2017 Hiett Prize in the Humanities Recipient, Dr. James Matthew Wilson has been on a spiritual and intellectual quest since his undergraduate days at the University of Michigan: to discover for himself—and to recover for Western culture—the sense of purpose and meaning largely disavowed and abandoned in our skeptical age. As he puts it, the fruits of his work thus far “are my effort to draw out the implications for our lives of the essential truth, goodness, and beauty of reality as a whole.”After earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in English Literature and Irish Studies from Notre Dame University, he began his tenure at Villanova University, where he is currently Associate Professor of Religion and Literature. A widely published, award-winning poet, scholar, and public intellectual, James has written numerous essays and articles and several books, including The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the Western Tradition (2017) and Some Permanent Things, a collection of his published poems (2014).


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