Johann FIGL

Professor Emeritus







Johann Figl was Professor of Religious Studies at the Department from 1986 until 2013. He holds an M.A. in Catholic Theology (1970; magister theologiae) from the University of Innsbruck, and a Ph.D. in Catholic Theology (1976; doctor theologiae) from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He obtained a second Ph.D. in Philosophy (doctor philosophiae) from the University of Vienna in 1980. Thereafter, he was a University Assistant at the University of Vienna’s Department of Christian Philosophy where he also headed the section on Atheism. In 1983, he received his habilitation with a thesis on Hermeneutische Religionsphilosophie [Hermeneutical Philosophy of Religion]. At the time, he also taught Religious Studies at the Catholic Theological Private University Linz, Austria. In 1986, he was appointed Chair and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Vienna. Several times, beginning in 2006, Professor Figl was invited to carry out teaching at the Freie Universität Berlin. His major academic achievements include, among others: the founding of the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Religionswissenschaft (ÖGRW; Austrian Society for Religious Studies) in 1996; the successful launch of an independent diploma programme in Religious Studies in 1999; the editorship of the Handbuch Religionswissenschaft: Religionen und ihre zentralen Themen (Handbook of Religious Studies: Religions and Their Central Issues) in 2003; and the publication of Section I (Early Works) of the critical edition Nietzsche Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe. His research—partly conducted in Japan, India, and Sri Lanka—focused, among other topics, on the interreligious encounter with Buddhism. In this respect, he initiated the establishment of the Akademie für Buddhismus und Christentum (2010; Academy for Buddhism and Christianity), which runs in collaboration with the Buddhist and Pali University in Colombo, Sri Lanka.