Joseph Edward Simmons, SJ, is a Catholic priest from the Midwest province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He pursued an Honors Bachelor in Classical Languages and Spanish at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After volunteer teaching for two years, Joe entered the Jesuits in 2006.
Joe completed a Master of Arts in Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, focusing his thesis on Charles Taylor's 'buffered self' and the verifiability of religious experience. Joe then taught undergraduate Philosophy at Creighton University, with a focus on metaphysics and epistemology. In his eleven years of Jesuit formation, Joe has trained teachers with Jesuit Refugee Service in Jordan and Lebanon, worked with Mother Teresa's sisters in Port-au-Prince, and given preached retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola around the United States.
Prior to arriving at Campion Hall, Joe completed his Theology studies at Boston College, and was ordained to the priesthood in June 2017. His Licentiate in Sacred Theology thesis, “Via Litteraria: Marilynne Robinson's Theology Through a Literary Imagination,” explored the convergence of literary and Christian imaginations.
At Oxford Joe is pursuing a D.Phil. that explores the Christian imagination, literature, and empathy, under the supervision of Professor Graham Ward.
Joe's favorite writers include Marilynne Robinson, James Wood, Saki, Augustine, C.S. Lewis, and Annie Dillard. Joe enjoys running, dry humour, and Oxford commas.