Father Paul A. Soukup, S. J. Winner of the 2017 Medium & the Light Award


Father Paul A. Soukup, S. J.

Father Paul A. Soukup, S. J. was the recipient of this year’s 7th annual Medium and the Light Award, in recognition of the religious dimensions of the life and work of Marshall McLuhan. The award was presented on Thursday, June 22 in Moraga, California at the 18th Annual Media Ecology Association Convention at Saint Mary’s College of California.  

Dr. Soukup is a media scholar, educator, practitioner, and head of the Department of Communication at Santa Clara University.  Fr. Paul has explored the connections between communication and theology since 1982. His publications include Communication and Theology (1983); Christian Communication: A Bibliographical Survey (1989); Media, Culture, and Catholicism (1996); Mass Media and the Moral Imagination with Philip J. Rossi (1994); and Fidelity and Translation: Communicating the Bible in New Media with Robert Hodgson (1999).  This latter publication grows out of his work on the American Bible Society’s New Media Bible (www.newmediabible.org).

In addition, he and Thomas J. Farrell have edited four volumes of the collected works of Walter J. Ong, S.J., Faith and Contexts (1992-1999). These volumes have led him to examine more closely how orality-literacy studies can contribute to an understanding of theological expression. Most recently, he has published a book of Biblical meditations on communication, Out of Eden: 7 Ways God Restores Blocked Communication (2006) and edited a collection of essays applying Ong’s thought: Of Ong & Media Ecology: Essays in Communication, Composition, and Literary Studies (2012). A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (PhD, 1985), Fr. Soukup serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Bible Society. He has served on the Board of Loyola University of New Orleans, and served as a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Communication Committee.

Fr. Paul received the Medium and the Light Award particularly for his long and fruitful exploration into theology and communication that help us understand what it means to be both Christian and human in the 21st century. The Award is given annually by The Marshall McLuhan Initiative at St Paul’s College, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.  The University of Manitoba is Marshall McLuhan’s first post-secondary alma mater, where he earned the MA degree in English and Philosophy and Gold Medal in Arts for 1933 and an MA in English Literature in 1934.

Fr. Soukup receiving the award from Howard R. Engel, Director of the Marshall McLuhan Initiative at the University of Manitoba

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