Dr. Joseph Hartel
Associate Professor of Philosophy


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Dr. Hartel began teaching philosophy at Notre Dame International High School in Rome, Italy in 1984.  In 1985 he moved back to the United States and began teaching philosophy at Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  From 1986 to May of 1991, he taught philosophy at Loyola University of New Orleans.  Finally, in August of 1991, he moved to Dubuque, Iowa and began teaching philosophy at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa.

B.A – Lewis University, Lockport, Illinois (Liberal Arts)
M.A. – Marquette University (Philosophy)
Ph. L. – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy (Philosophy)
Ph.D. – Pontifical Gregorian University , Rome Italy (Philosophy)

  Teaching Interests at Divine Word:

For many years Dr. Hartel’s interest has been in Thomistic philosophy as understood by Jacques Maritain, Etienne Gilson, and W. Norris Clarke, S.J. Although this interest continues, after an intense study of the work of French philosopher Pierre Hadot, Dr. Hartel understood that there was a deeper level of Ancient Western philosophy that he had missed. This level consisted of spiritual exercises practiced by each philosophical school to both form and transform their students. This realization, together with teaching Asian philosophy at DWC, led Dr. Hartel to develop his present interest in Eastern philosophy where spiritual exercises are still practiced.

  Research Interests:

A creative retrieval of the spiritual exercises of Plotinus and Plato
Understanding the philosophy of Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras
The Bhagavad Gita as a way of life.
Ashtanga Yoga as a spiritual exercise.
Yoga therapy for a healthy body, breath, and mind.


Femina Ut Imago Dei: In the Integral Feminism of St. Thomas Aquinas, Pontifical Gregorian University Press, 1991
“The Integral Feminism of St. Thomas Aquinas”, Gregorianum, Vol. 77/3, 1996

  Professional Affiliations:

American Philosophical Association
American Philosophical Practitioners Association
Integral Yoga Teacher’s Association


Some knowledge of Italian
Study of, but not proficiency in, Latin.

  Intercultural Experience:

Living in Rome and traveling around Europe for over three years.
Teaching Maritain’s Introduction to Philosophy at Notre Dame’s International High School in Rome, Italy
Working for one year at Loyola University of Chicago’s Rome Center, Rome, Italy
Five week spiritual journey around northern and central India