Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Jens Zimmermann, Former Canada Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture

Trinity Western University

22500 University Drive
Langley, BC V2Y 1Y1


PhD. Philosophy, 2010

Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany

  • Topic: Humanism and Religion: A Philosophical Analysis
  • Description: Zimmermann employs the concept of humanism to analyze the development of humanistic philosophies and educational ideals in Western culture from the Greco-Roman ideal of paideia to its Christian and secular transformations. The argument concludes with a proposed hermeneutical humanism capable of engaging a number of current issues concerning religion and culture. Main thinkers and concepts discussed:  patristic humanism, medieval humanism, Renaissance humanism, modernism, deconstruction, hermeneutics, theology and ethics; Vico, Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, Gadamer, Polanyi, Ricoeur, Levinas, Charles Taylor, John Macmurray.

Ph.D. Comparative Literature (German, English, French), 1997
University of British Columbia

  • Dissertation: “English Puritans and German Pietists: A Re-Examination of Pre-Critical Hermeneutics in Light of the Anthropocentric Turn in Hermeneutics”
  • Supervisor: Dr. Dennis Danielson, Department of English, University of British Colombia

MA Comparative Literature (German, English, French), 1993
University of British Columbia

  • Major Fields: Iconoclasm, Seventeenth Century tests of the continental Reformation and English Puritanism
  • Minor Fields: German Literature of the Middle Ages; Renaissance and Baroque Literature

BA English Literature and Language, 1992
University of British Columbia

  • Major Fields: Milton; Early American Literature; Victorian novel
  • Minor Fields: German Language and Literature

Professional Experience:

Former Canada Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture 
September 2006 - Present

Full Professor (Tenured)

Trinity Western University

September 2006 — Present 

  • English Language/Literature; Literary Theory
  • Philosophy: Graduate course in Philosophical Hermeneutics
  • Literature: English graduate course in Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
  • Course on Christian Humanism

Associate Professor (Tenured)

Trinity Western University
2002 – 2006

Assistant Professor

Trinity Western University
1998 – 2002

Sessional Instructor

University of British Columbia
1997 – 1998

Full-Time Sessional Instructor (English Language/Literature)
Trinity Western University

Part-Time Sessional Instructor (English Language; German)

Part-Time Sessional Instructor (German)

University of British Columbia
1995 – 1996

Teaching Assistant (English)

University of British Columbia
1992 – 1993

Academic Honours:

2011-2016: Former Canada Research Chair $500,000
2008-2011: CCCU Networking Grant “Christian Reasoning” (US) $18,000
2008-2011: SSHRC Grant “Religious Humanism" $41,000
2006-2011: Former 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

For a complete curriculum vitae, including publications, presentations and other scholarly activities, click here.

Student Research:

Professor Zimmermann regularly supervises theses and major projects and other student research.

Professional Membership:

Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE)

American Academy of Religion (AAR)

Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP)

Languages Proficiency:

  • German (fluency)
  • English (fluency)
  • French (near fluency)
  • Latin (reading knowledge)
  • Greek (reading knowledge)

Teaching Interests:

  • 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
  • Future Research Project: The Project Transforming Humanism in cooperation with researchers from McGill, Notre Dame, Yale, and Simon Fraser Universities, employs philosophical and theological criteria to examine the assumptions and goals of Transhumanism, a highly influential movement that aims to overcome human limitations through technological enhancement.