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Jessica Hooten Wilson

Professor / Author / Speaker

Visiting Scholar of Liberal Arts

Pepperdine University


Jessica Hooten Wilson is the Visiting Scholar of Liberal Arts at
Pepperdine University. She hosts a podcast called The Scandal of Reading: Pursuing Holy Wisdom with Christ & Pop Culture, where she discusses with fellow authors, professors, and theologians. She is the author of Reading for the Love of God: How to Read as a Spiritual Practice; Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints; Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov, which received a 2018 Christianity Today Book of the Year Award in the Culture & the Arts; as well as two books on Walker Percy: The Search for Influence: Walker Percy and Fyodor Dostoevsky (Ohio State University Press, 2017) and Reading Walker Percy’s Novels (Louisiana State University Press, 2018); most recently she co-edited Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020). She is also a co-author with Dr. Jacob Stratman of Learning the Good Life: Wisdom from the Great Hearts and Minds that Came Before. She has received numerous fellowships, grants, and awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship to the Czech Republic, an NEH grant to study Dante in Florence in 2014, and the Biola Center for Christian Thought sabbatical fellowship.  In 2018 she received the Emerging Public Intellectual Award given by a coalition of North American think tanks in collaboration with the Centre for Christian Scholarship at Redeemer University College, and in 2019 she received the Hiett Prize in Humanities from The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.


Baylor University

Ph.D in Religion and Literature (2006-2009)

University of Dallas

M.A. in English (2004-2006)

Pepperdine University

B.A. in Creative Writing (2000-2004)


Visiting Scholar of Liberal Arts

Pepperdine University, 2022-Present

Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence, Humanities and Classical Education

University of Dallas, 2020-2022

Associate Professor, Humanities

John Brown University, 2013-2020

Graduate Instructor, Catholic Studies, Distance Education

University of St. Thomas, 2019

Fulbright Scholar

Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, 2014

Director, Study Abroad in London

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Spring 2013

Assistant Professor, English

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, 2009-2013

Instructor of Great Texts

Honors CollegeBaylor University, 2007-2009

Honors and Awards

Hiett Prize in the Humanities Recipient 2019

The Hiett Prize in the Humanities is an annual award of $50,000 aimed at identifying candidates who are ascending in a career devoted to the humanities and whose work shows extraordinary promise to have a significant impact on contemporary culture.

Emerging Scholar in Theology and the Arts

Duke University Initiatives in Theology and the Arts

“Culture and the Arts” Book of the Year Award 2018

From Christianity Today, for Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O’Connor and Fyodor Dostoevsky, Cascade Books 2017.

Emerging Public Intellectual Award 2017

From Redeemer University College, CARDUS, Acton Institute, Henry Institute, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and Center for Public Justice.

Research Fellow

Biola University Center for Christian Thought, Grant from Templeton Trust (Fall 2017)

National Endowment for the Humanities

Summer Institute on Dante in Florence, Italy (Summer 2014)

Academic Service