Assistant Professor of Languages and Cultures
B.A. English, The University of the South; Ph.B. Philosophy, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy; M.A. Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
After obtaining a B.A. in English (with a concentration in Environmental Studies) from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, Sylvester Tan travelled through Africa and Asia for a year as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow studying “the changing face of Catholicism.” He continued on to Rome, Italy, where he resided for five years, studying Christian letters and spirituality at the Casa Balthasar and obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy (Ph.B.) from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Mr. Tan has also studied French literature at the University of Toronto and completed a M.A. in Medieval Studies. His thesis, "Perceval's Sin: Theological Controversy in Chrétien's Conte del Graal?" proposes to re-examine the notion of sin in Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval in the light of the twelfth century controversy between monastic and scholastic theologians.
An Eagle Scout and recipient of the National Venturing Leadership Award and the Young American Award, Sylvester Tan has been active in various youth leadership initiatives. Mr. Tan was a student environmental fellow for the Associated Colleges of the South from 1998-1999. He served on the National Explorer Cabinet from 1996 to1998 and attended the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan as a youth representative of the United States Olympic Committee.
Sylvester Tan has a particular interest in the contemporary relevance of texts left behind by spiritual masters. The supple precision and sensibility to concrete context and praxis found in Ignatius of Loyola’s written works helped Mr. Tan to clarify his own calling to follow Jesus in his least Society.