About Us
Nikolaj Zunic
Nikolaj Zunic
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy

PhD, Catholic University of Leuven

MA, Catholic University of Leuven

BA Honours, University of Toronto


SH 2003
Image of Nikolaj Zunic

My focus in philosophy is primarily modern and contemporary schools of thought, but I am deeply immersed in the history of philosophy, going back to Plato and Aristotle and running through the Middle Ages. In this way I am constantly in dialogue with ancient and medieval thinkers, even though I tend to concentrate on more recent perspectives in my research and teaching.


As regards my education, I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in German and Philosophy and then studied for my MA and PhD at the Institute of Philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) in Belgium. My doctoral dissertation, under the supervision of Dr. Martin Moors, dealt with the later thought of the German philosopher Friedrich Schelling and is entitled: Truth and the Self: Schelling’s Redress of Modern Philosophy.


An abiding theme in my thinking since my graduate studies to the present day is the nature and dignity of the human person. To be sure, philosophical anthropology has consistently been the centerpiece of my philosophical reflections.


I am an active participant in the Canadian and American societies devoted to the philosophy of Jacques Maritain. I am currently the vice president of the Canadian Jacques Maritain Association and the editor of the academic journal Études maritainiennes – Maritain Studies. Maritain is an exemplary philosopher because he demonstrates what a philosopher should be: someone with boundless interests in pursuit of wisdom and truth. 


The main areas of my philosophical interests can be categorized in the following way:

  • German philosophy
    • Kant and German Idealism, especially F. W. J. Schelling
    • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Modern philosophy
    • Especially Descartes
  • Phenomenology
    • Husserl, Heidegger, Scheler, Merleau-Ponty, Sokolowski
  • Philosophy of Human Nature
    • The foundation of human dignity
    • Soul and body
    • The immateriality of mind
    • The interpersonal basis of human nature
  • Personalism
    • The philosophies of Jean Vanier, Jacques Maritain, Gabriel Marcel, Martin Buber
  • Ethics
    • Sexual ethics
    • Marriage and the family
    • bioethics
  • Philosophy of religion
    • God
    • Good and evil
    • The sacred and the profane
    • Faith and reason
  • Metaphysics
    • Truth
    • Being
    • Freedom

The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.



Distinctions of Being: Philosophical Approaches to Reality. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2013.



“Maritain’s Concept of Virtue as a Form of Movement and its Application to Human Generation”, in The Things that Matter: Essays Inspired by the Later Work of Jacques Maritain, edited by Heidi M. Giebel. Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America Press. (2018)

“Aesthetic Education and the Redress of Morality”, in A Piercing Light: Beauty, Faith, and Human Transcendence, edited by James M. Jacobs. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic  University of America Press: 197 – 214. (2015)


“Philosophy and the Search for Peace”, in Redeeming Philosophy: From Metaphysics to Aesthetics, edited by John J. Conley, SJ., Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press: 297-312. (2014)


“The Measure of Morality”, in Aquinas & Maritain on Evil, edited by James G. Hanink. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press: 204 – 221. (2013)


“Sexual Ethics and the Purpose of Marriage”, in Love and Friendship: Maritain and the Tradition, edited by Montague Brown. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press: 243 – 254. (2013)


Journal Articles

“On the Political and Metaphysical Meanings of the Family”, Études maritainiennes – Maritain Studies, Vol. XXXIII, 100-115. (2017)


“Matter, Spirit and Teleology in Human Generation”, Études maritainiennes-Maritain Studies, Vol. XXXII, 116-136. (2016)


“The Idea of Universal Justice in Plato, Kant, and Benedict XVI”, Philosophy, Culture, and Traditions, vol. 11, 173-194. (2015)


“The Theory and Praxis of Human Rights”, Philosophy, Culture, and Traditions, vol. 10, 53-71. (2014)         


“The Mystery of Intersubjectivity”, in Whence Intelligibility?, edited by Louis Perron, Washington, D. C.: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 143-157. (2014)


“The Grace of Conversion: Reflections on the Sources of Religious Life”, Études maritainiennes-Maritain Studies, Vol. XXX, 53-70. (2014)                                                                                                                                 


Faculty Research Grant (2014)



Catholic University of Leuven Doctoral Scholarship (1999-2001)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship (1998-2000)

J. Van de Wiele Doctoral Fellowship, Institute of Philosophy, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (1997-98)

Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) Summer Exchange Program Scholarship at the University of Freiburg, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany (1993)                                                                         


HUMSC 101: Great Dialogues: Reflection and Action

PHIL 100J: Introduction to Philosophy

PHIL 120J: The Meaning of Life

PHIL 210J: Human Nature

PHIL 219J: Practical Ethics

PHIL 230J: God and Philosophy

PHIL 284: Great Works: Modern

PHIL 405: Studies in Modern Philosophy

PHIL 407: Studies in 19th- and 20th- Century Philosophy


The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.


Editor, Études maritainiennes – Maritain Studies
Vice President, Canadian Jacques Maritain Association


St. Jerome's University
Acting Chair, Department of Philosophy (July-December 2018; January-June 2020)