Joachim Wach was born on 25 January 1898 in Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany. Wach trained under Friedrich Heiler at Munich and Ernst Troeltsch at Berlin before attending Leipzig to finish a PhD in the history and philosophy of religion in 1922. His dissertation, “Der Erlösungsgedanke und seine Deutung” (The Concept of Redemption and Its Meaning), was published in that year. Wach stayed at Leipzig; in 1924 he became a Privatdozent, and in 1929 he was appointed assistant professor of philosophy. The Nazi regime forced Wach's dismissal in 1935, and he quickly emigrated to the United States. Wach was a professor of religion at Brown University from 1935 to 1945. He then became professor and chair of the history of religions at the University of Chicago in 1945, and he held these positions until his death in 1955. Wach died while visiting relatives on 27 August 1955 in Orselina, Locarno, Switzerland.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.