Hermann Kochanek

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Hermann Kochanek (* July 7, 1946 in Werl; † December 24, 2002 in Cologne) was a German clergyman (Steyler Missionare) and professor of pastoral theology at the Theologische Hochschule Chur and at the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Augustin.


Hermann Kochanek joined the Steyler Missionaries in 1967 and studied philosophy and theology at the Order’s own college in Sankt Augustin from 1969 to 1975, as well as education and German studies at the University of Bonn from 1974 to 1976. After working in adult education, he received his doctorate in 1990 from the Faculty of Theology at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster under Dieter Emeis. The topic of his dissertation was: “On the theology of a missionary church”.

In 1992 Kochanek began teaching at the Sankt Augustin University of Applied Sciences as a lecturer, since 1996 as a full professor. In 1999 and 2000 he lectured as a visiting professor at the Shanghai Regional Seminary in China. In 2001 he was appointed professor of pastoral theology at the Theological University of Chur and entrusted with the establishment of a pastoral institute there, but he did not live to see its opening at the beginning of 2003.

In addition to his work as a university lecturer, Hermann Kochanek also directed the educational institution of the Steyler Missionaries “Arnold-Janssen-Haus” in Sankt Augustin from 1987 to 2001 and published the lecture series of the educational institution in book form.

Kochanek’s main focus as a pastoral theologian was on questions of the sociology of religion and spirituality. His primary concern was to develop a concept of pastoral care in the experience society.

Works (selection)

  • Image of Man and Image of God in the Bible, (together with Günter Biemer and Roland Peter Litzenburger), Kath. Bibelwerk 1981
  • Lane change, Knecht-Verlag 2002
  • I have my own religion. Search for meaning beyond the churches, Benziger Verlag 2002


  • Paul B. Steffen: KOCHANEK Hermann SVD (1946-2002). Pastoraltheologe, Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) Vol. 34 (2013) Sp. 687-692, ISBN 978-3-88309-766-4.