Jason Baxter Named Full-time Director for Benedictine College’s Center for Beauty & Culture

Jason Baxter

Dr. Jason M. Baxter, who has served as interim director of the Benedictine College Center for Beauty & Culture since September 2023, has accepted the position on a full-time basis. He is planning to move to Atchison, Kansas, and be onsite for the fall 2024 semester.

“Dr. Baxter, like Benedictine College, believes that encountering beauty, even in our modern, technological world, can lead to the transformation of culture,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis. “We are very pleased that he will move into the full-time director position.”

Baxter holds a doctoral degree in Literature from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to coming to Benedictine, he spent time as a visiting associate professor at Notre Dame preceded by 12 years at Wyoming Catholic College. He is the author of five books, including The Medieval Mind of C.S. Lewis and A Beginner’s Guide to Dante’s Divine Comedy, and he is currently working on an original translation of The Divine Comedy. He has also written many academic and popular articles, including some recently on Benedictine’s Media & Culture site, and he frequently makes media appearances ranging from podcasts to cable television.

Baxter’s translation of Inferno will come out through Angelico Press in September 2024. In 2025, Word on Fire will publish his new book on the Byzantine spirituality present in Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, and, also in 2025, Ignatius Press will publish his novelization of Dante for young adults: Stranger Things from the Kingdom of Woe.

He expressed what he found so attractive about the opportunity to fully become a part of Benedictine College.

“I admire how smart and creative and intuitive Benedictine College is, as well as how the students I have met bring a whole-hearted passion to their studies,” he said. “I admire, as well, that the students and the faculty have a thirst for the real, the deep, and the holy. This is no mere credit distribution checklist: it’s a quest for abundant life!”

Baxter will now begin the transition to full-time director, taking on additional duties including recruitment and building relationships with other organizations. The Center for Beauty & Culture promotes the dynamic power of God’s Beauty as a tool for evangelization in our time. It offers the inherited wisdom of the Catholic Church in dialogue with artists, architects, musicians, writers, and all who communicate the message of Christ and His Church by leading with beauty.

“Great poets, novelists, painters, musicians, architects, and sculptors have believed that ‘beauty will save the world,’” Baxter said. “I want to explore what this means and provide the Benedictine College community an experience of what this feels like.”

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.