College of Arts and Sciences

Office of the Dean

Fr. Joseph A. Brown, S.J.
Rev. Joseph A. Brown, S.J.

Joseph A. Brown, S. J., Ph.D. a native of East St. Louis, Illinois, is a Catholic priest with an extensive academic and pastoral career. When he graduated from St. Louis University with the BA in Philosophy, he attended Johns Hopkins University, where he gained a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. After his ordination to the priesthood (1972) he taught Theater and Poetry at Creighton University for several years (eventually becoming artist-in-residence in 1978). Later, after receiving both the Master's degree in Afro-American Studies and the Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University, Fr. Brown taught at the University of Virginia and at Xavier University in New Orleans.
Presently he is a Professor and the Director of the Black American Studies Program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Active as a lecturer in the areas of African and African American spirituality, and African American History and Culture, he also periodically serves as a liturgical consultant to a variety of communities in the U. S. In 1999, he consulted on the RENEW 2000 project, completing a five-booklet series in adult spiritual development, focusing on Black Catholic spirituality. He was appointed Congress Liturgist for both the 7th (New Orleans, 1992) and the 9th National Black Catholic Congress (Chicago,2002).
His book of poetry, Accidental Grace, was published in the Callaloo Poetry Series, in 1986. He has also published many articles on black theology and literature. His book on black spirituality, A Retreat with Thea Bowman And Bede Abram: Leaning on the Lord, was published by the St. Anthony Messenger Press, in January, 1997; and has also written To Stand on the Rock: Meditations on Black Catholic Identity, which was published by Orbis Books, in February, 1998. A collection of prayer services in the Black tradition, Sweet, Sweet Spirit, – written with the assistance of Fr. Fernand Cheri, OFM – was published by St. Anthony Messenger Press in Fall 2006.