Professor of English, Former Canada Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture


Jens Zimmermann has recently written on Radical Orthodoxy, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Heidegger and Levinas and theologians Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans Urs von Balthasar. He grounds the department’s theoretical sensitivities in the primary sources of the continental philosophical tradition. His essay on the future of literary theory won the Lionel Basney Award. 

Research & Scholarship


B. A. English, M.A., Ph.D Comparative Literature (University of British Columbia)

Ph.D. Philosophy (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany)

Awards & Honors

2011-2016: Canada Research Chair $500,000 

2014-2015:  SSHRC Connections Grant $13, 325

2008-2011: CCCU Networking Grant “Christian Reasoning” (US) $18,000

2008-2011: SSHRC Grant “Religious Humanism" $41,000

2006-2011: Canada Research Chair $500,000

2006: Omni Grant, Religion Culture and Conflict $100,000

2004: SSHRC Research Grant $14,000

2001: SSHRC Research Grant $3,300

2000: SSHRC Research Grant $4,600

1999: CCCU Networking Grant (US) $20,000

1999: SSHRC Research Grant $4,000

1995-1996: University of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship $13,500

Recent Publications



Zimmermann, Jens. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christian Humanism. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. Forthcoming 2017.

Zimmermann, Jens. Christian Humanism: An Introduction. Downer’s Grove, Il: InterVarsity Press. Forthcoming 2016.

Zimmermann, Jens. Hermeneutics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Zimmermann, Jens. Recovering Theological Hermeneutics. 2nd ed. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2012. 

Zimmermann, Jens. Incarnational Humanism: A Philosophy of Culture for the Church in the World. Westmont, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012. 

Zimmermann, Jens. Humanism and Religion: A Call for the Renewal of Western Culture. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2012. 

Zimmermann, Jens. Theologische Hermeneutik. Feiburg, Germany: Herder, 2008.

Klassen, Norman, and Jens Zimmermann. The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and Contemporary University Education. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic Press, 2006. 

Edited Collections

Zimmermann, Jens, ed. Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism Oxford: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming 2016.  

Jens Zimmermann and Natalie Boldt, eds. Christian Humanism and Moral Formation in ‘a world come of age.’ Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press. Forthcoming 2016. 

Kearney, Richard, and Jens Zimmermann, eds. Reimagining the Sacred. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. 

Dyck, John, Paul Rowe, and Jens Zimmermann, eds. Whose Will Be Done? Essays on Sovereignty and Religion. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

Rowe, Paul. S., John H.A. Dyck, and Jens Zimmermann, eds. Christians and the Middle East Conflict. London: Routledge, 2014. 

Denker, Alfred, Holger Zabrowski, and Jens Zimmermann, eds. Heidegger und die Dichtung/Heidegger and Poetics. Heidegger Jahrbuch 8. Freiburg: Alber Verlag, 2014.

Dyck, John H.A., Paul Rowe, and Jens Zimmermann, eds. Politics and the Religious Imagination. London: Routlede, 2013.

Wüstenberg, Ralf, Kirsten Busch Nielsen, and Jens Zimmermann, eds. A Spoke in the Wheel: The Political in the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer/Dem Rad in die Speichen fallen:Das Politische in der Theologie Dietrich Bonhoeffers. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2013. 

Wüstenberg, Ralf, and Jenz Zimmermann,eds. God Speaks to Us: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Biblical Hermeneutics. Co-edited with Ralf Wüstenberg. Germany: Peter Lang, 2013. 

Tietz, Christiane, and Jens Zimmermann, eds. Bonhoeffer, Religion and Politics: 4th International Bonhoeffer Colloquium . Co-edited with Christiane Tietz. Germany: Peter Lang, 2012. 

Nelson, Holly Faith, Lynn Szabo, and Jens Zimmermann, eds. Through a Glass Darkly: Suffering, the Sacred, and the Sublime in Literature and Theory. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2010. 

Zimmermann, Jens, and Brian Gregor, eds. Being Human, Becoming Human: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Social Thought .Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2010. 

Gregor, Brian, and Jens Zimmermann, eds. Bonhoeffer and Continental Thought: Cruciform Philosophy. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 2009. 

