James W. Heisig

Senior Research Fellow, Nanzan Institute for Religion & Culture

Professor, Faculty of Arts and Letters, Nanzan University

After completing his studies in Europe (Ph.D. Cantab.), Dr. Heisig taught philosophy and religion in the United States and Latin America for five years. He joined the staff of the Nanzan Institute in 1978 and served as Director from 1991–2001.
His books, translations, and edited collections, which have appeared in 15 languages, currently number 89 volumes. They include El cuento detrás del cuento: Un ensayo sobre psique y mito, Imago Dei: A Study of C. G. Jung’s Psychology of Religion, Filósofos de la nada (available in English as Philosophers of Nothingness: An Essay on the Kyoto School), Dialogues at One Inch above the Ground, and El gemelo de Jesús: Un alumbramiento al budismo.
His Nothingness and Desire: An East-West Philosophical Antiphony appeared in summer 2013 from the University of Hawai’i Press. It was followed recently by Jesus’ Twin: A Dialogue with the Gospel of Thomas (2015) and Much Ado About Nothingness: Essays on Nishida and Tanabe (2015). His Boston College Duffy Lectures were published as Of Gods and Minds (2019). His most recent book is In Praise of Civility (2021).
Dr. Heisig is also the general Editor of the 19-volume series Nanzan Studies in Religion and Culture and Essays in Japanese Philosophy, co-editor of Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture, an Italian series on Japanese philosophy, Tetsugaku, a series of volumes on Korean Religions, and the author of a best-selling series of books on the Japanese writing system and a new series on the Chinese writing system.
In 2015 he was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by Tallin University, Estonia.
In 2021 he was awarded the Kanazawa University International Award.