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John R. "Jack" Miles (born July 30, 1942) is an American author. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize,[1] a Guggenheim Fellowship[2] and the MacArthur Fellowship.[3] His writings on religion, politics, and culture have appeared in numerous national publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Commonweal Magazine.[4]

Jack Miles
BornJohn Russiano Miles
(1942-07-30) July 30, 1942 (age 77)
Chicago, Illinois, US
Pen nameJack
EducationXavier University;
Pontifical Gregorian University;
Hebrew University
Alma materHarvard University
Genreswriter, editor
Notable awardsGuggenheim Fellowship;
Pulitzer Prize;
MacArthur Fellowship.

Miles treats his biblical subjects neither as transcendent deities nor historical figures, but as literary protagonists. His first book, God: A Biography, won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1996, and has been translated into sixteen languages.[5] His second book Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God, was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2002.[6] Miles is general editor of the Norton Anthology of World Religions (November 2014).[7] Miles' latest book God in the Qur'an was published by Knopf on November 13, 2018, the third in his God in Three Classic Scriptures series.[8]


Born in Chicago, the eldest child in a Roman Catholic family, Miles was a Jesuit seminarian from 1960 to 1970, studying at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and Hebrew University in Jerusalem before completing a doctorate in the Department of Near Eastern Languages at Harvard University.[9] He is fluent in several languages, including French, Italian, German, Hebrew, and Aramaic.[10]

Over a period of more than 35 years (1975–2010), Miles has been an editor at Doubleday, the executive editor at the University of California Press, the literary (book review) editor at the Los Angeles Times, a member of the Times editorial board, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, writing on politics and culture.[11]

Miles most recently served on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, Department of English, teaching Religion.[12] Miles is the 2018-2019 Corcoran Visiting Chair in Christian-Jewish Relations at Boston College.[13]


  • God: A Biography. Vintage Books. 2 November 2014. ISBN 9780679743682.
  • Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 27 April 2011. ISBN 978-0-307-78910-5.
  • The Norton Anthology of World Religions. W.W. Norton & Company. 2 November 2014. ISBN 0393062538.
  • God in the Qur'an. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 13 November 2018. ISBN 9780307269577.


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