Jack Miles, a 1964 graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was named a recipient of a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship. He is one of 24 people to receive the unrestricted $500,000 fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation.
Miles is a literary scholar and critic who earned his bachelor's degree in literature at Xavier. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He was a Jesuit seminarian, but resigned before his ordination. He then became an assistant professor at Loyola University of Chicago and later at the University of Montana. He is currently senior advisor to the president at the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles.
In 1995, Miles wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "God: A Biography," in which he examines the evolution of the character of God as though a figure in a work of literature. In 2001, he employed a similar approach to his book, "Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God."
Miles also worked as an editor at Doubleday & Co. and at the University of California Press. He has served as literary editor and member of the editorial board for "The Los Angeles Times"; and written for publications such as "The Atlantic Monthly"; "The New York Times"; and the "Boston Globe."
Every year the MacArthur Foundation awards fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits. The award is intended to encourage the recipients to pursue their own creative, intellectual and professional inclinations.
"The announcement of the new class of MacArthur Fellows serves as a reminder of the importance of the creative individual in American society," said Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the MacArthur Foundation." In all our programs, we are committed to nurturing those who are a source of new knowledge and ideas, have the courage to challenge inherited orthodoxies, and to take intellectual, scientific and cultural risks."