Joseph Pearce, director of the Center for Faith and Culture and writer-in-residence at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, will deliver two addresses at Hope College on Wednesday, Sept. 10, as part of the Saint Benedict Forum’s Catholic Speaker Series.
He will present “The Christian Imagination of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien” at 3 p.m. in the main-floor rotunda of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication, and “Race with the Devil: My Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love” at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.
The public is invited to both events. Admission is free.
Pearce is an accomplished tutor, teacher, and public speaker. Originally from London, England, he was once involved in radical politics, an agnostic, rebel, and risk-taker whose political daring found him in a tight spot more than once. Several years later, after coming upon the works of G. K. Chesterton, he had a deep spiritual conversion, and he was received into the Catholic Church in 1989.
Since then, Pearce has written bestselling books on G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Hilaire Belloc, J.R.R. Tolkien, Shakespeare, and others. He has authored more than a dozen books, all of which correspond to the Catholic intellectual tradition while exploring the vivacity of a life of Faith. Some of his works include: “G.K. Chesterton: Wisdom and Innocence” (Ignatius, 1997), “Literary Converts” (Ignatius, 2000), “Tolkien: Man and Myth” (Ignatius, 2001), “Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile” (Baker Books, 2001), “The Quest for Shakespeare” (Ignatius, 2008) and “Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc” (Ignatius, 2002), among others. Pearce has four new books due to be published this fall.
He is the series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions (ignatiuscriticaleditions.com), which focuses on traditional readings of the Classics of world literature; he is also executive director of Catholic Courses (catholiccourses.com), and editor of the St. Austin Review (staustinreview.com). Pearce has hosted two 13-part television series for EWTN on Shakespeare’s Catholicism, and is in the midst of filming special documentaries for EWTN on Tolkien and “The Lord of the Rings.”
The Saint Benedict Forum is an outreach of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, with which the college’s Campus Ministries program has a covenantal partnership. Additional campus sponsors of Pearce’s visit include the dean for international and multicultural education, and the departments of English, political science and philosophy. Earlier in the day of his visit, Pearce will also be the featured speaker during the college’s morning Chapel service.
The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street. Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.