Mark Bosco, S.J., is at SU for winter quarter as the LeRoux Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences, coming to us from our sister Jesuit school, Loyola University Chicago. Fr. Bosco recently took a few moments to respond to some questions.
On his background: I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, in a pretty Italian-American Catholic family. I entered the Jesuits a few years after college, doing the usual training for priesthood. I then did my doctoral studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., in the area of Literature and Theology. It was a great program and it afforded me the opportunity to work with Stanford’s English department and the theological community at the GTU. After living and studying in San Francisco for eight years, my superiors missioned me to teach Loyola University Chicago. I hold a joint position in the departments of English and Theology, teaching in both disciplines, often in courses that are cross-listed in both.
On his scholarly activities: My scholarship is on the intersection of theology and culture, specifically theology and the literary arts. I write on the 20th century Catholic literary tradition and on the importance of aesthetics in theological thinking and in liturgical worship. I have written a book on Graham Greene and have written on diverse artists such as writers Flannery O’Connor, Georges Bernanos and Margaret Atwood, as well as the Baroque painter Michelangelo Caravaggio and the modernist composer Francis Poulenc.
On what he’s doing at SU this quarter: I am here in the LeRoux Chair, teaching an English course on Graham Greene and Flannery O’Connor, and spending the quarter researching and writing a new book, tentatively called “Catholic Literary Modernism.”
On his first impressions of the university: I am excited to be here and very impressed with Seattle University. There is a great spirit here, both with faculty and students I have met, and you are blessed with a wonderful Jesuit community to boot. The campus looks great and you are right smack in the middle of this wonderful, walkable city (even the hills are wonderful as Chicago is as flat as a pancake!). I look forward to teaching my seminar, meeting faculty, giving the LeRoux Lecture in February, and getting some focused time to write. And last by not least? I get to exchange the cold and snow of Chicago for the cool rains of Seattle!
Fr. Bosco will deliver a lecture, “O'Connor and Caravaggio? Reconsidering the Baroque as Artistic Strategy," at 4 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Wyckoff Auditorium.