Book Chapters and Articles

Book Chapters

Zimmermann, Jens. "Introduction" and "Theism, Atheism, and Anatheism: A Panel Discussion with David Tracy, Merold Westphal, and Jens Zimmermann." Reimagining the Sacred. Ed. Richard Kearney and Jens Zimmermann. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Bonhoeffer: Held des Glaubens?” Helden und Legenden oder: ob sie uns heute noch etwas zu sagenhaben (Heroes and Legends or: whether they still speak to us today). Ed. Martin W. Ramband Holger Zaborowski. Goettingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2015. 89-95.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Being Human, Becoming Human: Christian Humanism as a Foundation of Western Culture.” Humanism in Economics and Business. Ed. Domenec Melé and Martin Schlag. Berlin:Springer Verlag, 2015.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Virtue Ethics and Realistic Responsibility in an Age of Globalization.” Handbook of Virtue Ethics in Business and Management. New York: Springer, 2014.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Sprache” (Language) and “Wissenschaftlichkeit der Theologie” (The Scientific Nature of Theology). Bonhoeffer Handbuch. Theological Handbook Series (ThHB). Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Wozu Dichter? Martin Heidegger und die Zukunft der Literaturtheorie.” Heidegger and Poetics/Heidegger und die Dichtung. Heidegger Jahrbuch 8. Eds. Alfred Denker, Holger Zabarowski and Jens Zimmermann. Freiburg: Alber Verlag, 2014.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Bonhoeffer’s Realistic Responsibility: Religion as the Foundation for Liberal Democratic Societies.” Putting a Spoke in the Wheel: Bonhoeffer and The Political, edited by Ralf Wüstenberg, Kirsten Busch Neilson and Jens Zimmermann. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2013. 395-414.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Catechizing the Secular Imagination: A Response to Simon Critchley.” Politics and the Religious Imagination, edited by John Dyck, Paul Rowe, and Jens Zimmermann. London, UK: Routledge, 2010. 42-56. 

Zimmermann, Jens. “Hermeneutics of Unbelief: Philosophical Readings of Paul.” Paul, Philosophy, and the Theopolitical Vision: Critical Engagements with Agamben, Badiou, Žižek and Others. Edited by Douglas Harink. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2010. 227-53.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Wozu Dichter? Martin Heidegger und die Zukunft der Literaturtheorie.” Heidegger Jahrbuch: Band IV. Eds. Holger Zabarowski and Alfred Denker. Freiburg: Alber Verlag, 2010.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christian Humanism in Philosophical and Theological Context.” Dietrich Bonhoeffers Theologie heute: Ein Weg zwischen Fundamentalismus und Säkularismus?/Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Theology Today: A Way between Fundamentalism and Secularism? Ed. John W. de Gruchy, Stephen Plant, and Christiane Tietz. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2009. 369-386.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Recovering Incarnational Humanism.” Tradition and Formation: Claiming an Inheritance. Essays in Honour of Peter C. Erb. Ed. Michel Desjardins and Harold Remus. Kitchener, ON: Pandora Press, 2008. 361-79.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Beyond Fundamentalism and Postmodernism: Bonhoeffer’s Theologyand the Crisis of Western Culture.” Religion, Religionlessness and Contemporary Western Culture: Explorations in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Theology. Eds. Stephen Plant and Ralf K. Wüstenberg. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 2008. 15-31.

Zimmermann, Jens.“The Relevance of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Theology for the 21st Century.” Explorations in Bonhoeffer’s Theology. Eds. Stephen Plant and Ralf K. Wüstenberg. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2008. 15-32.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Gott in der Universität: Religion als neues Forschungsobjekt der Literaturtheorie?” (God in the University: Religion as New Focus of Research in Literary Theory?). Derrida und danach? Literaturtheoretische Diskurse der Gegenwart. Ed. Gregor Thuswaldner. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2008. 165-180.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Suffering with the World: The Continuing Relevance of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Theology.” Bonhoeffer Jahrbuch 3: 2007/2008. Eds. Christiane Tietz et al. Gütersloh. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2008. 311-338.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Simon Critchley: The Ethics of Deconstruction, or Metaphysics in the Dark.” (Co-authored with Norman Klassen). The Strategic Smorgasbord of Postmodernity: Literature and the Christian Critic. Ed. Deborah C. Bowen. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007. 122-134.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Menschwerden durch Bildung: Die Inkarnation als Schlüssel zu Bonhoeffers weltoffenem Christentum – Eine Replik” (Becoming Human through Education: Incarnation as Key to Bonhoeffer’s Worldly Christianity – A Response). Dietrich Bonhoeffer lesen im internationalen Kontext: Von Südafrika bis Südostasien. Ed. Ralf Wüstenberg. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 2007. 153-170.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Denken mit Nietzsche und Heidegger” (Thinking with Nietzsche and Heidegger). Introduction to Heidegger Jahrbuch Band 2: Heidegger und Nietzsche. Ed. Alfred Denker et al. Freiburg: Alber Verlag, 2005.

Zimmermann, Jens.“The Inhumanity of Being: Subjectivity in Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Levinas.” Heidegger Jahrbuch Band 2: Heidegger und Nietzsche. Ed. Alfred Denker et al. Freiburg: Alber Verlag, 2005. 181-193.

