Professor Emeritus; Religion and Philosophy, Christian philosophy/theology; religion and literature


Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy. B.A., Saint Olaf College; M.Div., Luther Theological Seminary; PhD, Boston University. Chairman, Department of Religion, 1980-1987; Chairman ad interim, Department of Philosophy, 1987-1989; Executive Director, American Organizing Committee, Inc., Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, 1994-1998; Director and Executive Editor, Paideia Project: Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, 12 vols; 1998 – 2000; Chairman and Board Member, Committee on International Cooperation, American Philosophical Association, 2002-2004; Benjamin Cardozo Lecturer, CCNY, 1983; Senior Fulbright Research Fellow, Tübingen, Germany, 1986; Jaspers Lecturer, Oxford, 1989; Senior Fulbright Research Fellow, Vienna, Austria, 1995. Professor Olson’s publications include: Disguises of the Demonic, ed. (1976); Transcendence and Hermeneutics (1979); Myth, Symbol and Reality, ed. (1980); Transcendence and the Sacred, co-ed. (1981); The Seeing Eye: Essays in Hermeneutic Phenomenology, co-author (1983); Video Icons & Value, co-ed. (1990); Hegel and the Spirit: Philosophy as Pneumatology (1992); Jaspers and Heidegger, ed. (1994); Educating for Democracy: Paideia in an Age of Uncertainty, co-ed (2004).

Professor Olson is the co-editor of the on-line journal, EXISTENZ.

Professor Olson is the past President of the Karl Jaspers Society of North America.

Complete CV

Recent publications of Professor Olson available in PDF format:

  • “Faith and Reason: Isaac and Ishmael Revisited”
  • “Jesus as Paradigmatic Individual in Jasper’s Grossen Philosophen, I
  • Metaphysical Guilt


Philosophical Faith and the Future of HumanityPhilosophical Faith and the Future of Humanity
Alan M. Olson, Gregory Walters, Eds., Helmut Wautischer
October 28, 2011
Both Alan M. Olson and Michael Zank have essays in this collection.
Available October 28, 2011 from Springer!


Olson_bookEducating for Democracy: Paideia in an Age of Uncertainty
Co-edited by Alan Olson
Rowman and Littlefield
September 1, 2004
Buy it now from!


Transcendence and the Sacred
Edited by Alan Olson
University of Notre Dame Press
November 1, 1994
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Heidegger & Jaspers
Edited by Alan Olson
Temple University Press
January 1994
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Hegel and the Spirit
By Alan Olson
Princeton University Press
June 15, 1992
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Video Icons & Values
Edited by Alan Olson
SUNY Press
January 1, 1991


Myth, Symbol, and Reality
Edited by Alan Olson
University of Notre Dame Press
March 1, 1982
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Transcendence and Hermeneutics: An Interpretation of the Philosophy of Karl Jaspers
By A.M. Olson
Springer Press
September 30, 1979
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Disguises of the Demonic
Edited by Alan Olson
Association Press
Buy it now from!


Online Journel

Alan M. Olson and Helmut Wautischer, Co-Editors, “World Philosophy and the Axial Age Thesis“, Existenz, Volume 5 (2010);  Michael Zank has an essay in this volume.


  • RN 100 Religion & Culture
  • RN 303/693; RN 304/604 Christian Intellectual History, I, II
  • RN 441/741 Hermeneutics (cross-listed in Philosophy)
  • RN 443/743 The Problem of Evil (cross-listed in Philosophy)
  • RN 445/745 Sources of the Self in Philosophy, Religion, and Literature
  • RN 450/750; PH 446/646; TX 850 Philosophy of Religion