University of Philosophy Munich

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University of Philosophy Munich
founding 1925 in Pullach,
since 1971 in Munich
Sponsorship ecclesiastical ( Jesuit order )
place Munich
state Bavaria
country Germany
president Johannes Wallacher
Students 365 WS 2019/20
Professors 11 (SoSe 2020)

The Munich University of Philosophy (HFPH) is a state-recognized university sponsored by the Society of Jesus .

The university on Kaulbachstrasse in Munich is in the immediate vicinity of the Munich State Library and the Ludwig Maximilians University . Philosophy courses can be completed with a bachelor's or master's degree, doctorates and habilitation are also possible. There are also various further training options.

11 professors teach at the HFPH, plus there are academic staff and lecturers.


Inner courtyard of the HFPH in June 2015

According to the statutes, the aim and task of the Munich School of Philosophy are:

  • To practice philosophy and to promote knowledge of the history of philosophy;
  • reflect on the relationships between philosophy and other sciences, particularly theology;
  • to make the knowledge of philosophy usable for the life and coexistence of people.


The university was founded in 1925 by the later Cardinal Bea as Berchmanskolleg in Pullach near Munich. The name came from the Flemish Jesuit student Jan Berchmans, who died in 1621 and was canonized in 1888 . The Berchmanskolleg was originally a study house dedicated to the training of the Jesuits, in which the students and lecturers of the Society of Jesus lived and lived. In this religious house the philosophical lectures aimed at the study of theology took place at the same time. Already in the first decades of its existence, the Order University achieved an excellent scientific reputation as a philosophical training center.

During the time of National Socialism , the Berchmanskolleg was a meeting place for resistance fighters of the Kreisau district . A memorial plaque attached in 1997 at the entrance to the present branch in Munich's Kaulbachstrasse still commemorates the Jesuits Augustin Rösch , Rupert Mayer , Lothar König and Alfred Delp .

As early as 1945, the religious college had accepted some non-religious students every year.

In 1971 the university was relocated from Pullach to Munich. In keeping with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council , the university was open to all students, regardless of religious affiliation. Since then, the name Berchmanskolleg has only been used for the branch in Munich's Kaulbachstrasse. The Pullach buildings now house the archbishop's day care centers in Pullach .

Philosophical tradition

Hall of the HFPH in April 2018

The philosophical tradition of the university was shaped by neo-scholasticism until the 1970s . The main focus was on the school of Thomas Aquinas and other classics from the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The period from 1938 is considered to be its classic period. Here the university was under the influence of three professors who were considered to be the “Pullach triumvirate”: Josef de Vries (1898–1989), who mainly taught epistemology , but also almost all other subjects and was the dean of the faculty for over 30 years , Walter Brugger (1904–1990), who edited the well-known “ Philosophical Dictionary ” and wrote a large “sum of a philosophical doctrine of God ” and Johannes B. Lotz (1903–1992), who endeavored to combine the philosophy of neo-scholasticism with thinking Heideggers to convey.

With the retirement of the three formative figures of the university, the predominance of the scholastic legacy increasingly disappeared from the 1970s, and there was an increased engagement with contemporary philosophy such as phenomenology , existential philosophy , language- analytical philosophy and the philosophy of mind .

Today, the university's main research areas include a. Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Spirit, Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Doctrine of God. The HFPH has various research facilities: the Institute for the Philosophy of Religion, the Institute for Scientific Border Questions to Philosophy and Theology, the Institute for Ethics and Social Philosophy, the Rottendorf Project “Steps to a New World Culture”, the Center for Ethics of the Media and the Digital Society and the Pannenberg Research Center. These priorities are supplemented by the Third Mission Institute “Center for Global Issues” and the activities of the Institute for Philosophy and Leadership.


The following courses can be taken at the university:

  • 1-subject Bachelor in Philosophy (180 ECTS)
  • Consecutive Master in Philosophy (120 ECTS)
  • Doctorate in Philosophy to Dr. phil.

In the area of ​​continuing education, the university has the following offers:

  • Further education Master's in ethics with a focus on ethics of intercultural dialogue, media ethics, medical ethics and business ethics (120 ECTS)
  • As part of the master's degree, module studies are also possible in the following areas: ethics of intercultural dialogue, media ethics, medical ethics and business ethics (36 ECTS each)

In addition, the university offers the module study certificate “Philosophicum” (60–80 ECTS), which can be studied in a time frame of 1 to 3 years, as well as the course-related certificates “Philosophy and Leadership” and “Global Solidarity”. TUM students can acquire ECTS points in philosophy at the HFPH through the cooperation “Module Studies Philosophy” .



Teaching professors

Emeritus professors

Former professors

Alumni and other students

Alumni (selection)

Other students (selection)

  • Erwin Huber started studying philosophy in the 2018 winter semester.
  • Erwin Teufel , CDU politician and Prime Minister of the State of Baden-Württemberg from 1991 to 2005, studied at the university from 2005 to 2008 (5 semesters) without aiming for a degree; he is therefore not one of the alumni.


  • Julius Oswald SJ (Hrsg.): School of thinking. 75 years of the Philosophical Faculty of the Jesuits in Pullach and Munich . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 9783170167018 .

Web links


  1. Bavarian State Office for Statistics: Students at universities in Bavaria - Winter semester 2019/2020 - Preliminary results (= B III 1-1 hj 2/2019), p. 8.
  4. Helga Pfoertner: Living with history. Vol. 1, Literareron, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-89675-859-4 , pp. 47-50 ( PDF; 1.1 MB ( Memento from April 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ))
  5. See lecture by Gerd Haeffner on November 14, 2003 about Johannes B. Lotz ( Memento from May 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), pp. 5–18 (pdf; 234 kB)
  32. ^ Vogt, Katja Maria: Skepticism and Life Practice - The Pyrrhonic Life Without Opinions . Alber, Munich: 1998. p. 2

Coordinates: 48 ° 8 ′ 56.1 ″  N , 11 ° 34 ′ 59.8 ″  E