Pilarz, Scott R. 1959–

views updated

Pilarz, Scott R. 1959–


Born July 31, 1959. Education: Georgetown University, B.A.; Fordham University, M.A.; Weston School of Theology, M.Div.; City University of New York, Ph.D. Religion: Roman Catholic.


Office—President's Office, University of Scranton, Scranton Hall, Scranton, PA 18510. E-mail—[email protected]cranton.edu.


Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the order of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), 1992. University of Ibadan, Nigeria, lecturer in philosophy department; St. Joseph's University, faculty member, beginning 1994; Georgetown University, Washington, DC, assistant professor, beginning 1996, appointed interim University Chaplain, 2002; University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, member of board of trustees, 2000—, president of the university, 2003—. Lecturer at scholarly conferences on medieval and Renaissance literature and on Jesuit education.


Modern Language Society, John Donne Society, Renaissance Society of America, Shakespeare Association of America, Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society, Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America.


Alumni Achievement Prize for Dissertation Excellence, City University of New York, 1997; National Endowment for the Humanities grant, 1998; Edward B. Bunn, S.J., Award for Faculty Excellence, Georgetown University graduating class of 1999; William Gaston Award for Outstanding Service, Georgetown Alumni Association, 2002; research grants from Georgetown University. Member of board of Boston College, Community Medical Center (Scranton, PA), and Camden Catholic High School (Cherry Hill, NJ).


Robert Southwell and the Mission of Literature, 1561-1595: Writing Reconciliation (nonfiction), Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2003.

Contributor to academic journals.


Scott R. Pilarz entered the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuit order, in 1981. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest of that order in 1992. Pilarz's studies took him to Georgetown University, Fordham University, the Weston School of Theology, and eventually the City University of New York, where he earned his Ph.D. with his prizewinning dissertation, titled "Sacerdotal Self-Fashioning: The Construction of Priesthood in Early Modern Religious Poetry." Pilarz has presented many papers to scholarly conferences on a number of subjects related to Jesuit education, as well as on aspects of medieval and Renaissance literature. He has written articles for scholarly journals on various subjects, including medieval drama; the poet John Donne; and Robert Southwell, a writer and poet of the Elizabethan age, who was ultimately martyred for his faith and canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic church.

Pilarz focuses on the importance of Southwell's literary output rather than the details of his biography in Robert Southwell and the Mission of Literature, 1561-1595: Writing Reconciliation. Southwell was a Catholic apologist and writer of devotional material at a time when Queen Elizabeth I fiercely opposed Catholicism. Although he was firm in his beliefs, Southwell was also notable for his efforts to bring reconciliation between the opposing camps of Protestants and Catholics, rather than trying to reestablish the dominance of the Catholic Church in England. In addition to his writing, he was also responsible for sheltering and giv- ing counsel to the many Catholic priests who were forced to live in hiding or be captured and killed by the forces of Elizabeth I. William Wizeman, in a review of Robert Southwell and the Mission of Literature, 1561-1595 for the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, commented on the energy and high intellectual standards Southwell brought to his work. Wizeman stated that Southwell's poetry and prose "are worthy of careful consideration, and Pilarz offers a critical yet sensitive introduction to his artistry."

Alison A. Chapman, in a review for Renaissance Quarterly, stated: "Scott R. Pilarz argues resoundingly that all of Robert Southwell's literary works are marked by the impulse toward reconciliation. Pilarz shows how Southwell repeatedly sought to find a conciliatory middle ground between opposing extremes of feeling, loyalty, and belief, and unlike more radical Protestant and Catholic voices of the time, Southwell eschewed vituperative rhetoric." She concluded that the book is "a fitting tribute to this under-appreciated English writer."



Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, December 1, 2004, A. DiMatteo, review of Robert Southwell and the Mission of Literature, 1561-1595: Writing Reconciliation, p. 662.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, January 1, 2006, William Wizeman, review of Robert Southwell and the Mission of Literature, 1561-1595, p. 154.

Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2004, review of Robert Southwell and the Mission of Literature, 1561-1595, p. 277.

Renaissance Quarterly, June 22, 2005, Alison A. Chapman, review of Robert Southwell and the Mission of Literature, 1561-1595, p. 712.


Ashgate Press Web site,https://www.ashgate.com/ (June 12, 2008), biographical information about Scott R. Pilarz.

University of Scranton Web site,http://matrix.scranton.edu/ (June 12, 2008), biographical information about Scott R. Pilarz.