Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Autobiography of Peter Milward

There is perhaps hardly any experienced English language teacher in Japan who has not heard of Peter Milward. Long before the current invasion of EFL teachers with TESOL licenses, Peter Milward was one of the most popular English teaching experts in Japan. As an Englishman with a degree from Oxford and committed to teaching in Japan, he was a most sought-after speaker, writer, and teacher. He is a prolific writer, and nearly 300 of his books have been published in Japan as reading material for English language learners; there is another set of about 100 books that are more academic, religious, or scholarly intended for general audience. He is also a frequent poster in the Tablet and several English-language newspapers and magazines of Japan. His Letters to the Editor are always sure to draw several other letters, often contesting his opinions.

Professor Milward is now retired from Sophia University, but still continues his academic career. His laptoc PC is rarely turned off during the day, and he is typing away more and more books and articles. One of his latest productions is his autobiography, entitled Genesis of an Octogenarian. It will be interesting not only to thousands of his former students and academic colleagues, but also to all those who want to know the story of Japan as seen by foreigners.

With Peter's generous permission, I am hoping to bring out his "Genesis" on the Web, chapter by chapter. Although it will be stored at a temporary server, a link will be offered here as each chapter gets ready.

Here in this first installment, let me offer Peter's CV, as he himself has presented it.

Peter Milward

Jesuit Priest. Emeritus Professor of Sophia University, Tokyo. Director, Renaissance Institute, Tokyo.

Born in London, 1925. Educated at Wimbledon College, 1933-43. Entered Society of Jesus, 1943. Studied Philosophy at Heythrop College, Oxon, 1947-50, Classics and English Literature at Campion Hall, Oxford, 1950-54. BA 1954, MA 1957. Came to Japan, 1954. Studied Theology at St. Mary’s College, Kami-Shakujii, Tokyo, 1957-61. Joined faculty of Literature, Sophia University, 1962. On retiring from Sophia in 1996, Dean of Faculty of Culture, Tokyo Junshin Women’s College, 1996-2000.

Specializing in Shakespearian drama, published first book An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Plays (1964), followed by Christian Themes in English Literature (1967). After year’s research at the Shakespeare Institute, Birmingham University, 1965-66, published Shakespeare’s Religious Background (1973), and as result of series of lectures at Campion Hall, Oxford, Biblical Themes in Shakespeare(1973). After further research at the Huntington Library, California, published two companion volumes on The Religious Controversies of the Elizabethan Age (1977) and The Religious Controversies of the Jacobean Age (1978). From the Renaissance Institute, Tokyo, published monographs on Biblical Influence in the Great Tragedies (1985) and Shakespeare’s Other Dimension (1987), followed by three more monographs jointly with the Saint Austin’s Press, London, on The Catholicism of Shakespeare’s Plays (1997), The Simplicity of the West (1998), and Shakespeare’s Apocalypse (2000). Also from the Renaissance Institute published two companion volumes, Shakespeare’s Meta-drama, Part I on Hamlet and Macbeth (2002) and Part II on Othello and King Lear (2003). From Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, Florida, published Shakespeare the Papist (2005), Jacobean Shakespeare (2007), and Elizabethan Shakespeare (2008).
Published many other books and articles on GM Hopkins, TS Eliot, JH Newman, GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, in addition to some 300 books of essays for Japanese students in English and Japanese. In addition to the Renaissance Institute, founded GK Chesterton Society of Japan, GM Hopkins Society of Japan, and founding member of Thomas More Society of Japan, CS Lewis Society of Japan, besides being long-time member of the English Literary Society of Japan, the Shakespeare Society of Japan.

Interests. 4 P’s, poems, proverbs, paradoxes and puns especially in Japanese, 2 F’s, fauna and flora in England and English literature, 2 more P’s, pilgrimages to England, Europe, the Holy Land, and all provinces (in Japan, from Okinawa to Hokkaido, in short, “all things counter, original, spare, strange”, such as idiosyncrasies in human beings, especially English and Japanese.

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