Hent de Vries is Paulette Goddard Professor of the Humanities with appointments in German, Religious Studies, and Comparative Literature. He received his BA/MA in Judaica and Hellenistic Thought (Theology), Public Finance and Political Economy (Law), at Leiden University, and obtained his PhD there in Philosophy of Religion, with a study on Theodor W. Adorno and Emmanuel Levinas, Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, entitled Theologie im pianissimo. Zwischen Rationalität und Dekonstruktion.
De Vries until recently directed The Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University, holding the Russ Family Chair in the Humanities with a joint appointment in Philosophy. He taught in the Philosophy departments of Loyola University in Chicago and the University of Amsterdam, where he long held the Chair of Metaphysics and its History and co-founded and directed the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. He received visiting positions and fellowships at Harvard, Chicago, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, the Paris Collège International de Philosophie, the Université Saint Louis, Brussels, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and the Université de Paris, Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is Director of the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University, Ithaca, and the 2018 Titulaire of the Chaire de Métaphysique Étienne Gilson at the Institut Catholique, Paris.