Joseph Pearce

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Joseph Pearce
Joespeh Pearce microphone.jpg
Joseph Pearce in 2007
Born 1961 (age 52–53)
East London, England
Occupation Biographer

Joseph Pearce (born 1961) is an English-born writer, and as of 2014 Director of the Center for Faith and Culture[1] at Aquinas College (Tennessee) in Nashville, TN. Previously he had comparable positions, from 2012-2014 at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH, from 2001-2004, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan and from 2004-2012 at Ave Maria College in Ave Maria, FL. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of Catholic figures. Formerly aligned with the National Front, a white nationalist political party, he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1989, repudiated his earlier views, and now writes from a Catholic perspective. He is a co-editor of the St. Austin Review and editor-in-chief of Sapientia Press. He also teaches Shakespearian literature for Homeschool Connections, an online Catholic curriculum provider.


Pearce was born in East London, and brought up in Dagenham, England. At the age of fifteen he joined the National Front (NF), a far-right political party opposed to a multi-racial and multi-cultural England. He was closely involved in NF organisational activities and first came to prominence in 1977 when, at the age of sixteen, he set up Bulldog, the paper of the organization. Bulldog became associated with some of the most virulent NF propaganda. In 1980, Pearce became editor of Nationalism Today, in which he argued vehemently in favour of racial preservation, producing a pamphlet entitled Fight for Freedom! on this theme in 1982. Due to the White Supremacist nature of his articles, Pearce was twice prosecuted under the Race Relations Act of 1976,[2] and served prison time in 1982 and 1985–1986.[3] During his first prison term, Pearce read the writings of George Orwell and became a member of the NF's Political Soldier wing, which advocated Strasserism.

He was also a member of the Orange Order and a frequent visitor to Northern Ireland, where he maintained regular contact with the Ulster Defence Association.[4]

Pearce attributes his subsequent religious conversion from a culturally-Protestant agnosticism to Roman Catholicism in part to reading G. K. Chesterton, whose biography he later wrote. He now repudiates his former views, saying that his racism stemmed from hatred, and that his conversion has completely changed his outlook.[2]

As a Catholic author, he has focused mainly on the work of Catholic English writers, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. His book Literary Converts, published in 1999, captures this interest and showcases the process of conversion of many writers who became convinced Catholics.[5] Pearce has also promoted the social doctrine of the Church, in particular Distributism as a Catholic economic system. His main contribution in this area has been his book Small is Still Beautiful, which takes up the theme proposed earlier by E. F. Schumacher in his book Small is Beautiful.[6]



Joseph Pearce is the host of the EWTN television series The Quest for Shakespeare based on his book The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome. The show concentrates on the evidence that Shakespeare was a Catholic and consists of thirteen episodes.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Joseph Pearce, "Race with the Devil"
  3. ^ Searchlight, December 1984.
  4. ^ Searchlight magazine, February 1986.
  5. ^ Kate Duffern, Review of Literary Converts. Catholic Insight, May 1, 2001.
  6. ^ Small is Still Beautiful
  7. ^ The Quest for Shakespeare. EWTN website, Accessed May 5, 2009.

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