Welcome to the website of the Center for Josef Pieper Studies

The CENTER for JOSEF PIEPER STUDIES is attached to the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn in connection with the chair in Systematic Philosophy. [more...]

News - Reports [09/21/09]:

A Letter from the Pope about the Center for Josef Pieper Studies


The Great Chancellor of the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn, Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker, received a personal letter from Pope Benedict XVI concerning the establishment of the Center for Josef Pieper Studies (Josef Pieper Arbeitsstelle). The letter reveals not only the personal relationship between the theologian Josef Ratzinger and the philosopher Josef Pieper, it also defends Pieper’s understanding of philosophy in respect of theology and Christian belief. [more...]

Online Article:

Josef Pieper and his Writings from a Missionary’s Perspective

(Fr. Greg Morgan)


As a missionary priest, working particularly in revitalizing the faith in a more European and Anglo context, I really appreciate how much Josef Pieper’s insights have enriched my preaching work. I have just finished working through the series of books Pieper wrote on the seven virtues, along with "An Anthology", and "In Search of the Sacred" - very interesting that last one! They have proved to be quite an "ongoing education" for me, even apart from spurring me on to deepening my own spiritual life. I have tried to read each passage slowly, sometimes re-reading the parts that were most challenging over and over again to get the most out of them. A colleague of mine who lives with me in Rome is also studying the books with me, and he too is enriching his preaching with the insights Pieper has on each topic. [more...]

News - Reports [02/11/09]:

Pieper, Wojtyla and Ratzinger


In his book God’s Choice. Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church, George Weigel reports how Joseph Ratzinger’s attention was drawn to the Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyla by his friend Josef Pieper. A short extract from the book:

“Josef Pieper, the German philosopher whom Ratzinger had admired during his student days and who had become a friend, wrote Ratzinger after a 1974 philosophical congress in Italy, urging him to get in touch with Wojtyla, who had made a deep impression on Pieper.” [more...]

Excerpt of Pieper's Works:

The Grandeur and Misery of Man



The phenomenon of "desacralization" - regardless of whether one views it as a historical process which happens to be taking place, or advocates it as a principle - involves not only theological but philosophical, or more precisely, anthropological "heresies as well.

For example, anyone who fails to realize that there is nothing in man's nature which is "purely spiritual", but that there ist nothing that is "purely physical" either, will in all likelihood be incapable of appreciating or meaningfully enacting that "structure of forms visible and perceptible to the senses" which we call a sacred action. [more...]

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About Pieper:

Josef Pieper (1904-1997) was professor of philosophical anthropology at the University of Münster/Germany; he was a member of several academies and received numerous awards and distinctions, among them the International Balzan Prize for outstanding achievements in the field of humanities. [more...]


Please inform the editorial staff about any publications on Josef Pieper.

:: Bibliography of Primary Lit.

:: Bibliography of Secondary Lit.

:: Monographs

:: Translations

Literature Research:

:: Sources

:: Libraries

Book Order:

Studies of Philosophy

:: Major Fields of Study

:: Final Degrees

:: Courses and Seminars

:: Contact


Philosophical studies are among the main institutional focuses of the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn in cooperation with the University of Paderborn. [more...]