Walter J. Ong, Sj (1912-2003): Some Personal Reflections | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717



Walter J. Ong, SJ (1912-2003) outlived his former teacher and friend Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) by more than two decades. Never publicized by the popular media to the extent McLuhan was, Ong’s star in the galaxy of notable persons rose in the 1960s alongside that of his far more publicized friend. But Ong further established his stellar reputation by publishing two impressive 350-page collections of essays in the 1970s and three book-length studies in the 1980s, including Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (1982), his most widely known work. Thus, he lived a long and remarkably productive life. In the first part of this article, I recount my experiences in taking courses from Ong at Saint Louis University in the 1960s and some subsequent experiences as well. Then in the second part, I set forth my personal reflections on the importance of various themes in Ong’s extensive body of work from the 1940s through 2002.


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  • Article Type: Article
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