Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills comes to Fairfield University as guest of the Author's Forum of University College and the Center for Catholic Studies


The Author's Forum of University College in collaboration with the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University, present Garry Wills, The New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room. Admission is $10 at the door and reservations are requested.

An author of more than 30 books, an historian and scholar, Garry Wills was hailed by The New York Times Book Review as "one of the most intellectually interesting and doctrinally heterodox Christians writing today." In his latest book, "What the Gospels Meant," which will be released in Feb. 2008, Wills guides readers through the maze of meanings that have accrued around these foundational texts, revealing their essential Christian truths. It is this new book that will be the subject of Wills' lecture on his visit to the Fairfield campus.

Dr. Paul Lakeland, the Aloysius P. Kelley, S. J., professor of Catholic Studies at the university, identified Wills as "one of America's leading Catholic public intellectuals. In his extraordinary career he has addressed internal issues of Catholic belief and thorny questions of Church practice, as well as all manner of works on intellectual history and American culture."

Dr. Lakeland's admiration for Wills and his accomplishments is clear in his description of the author: "Mr. Wills is as prominent a Catholic lay voice as there is in the United States, always trenchant, searching, and yet fundamentally possessed of a rich and rewarding sense of the roots of the Catholic tradition."

This latest exploration of the gospels embraces Wills' particular brilliance for biblical analysis and examines the goals, methods and styles of the evangelists and how these shaped the gospels' messages. The earliest book, Mark, emphasizes Jesus the sufferer; in Matthew, Jesus the teacher; in Luke, Jesus the reconciler; and in John, Jesus the mystic.

In Publishers Weekly's review of "What the Gospels Meant," one detects a hint of confrontation as a teaser for the curious: "Readers willing to have their impressions about these texts challenged by an erudite scholar will find this to be fascinating and worthwhile reading."

Wills is a frequent contributor to the prestigious New York Review of Books. In 1998, he won the National Medal for the Humanities and in 1993, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his book "Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America." He has also won the National Book Critics Circle Award. At one time, Wills studied for the priesthood. He earned his doctorate in classics at Yale and taught ancient and New Testament Greek for many years at Johns Hopkins University.  He is an adjunct professor of history, both American and cultural, at Northwestern University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Please phone (203) 254-4307 to make reservations.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 31, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 167