Hans W. Gruenig, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy /
Asian Studies Program
Hans Gruenig completed his Ph.D. in 2009 at Tulane University.
He wrote his dissertation on Heidegger and Personal Transformation.
He is currently teaching philosophy courses at Tulane University.
A native of Vermont, Hans attended the Saint Johnsbury Academy before becoming a student at the University of Vermont (UVM) where he majored in Philosophy and German. He conducted a fruitful junior year abroad at Martin Heidegger's very own alma mater -- Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg -- and subsequently studied Heidegger's philosophy with Charles Guignon at UVM. Hans graduated from UVM with honors and was awarded membership in Phi Beta Kappa for academic excellence.
After graduating, Hans worked for several years at Laureate Learning Systems. During this time he continued to develop his interests in philosophy; helped UVM professors Charles Guignon and Derk Pereboom with a Nietzsche translation for Existentialism: Basic Writings; taught a course on the history of Western philosophy at the University of Vermont's Center for Continuing Education; began to investigate the phenomenology of meditation and philosophical approaches to spirituality and human flourishing; and eventually began to look for a graduate program where he could explore these topics.
To this end, Hans moved to California to attend an M.A. program in Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). While enrolled in this program, he was able to attend additional philosophy classes at U.C. Berkeley with renowned Heidegger scholars Hubert Dreyfus and Hans Sluga. While investigating comparative issues in Heidegger and Buddhism, Hans discovered the work of Professor Michael E. Zimmerman, a renowned Heidegger expert at Tulane University who also taught courses in Buddhism, meditation, and integral theory. During the following year Hans wrote a master's thesis on Jean Gebser and the phenomenology of spirituality and successfully competed for a Graduate Fellowship at Tulane University.
After completing the M.A. at CIIS, Hans moved to New Orleans to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy at Tulane University where he would focus on Heidegger and Buddhism under the guidance of Michael E. Zimmerman. After his first year of coursework at Tulane, Hans traveled to India with the Louisiana Himalaya Association and spent time in Dharmsala where he did volunteer work with Tibetan refugees and studied Buddhist philosophy and meditation practices with a variety of teachers including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Hans was later granted a research fellowship at the Freie-Universität Berlin where he was able to conduct dissertation research, to interview Hans-Peter Hempel (one of Heidegger's students and the author of Heidegger und Zen), and to attend traditional Theravada Buddhist Abhidhamma teachings with Sayadaw Dr. Nandamalabhivamsa at Das Buddhistische Haus. As a graduate student at Tulane, Hans was also awarded a dissertation fellowship from the Murphy Institute, a Mortar Board Award for Outstanding Teaching, and membership in Omicron Delta Kappa for leadership and academic excellence.
While being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Hans became a "Katrina-Refugee Visiting Graduate Student" at U.C. Berkeley where he was able to conduct research and visit two of his former professors, Hubert Dreyfus and Hans Sluga. After the Katrina semester, Hans returned to New Orleans to finish his Ph.D. at Tulane University. He completed and sucessfully defended his doctoral dissertation on "Heidegger and Personal Transformation" under the guidance of professors Michael E. Zimmerman (chair), John D. Glenn, and Ronna C. Burger.