James W. Heisig

James W. Heisig

After completing his studies in Europe (Ph.D. Cambridge), 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. He is currently Professor Emeritus at Nanzan University.

Dr. Heisig’s books, translations, and edited collections, which currently amount to eight-four volumes, have appeared in thirteen languages. 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, El gemelo de Jesús: Un alumbramiento al budismo, and In Praise of Civility.

His Nothingness and Desire: An East-West Philosophical Antiphony appeared in 2013 from the University of Hawai‘i Press. It was followed recently by Jesus’ Twin: A Dialogue with the Gospel of Thomas and Much Ado About Nothingness: Essays on Nishida and Tanabe in 2015. His Boston College Duffy Lectures were published as Of Gods and Minds in 2019.

Dr. Heisig was the general editor of the book series Nanzan Studies in Religion and Culture and Frontiers in Japanese Philosophy, co-editor of the 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, and in 2021, he was awarded the Kanazawa University International Award in Commemoration of Daisetz T. Suzuki and Kitaro Nishida.
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