Hans W. Gruenig, Ph.D., is a philosophy professor at Tulane University. His research focuses on Asian Philosophy (especially Buddhism), 20th Century Continental Philosophy, and interdisciplinary approaches to happiness and human flourishing. He has completed an M.A. in Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies and a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Tulane University. He teaches courses on Buddhism, Asian Philosophy, Philosophies of the Self, and Happiness and Human Flourishing.

Hans W. Gruenig, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy /
Asian Studies Program
Tulane University

Tulane Faculty Page

Nota Bene: This site is essentially an illustrated curriculum vitae,
offering information on Hans Gruenig's academic training,
courses taught, research, awards, and related activities.

Tulane University Courses

Spring 2016 Courses

PHIL 3500
PHIL 3895 Service Learning

Courses Taught

TIDE 1003
Happiness & Human Flourishing (TIDES) *
PHIL 1020 Philosophies of the Self
SOWK 2130 Happiness & Human Flourishing
PHIL 3500
Buddhism *
PHIL 3500H Honors Buddhism
ASTA 3810 Intro to Asian Philosophy
PHIL 3895 Service Learning
PHIL 3931 Developments in Buddhism *
PHIL 4990 Honors Thesis Advising
PHIL 6920
Buddhist Philosophy
Graduate Level Independent Study
MLAR 7193 Happiness & Human Flourishing Seminar
Graduate Level Course
MLAR 7215 Asian Philosophy
Graduate Level Course

* Service Learning Courses developed for these courses
in conjunction with Tulane's Center for Public Service

In iconic Jackson Square with Happiness and Human Flourishing students
during a field trip to the historic French Quarter of New Orleans.

Community Service & Service Learning

Professor Gruenig pioneered the first service learning courses in Tulane's Department of Philosophy and seeks to enhance student learning and personal growth and to benefit suffering and underserved populations by partnering with Tulane's Center for Public Service to create service learning curricula for several courses. Professor Gruenig's Buddhism course has also been designated by the Dean of the Tulane School of Social Work as a gateway preparation course for Tulane's Compassion in Action program, which sends students to Dharmsala, India to do volunteer work with Tibetan Refugees.

Dr. Gruenig has partnered with the Center for Public Service to send
student volunteers to many organizations, including:

Compassion in Action
Volunteer work with Tibetan refugees in India
For The Children
Volunteer work tutoring students from low performing public schools
Upward Bound
Volunteer work tutoring students who will be
in the first generation of their families to attend college
American Cancer Society / Taylor Hope Lodge
Volunteer work with cancer patients & administrative assistance
Poydras Home
Volunteer work visiting with the elderly in a retirement home
Heart of Hospice
Volunteer work with people at the end stage of life

Dr. Gruenig has also organized and/or participated in many fundraising events, directing charitable funding and/or volunteers to the following organizations:

Doctors Without Borders
Urgent medical care to victims of war and disaster around the world
American Red Cross
Disaster relief at home and abroad
Direct Relief
Humanitarian Medical Aid
Habitat for Humanity
Disaster & poverty response - building and repairing homes
American Himalayan Foundation
Education, Health Care, & Cultural Preservation in Tibet and Nepal
Animal Rescue New Orleans
Rescuing and caring for neglected and hurt animals
Unity of Greater New Orleans
Providing housing and services to the homeless
Louisiana Himalaya Association
Social work with Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal
New Orleans Food & Farm Network
Helping underserved populations benefit from urban agriculture


Designated Speaker for Dalai Lama NOLA

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. Portrait ©

Dr. Gruenig was a Designated Speaker for the Dalai Lama preceding his most recent visit to New Orleans. Dr. Gruenig delivered talks on Buddhism and meditation to organizations such as the Tulane School of Medicine and the Atlas Foundation in advance of the Dalai Lama's arrival, helping the New Orleans community to connect with the theme of the Dalai Lama's visit -- "Resiliency through Compassion and Connection" -- and to understand the relevance of Buddhist philosophies and practices to this theme. Dr. Gruenig's presentations included the following:

Tulane School of Medicine:
"Mindful Medicine: Meditation, Neuroscience,
and Evidence Based Wellness Practices"
Presentation to Doctors and Medical Students

Atlas Foundation:
"Buddhism in Dialogue"
Talk and Discussion

Fund Raising Efforts for Nepal Earthquake Relief

Hans Gruenig, Andrew Mclean, and Ashley Beach peforming Hindustani classical music at The Orpheum Theater.

When the 2015 earthquakes created the massive disaster in Nepal, Dr. Gruenig spearheaded and co-organized a New Orleans fund raising effort that raised several thousand dollars for relief efforts. In addition to doing organizing work, he played a concert for the benefit, including Hindustani classical music with Andrew McLean and kirtan music with Sean Johnson. Hans and Andrew also played at two other Nepal earthquake relief events, including the Louisiana Himalaya Association's event which raised over $55,000. Hans and Andrew both have friends from Nepal who were affected by the earthquakes.

Conference Paper

"Reclaiming Sensual Pleasure and Conditional Happiness in Theravada Buddhism"
2013 American Philosophical Association Central Meeting
Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy Panel

Media Appearances

Dr. Gruenig has been interviewed on a variety of television and radio programs, including:

* Fox News by Nancy Parker regarding the power of contemplative practices;
* Whole Body Mental Health Radio by Dr. Jose Calderon-Abbo for an hour on mindfulness and positive psychology;
* The New Orleans Humanist Perspective by host Harry Greenberger for three 30 minute television show on Buddhism, meditation, and positive psychology in relation to secular humanism.

Appearance on The New Orleans Humanist Perspective


Dr. Gruenig has been recognized by several historically significant national academic honor societies, including Phi Beta Kappa (founded 1776 -- the nation's oldest), Omicron Delta Kappa (founded 1914), and Mortar Board (founded 1918), for excellence in scholarship, leadership, and teaching (respectively).

He has also received awards for his service and humanitarian efforts. In 2015 he received The President's Call To Service Award from President Barack Obama. He was also honored by the Ugandan kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara with a Knighthood and membership in the Order of the Shield, an international order of merit which honors individuals who engage in "the spiritual and moral strengthening of mankind" and "promote work for humanity and charity, for the relief of persons in sickness, distress, suffering or danger".