Zimmermann, Jens.“Meaning, Hermeneutics, and Ethics: Post-postmodern Subjectivity.” The Positive Psychology of Meaning & Spirituality: Selected Papers from Meaning Conferences. Eds. Paul T. P. Wong, Lilian C. J. Wong, Marvin J. McDonald, and Derrick W. Klaassen. Abbotsford, BC: INPM Press, 2007. 57-70.

Journal Articles

Zimmermann, Jens. “Reading the Book of the Church: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christological Exegesis.” Modern Theology 28, no. 4 (2012): 763-780.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Weak Thought or Weak Theology? A Theological Critique of Gianni Vattimo’s Incarnational Ontology.” Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 40, no. 3 (2009): 312-29.

Zimmermann, Jens. “The Passionate Intellect: Christian Humanism and University Education.” Direction 37, no. 1 (2008): 19-37.

Zimmermann, Jens. “The Ethics of Philosophical Hermeneutics and the Challenge of Religious Transcendence.” Philosophy Today 51 Supplement (2007): 50-59.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Quo Vadis?: Literary Theory beyond Postmodernism.” Christianity and Literature 53, no. 4 (2004): 495-519. (Lionel Basney Award)

Zimmermann, Jens. “Radical Orthodoxy: A Reformed Appraisal.” Canadian Evangelical Review, no. 26-27 (Spring 2004): 65-90.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Ignoramus: Gadamer’s ‘Religious Turn’.” Symposium: Journal of the Canadian Society for Hermeneutics and Postmodern Thought 6, no. 2 (2002): 203-17.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Confusion of Horizons: Gadamer and the Christian Logos.” Journal of Beliefs and Values 22, no. 1 (2001): 88-98.

Zimmermann, Jens. Translation: Hengel, Martin. “St. Paul in Arabia.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 12, no. 1 (2002): 47-66.

Zimmermann, Jens. Translation: Hengel, Martin. “Iousaia in the Geographical List of Acts 2:9-11 and Syria as ‘Greater Judea’.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 10, no. 2 (November 2000): 161-180.


Zimmermann, Jens. Bonhoeffer, Christ and Culture, by Keith L. Johnson and Timothy Larson, eds, Nottingham, UK: Apollos, 2013. In Theology Today (April 2014) 17: 135-136.

Zimmermann, Jens Barcelona, Berlin, New York, 1928-1931, vol. 10 of Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ed. Clifford Green, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2008. In Bonhoeffer Rundbrief, German, English and Chinese Edition, 2008.

Zimmermann, Jens.  Galileo, Darwin, and Hawking: The Interplay of Science, Reason, and Religion, by Phil Dowe, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005. In Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 19, no. 1 (2007): 188-90.

Zimmermann, Jens. The Frankfurt School on Religion: Key Writings by the Major Thinkers, edited by Eduardo Mendieta, London: Routledge, 2005. In Journal of the American Academy of Religion 75, no. 1 (2007): 236-39.

Zimmermann, Jens.  Truth in Aquinas, by John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock, London: Routledge, 2002. In Canadian Evangelical Review 28 (2004): 56-62.

Zimmermann, Jens.  Discovering Aquinas: An Introduction to His Life, Work, and Influence, by Aidan Nichols, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003. In Canadian Evangelical Review 28 (2004): 62-64.

Zimmermann, Jens.  Catholicism in the English Protestant Imagination: Nationalism, Religion and Literature 1600-1745, by Raymond D. Tumbleson, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. In Angelistik (April 14, 2000).

Zimmermann, Jens.  Prayer, Despair, and Drama: Elizabethan Introspection, by Peter Kaufman. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1996. In Calvin Theological Journal 32, no. 2 (1997): 503-504.

Zimmermann, Jens.  People of the Book: Christian Identity and Literary Culture, by David L. Jeffrey, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1996. In Calvin Theological Journal 32, no. 2 (1997): 483-86.


Dunning, Stephen, and Jens Zimmermann. “Recovering from Multiversity Babel: The Possibility of a Christian University in Canada.” Forthcoming Love, Knowledge, and the University. Ed. John S. North. Waterloo, ON: North Waterloo Academic Press, 2014.  45-50.

Zimmermann, Jens. “Philosophical Hermeneutics.” Entry in (6000 wds) in Routledge Companion to Literature and Religion. London, UK: Routledge (forthcoming 2014).

Zimmermann, Jens “Daniel Friedrich Schleiermacher.” Entry (3000 wds) in Blackwell Companion to Hermeneutics. Oxford: Wiley and Blackwell (forthcoming 2014).

Zimmermann, Jens.  “Martin Luther’s Hermeneutics.” Entry (5000 wds) in Blackwell Companion to Hermeneutics. Oxford: Wiley and Blackwell (forthcoming 2014).

Zimmermann, Jens.  “Biblical Hermeneutics.”  Entry (6000 wds) in Blackwell Companion to Hermeneutics. Oxford: Wiley and Blackwell (forthcoming 2014).


English, French, German.