Joseph Pearce in 2007
|Born||1961 (age 52–53)
East London, England
Joseph Pearce (born 1961) is an English-born writer, and as of 2014[update] Director of the Center for Faith and Culture 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, and served prison time in 1982 and 1985–1986. 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.
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.
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. 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.
- Skrewdriver: The First Ten Years-The Way It's Got to Be!. London: Skrewdriver Services. 1987.
- Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G. K. Chesterton. London: Hodder & Stoughton. 1996. ISBN 0-340-67132-7.
- The Three Ys Men. London: Saint Austin Press. 1998. ISBN 1-901157-02-4.
- Tolkien: Man and Myth. London: HarperCollins. 1998. ISBN 0-00-274018-4.
- Literary Converts: Spiritual Inspiration in an Age of Unbelief. London: HarperCollins. 1999. ISBN 0-00-628111-7.
- Pearce, Joseph, ed. (1999). Tolkien: A Celebration. Collected Writings on a Literary Legacy. London: Fount. ISBN 0-00-628120-6.
- Pearce, Joseph, ed. (1999). Flowers of Heaven: 1000 years of Christian Verse. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-72220-7.
- Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile. London: HarperCollins. 1999. ISBN 0-00-274040-0.
- The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde. London: HarperCollins. 2000. ISBN 0-00-274042-7.
- Bloomsbury and Beyond: The Friends and Enemies of Roy Campbell. London: HarperCollins. 2001. ISBN 0-00-274092-3. Published in the United States as Unafraid of Virginia Woolf: The Friends and Enemies of Roy Campbell. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books. 2004. ISBN 978-1-932236-36-1.
- Small Is Still Beautiful. London: HarperCollins. 2001. ISBN 0-00-274090-7. Published in the United States as Small Is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books. 2006. ISBN 978-1-933859-05-7. (Book Review and Summary)
- Campbell, Roy (2001). Pearce, Joseph, ed. Selected Poems. London: Saint Austin. ISBN 1-901157-59-8.
- Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc. London: HarperCollins. 2002. ISBN 0-00-274096-6.
- C. S. Lewis and the Catholic Church. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 2003. ISBN 0-89870-979-2.
- Literary Giants, Literary Catholics. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 2005. ISBN 978-1-58617-077-6.
- The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 2008. ISBN 1-58617-224-7.
- Divining Divinity: A Book of Poems. Kaufmann Publishing. 2008. ISBN 978-0-9768580-1-0.
- Through Shakespeare's Eyes: Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-58617-413-2.
- Bilbo's Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning in The Hobbit. Charlotte, NC: Saint Benedict Press. 2012. ISBN 978-1-61890-058-6.
- Shakespeare on Love. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 2013. ISBN 9781586176846.
- Race with the Devil: My Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love. Charlotte, North Carolina: St. Benedict Press. 2013. ISBN 978-1-61890-065-4.
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.
- Joseph Pearce, "Race with the Devil"
- Searchlight, December 1984.
- Searchlight magazine, February 1986.
- Kate Duffern, Review of Literary Converts. Catholic Insight, May 1, 2001.
- Small is Still Beautiful
- The Quest for Shakespeare. EWTN website, Accessed May 5, 2009.
- Personal site
- Autobiographical page
- Saint Austin Review
- Clips of Joseph Pearce speaking about his conversion: 1, 2
- Joseph Pearce speaks about his conversion
- The Quest for Shakespeare, EWTN's page for the TV show