Introducing Rosary College Faculty Member, Professor Joseph Pearce

Joseph Pearce

Courses Offered in Fall '24

Joseph will be teaching two sections of HUM 101 (online and in-residence): CLASSICAL EPIC AND TRAGEDY. The first of four consecutive courses covering the historical breadth of literature and culture, Classical Epic and Tragedy lays the foundation of the liberal arts by examining the great poetry and drama at the foundation of human storytelling and Western Civilization.

Mr. Joseph Pearce

Academic and Professional Background and Experience in Liberal Arts Education

A native of England, Joseph Pearce is the internationally acclaimed author of many books, which include bestsellers such as The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile, and Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc. His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Croatian and Polish. He has also published on the great Catholic defender of liberal arts education education in the university, St. John Henry Newman.

He has hosted two 13-part television series about Shakespeare on EWTN, and has also written and presented documentaries on EWTN on the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. His verse drama, Death Comes for the War Poets, was performed off-Broadway to critical acclaim. He has participated and lectured at a wide variety of international and literary events at major colleges and universities, especially those with a Catholic presence, in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Europe, Africa and South America.

He is Visiting Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University and Visiting Chair of Catholic Studies at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (Merrimack, New Hampshire). He is editor of the St. Austin Review, series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions, senior instructor with Homeschool Connections, and senior contributor at the Imaginative Conservative and Crisis Magazine. His personal website is jpearce.c.

We posed the following questions to Joseph about his Catholic faith and his perspective on Catholic education:

Christ on Main conference room

What most excites you about the opening of South Carolina’s first Catholic College?

The opening of a new Catholic college is always exciting but the fact that this is the first ever Catholic college in the state of South Carolina makes this especially exciting. It’s much needed. I’m thrilled and honoured to be part of this adventure.

What is your area of expertise?

I specialize in literature and history. Most of my books have been on British literature and history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries but I’ve also written extensively on Shakespeare and on every period of literature since Homer, and every period of history since the time of Christ.

Collage of British literature history, and other significant historical events and literature

How did you come to specialize in this area?

The great writers of the Catholic literary revival, such as Newman, Hopkins, Chesterton, Belloc, Eliot, Tolkien and Lewis were very influential on my own journey to the Catholic Church. I wanted to share the goodness, truth and beauty of their work and witness with others, which is why I began writing about them and teaching their works.

I wanted to share the goodness, truth and beauty of their work and witness with others, which is why I began writing about them and teaching their works.

What was one of the most profound experiences of your own college/university education?

Ave Maria University

My own formal education back in England did not include a college education. I was appointed as an associate professor of literature at Ave Maria University on the strength of the many books I’d written. My college and university education has been in the experience of teaching at graduate and undergraduate level at various institutions over the past twenty-three years.

What ought to be the value of a liberal arts education? How does this influence your teaching?

A good Catholic liberal arts education teaches us about who we are as human persons made in the image of God. The humanities teach us about humanity. That’s why an education in the humanities is so essential. Without it, we do not know who we are or where we fit into the wider scheme of things. Without it, we are in danger of being ignorant, and arrogant about our ignorance. We are in danger of becoming inhumane.

God the Father, and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise

One of the deficiencies of the modern university is that it's not a university but a multi-versity. Disciplines and departments are increasingly competitive and separated from each other, and have no unifying purpose. How do you plan to integrate course material from other disciplines into your own courses to promote the integrated humanities aspect of Rosary College's Integrative Catholic Studies degree program?

It is impossible to understand literature without understanding its meaning on a theological and philosophical level. Similarly, it’s impossible to understand literature without some knowledge of its historical context. In brief and in sum, a literature class needs to interweave theology, philosophy and history.

Why is it essential that Catholicism is present in your course?

Greenville Catholic Church, South Carolina

We need to remember, as G. K. Chesterton reminds us, that the Catholic Church is the one continuous institution that’s been thinking about thinking for two thousand years. The Catholic Church, which thinks and speaks with the authority bestowed on Her by Christ, is the incarnation of the indissoluble marriage of fides et ratio, of faith and reason. She is the divinely ordained teacher of humanity. To teach the humanities in her absence would be a tragedy and a travesty.

Experience Joseph Pearce's Teaching in Rosary College's Fiat Short Courses

Evelyn Waugh Fiat Short Course

Rosary College is excited to see Joseph Pearce continue his inspired instruction this Fall after successfully launching, along with Father Longenecker, our first Fiat Short Course this spring. Over 50 students were introduced to ‘Four Great Christian Writers of the 20th Century: Eliot, Waugh, Lewis, & Tolkien,” and each of the four sections are becoming available for purchase.

Visit our website to purchase the portion of the course on T.S. Eliot, taught by Father Longenecker, and sign-up to get notified about upcoming releases of Waugh, Lewis, and Tolkien!

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Academic year 2024-2025

Learn from renowned Catholic scholars like Father Dwight Longenecker, Professor Joseph Pearce, and Dr. R. Jared Staudt who will guide you on your journey to develop wisdom and defend truth, beauty, and goodness.

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