Greg Carlson, S.J.

Classical & Near Eastern Studies Department
Associate Professor of Classics.
More about me:
 was born and brought up in Milwaukee and joined the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) in 1959.  In the Jesuits, I studied at St. Louis University, Marquette, Minnesota, Heidelberg (under the renowned Viktor Poeschl), and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley before being ordained in 1974. 

Since then I have taught classics at Holy Cross, Marquette, Creighton, Georgetown, and John Carroll, the latter two as holder each time of a Jesuit Chair.  I enjoy getting around!  I have had a variety of administrative jobs, both academic and Jesuit, alongside my teaching.  I directed the Honors Program at Holy Cross and the Jesuit Humanities Program at Creighton, chaired the Department of Classics and Modern Languages at Creighton, was president of the Vergilian Society, and was superior of the Jesuit community at Marquette and the Jesuit Campion House community at Creighton.

I have enjoyed writing articles and giving talks on Homer, Greek Tragedy, Horace, Vergil, and Catullus as well as on the teaching of classics in English translation and on Jesuit spirituality.  More recently, I have gone a little crazy over fables.  Fables are my chief scholarly interest.  I have written a couple of articles on fables and have given papers on Aesop before the American Philological Association, the International Beast Fable Society, the Renard Society, the Classical Association of the Middle-West and South, and the Caxton Club in Chicago.  

Fables are also my main hobby.  I collect versions of fables.  I haunt used book stores, flea markets, rummage sales, Ebay, and online used book dealers.  I have put together a collection of over 4000 fable books and probably just as many other fable items.  The collection has a website.  Stop by and check out the many pictures, especially of "other objects." I enjoy giving slide lectures on Aesop to audiences from the very young to the young at heart. 

If my life is a little crazy, I can blame some of it on my family.  My father Ivan (deceased in '78) was for many years the toy buyer at Schuster's in Milwaukee.  My mother Lois (deceased in '99) was a creator of soft sculptures and a teacher of various crafts.  My sister Meg's four daughters gave me plenty of storytelling practice as I put them to sleep!  I learned a great deal during a recent Santa Clara sabbatical when I had a chance to live close to my brother John's then five-year old daughter Sonja.

I run regularly.  I have worked extensively with model railroads.  I have a thing for toys.  I play with them, give them to people, and use them in homilies.  "Play" and "delight" are thematic for my life.  When I grow up, I promise that I will get serious!

I have been a giver of retreats to all sorts of people.  Most recently I have enjoyed directing the bishops of the upper Midwest in their annual retreats outside Minneapolis.  I like to direct faculty and students and interact with them on issues of spirituality.  

Writing these reflections:
Online reflections, like homilies, invite me to dig into my experience for whatever might be of service to people with struggles and hopes like mine.  The reflections that I write help me: if I did not write them, I would not have known what was going on!  If there is something a little playful in some of my reflections, those who know me will not be surprised.
Other links to me:

web page: