1904, May 4

Born in Elte, district Steinfurt (Westphalia/Germany)

1912, in the fall

Pieper moves to Münster (Westphalia) owing to his father’s transfer, who later becomes principal of the Sankt-Josefs-Schule there


Joins the Catholic youth group Quickborn


Graduation from Gymnasium Paulinum in Münster

1923, May – October

Trips to Denmark, Sweden and Iceland


Studies at the universities of Münster and Berlin (1926/27): philosophy, law, sociology

1928, February

Pieper receives a PhD in Münster


Assistant of Prof. Dr. Johann Plenge at the “Forschunginstitut für Organisationslehre und Soziologie” at the University of Münster


Freelance literary work; since 1933 executive employee at the “Institut für neuzeitliche Volksbildungsarbeit” (Dortmund)

1935, April 23

Pieper marries Hildegard Münster; they move to Dortmund

1936, June 21

Birth of his son Thomas

1938, May 4

Birth of his daughter Monika

1938, September 1

Pieper moves to Münster; he continues doing freelance work at the institute in Dortmund

1940, February 1

Conscription call (to the psychology section of the army)

1942, March 10

Birth of his son Michael

1942, December 15

Pieper leaves the army (closing of the section that examines the soldiers’ aptitude)

1943, January

Academic helper at the central welfare office of Westphalia; Pieper examines the aptitude of soldiers with severe battlefield injuries

1944, October

Second conscription call (air force)

1945, March

Transfer to the military hospital Bigge (Ruhr) in order to examine the patients’ aptitude

1945, April – July

War captivity; return to his work at the central welfare office of Westphalia

1945, October

Beginning of Pieper’s habilitation procedure at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Münster

1946, February 1

Appointment as lecturer of philosophy at the Pedagogical Academy of Essen; appointment as tenured professor on July 29, 1946

1946, July 5

Inaugural lecture at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Münster; venia legendi as private lecturer

1949, in the spring

Trip to England (at the invitation of the British Council; encounter with T.S. Eliot)

1949, in the spring

Appointment to the “Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung” (Darmstadt)

1950, March 8

Appointment as professor extraordinarius at the University of Münster

1950, July

Pieper is offered a professorship at the American University of Notre Dame, Indiana (rejected)


Pieper is offered a professorship at the University of Mainz (rejected)

1954, January 15

Appointment to the Rhenish-Westphalian “Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Forschung” (today: “Rheinisch-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften”)

1954, March 31

Associate member (membre associé) of the Société Philosophique de Louvain


Pieper is offered a professorship at the University of Munich (rejected)

1959, May

Appointment as full professor for philosophical anthropology at the University of Münster; Pieper continues his part-time job at the Pedagogical Academy of Essen

1962, September – December

Lecturing tour through India and Ceylon (today: Sri Lanka)

1962, September 27

Honorary Fellow of the State Sanskrit College, Calcutta

1963, September – November

Lecturing tour through East Asia (Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand)

1964, July 25

Sudden death of his son Thomas in the USA

1972, September

Emeritus status; Pieper continues lecturing regularly at the University of Münster

1980, May 19

Appointment to the Pontificia Academica Romana di S. Tommaso D’ Aquino, Rome

1984, June 25

Death of his wife Hildegard, née Münster

1986, May

Appointment to the senate of the International Academy of Philosophy in Liechtenstein


Foundation of the “Josef Pieper Stiftung” in Münster for the support of science and education

1994, May 12-14

Academic symposium on the occasion of Pieper’s 90th birthday at the city hall of Münster

1995, May 4

Beginning of the appearance of Pieper’s complete works in the form of volume 3, Schriften zum Philosophiebegriff

1996, summer term

Last lecture at the University of Münster (“What does believing mean?”)

1997, November 6

Josef Pieper dies in his house in Münster