectual History of Humanism (Secular/Religious Humanisms and Transhumanism)
  • Literary Theory and European Literature

Media & Publications

  • Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism (Oxford University Press, 2017) Book Video
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christian Humanism (Oxford University Press, 2019) Book
  • Co-edited with Natalie Boldt, Christian Humanism and Moral Formation in 'A World Come of Age' (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2016) Book
  • Co-edited with Christiane Tietz. Bonhoeffer, Religion and Politics: 4th International Honhoeffer Colloquium. (Peter Lang, 2012) Book
  • Co-edited with Kirsten Busch Nielsen and Ralf Wustenberg. A Spoke in the Wheel: The Political in the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (Gutersloher Verlagshaus, 2013) Book
  • Co-edited with John Dyck and Paul Rowe. Christians and the Middle East Conflict. (Routledge, 2014) Book
  • Co-edited with Alfred Denker and Holder Zborowski. Heidegger und die Dichtung/Heidegger and Poetics. (Alber Verlag, 2014) Book
  • Co-authored with Norman Klassen. The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of University Education (Baker Academic Press, 2006) Book
  • Theologische Hermeneutik: ein trinitarisch-christologischer Entwurf. (Herder, 2008) Book
  • Co-edited with John Dyck and Paul Rowe, Whose Will Be Done? Essays on Sovereignty and Religion (Orwman & Littlefield, 2015) Book
  • Co-edited with Richard Kearney, Reimagining the Sacred: Debating God with Richard Kearney (Columbia University Press, 2016) Book
  • Editor, Re-envisioning Christian Humanism: Education and the Restoration of Humanity (OUP, 2016) Book
  • Recovering Theological Hermeneutics (Wipf and Stock, 2012) Book
  • Incarnational Humanism: A Philosophy of Culture for the Church and the World (IVP, 2012) Book
  • Humanism and Religion: A Call for the Renewal of Western Culture (OUP, 2012) Book
  • Hermeneutics: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2015) Book
  • The Passionate Intellect: Recovering Christian Humanism Audio

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