Author James Carroll to discuss Jewish-Christian Relations at Fairfield University's Quick Center February 19


Christian-Jewish relations will be the focus of a Fairfield University presentation on Tuesday, February 19, when acclaimed author James Carroll speaks at the University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m.

Carroll will speak on "After Constantine's Sword: The Past, Present and Future of Jewish-Christian Relations." Carroll is the author of the recent New York Times bestseller, Constantine's Sword, the Church and the Jews: A History.

Responses to Carroll's talk will be offered by Dr. Ellen M. Umansky, the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Professor of Judaic Studies at Fairfield University, and Dr. Elizabeth A. Dreyer, Fairfield University professor of religious studies. An on-stage conversation on the topic will also include Bill Hulseman, a Fairfield University graduate from the Class of 1998 and a recent Harvard Divinity School graduate.

Constantine's Sword has been the subject of interfaith dialogues and conversations at synagogues and churches across the United States. Carroll lectures widely on Jewish-Christian reconciliation, and on the question of war and peace. Carroll has delivered the Lowell Lecture at Harvard University, the Lowell Lecture at Boston College, the Burke Lecture at the University of California at San Diego, and the Frost Fellowship Lecture at Amherst College.

In 1976, Carroll published his first novel, Madonna Red. Since then he has published eight additional novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Mortal Friends (1978), Family Trade (1982), and Prince of Peace (1984). His novel The City Below (1994) was a New York Times Notable Book. Carroll's essays and articles have appeared in The New Yorker and other publications. His op-ed page column runs weekly in the Boston Globe. His memoir, An American Requiem: God, My Father, And The War That Came Between Us, received the 1996 National Book Award in nonfiction. He is at work on a novel, and on a history of America's arms race against itself.

James Carroll was born in Chicago in 1943, and raised in Washington, DC, where his father, an Air Force General, served as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Carroll attended Georgetown University before entering the seminary to train for the Catholic priesthood. He received BA and MA degrees at St. Paul's College, the Paulist Fathers' seminary in Washington. In 1965 he studied poetry with Allan Tate at the University of Minnesota. He was a Civil Rights worker and community organizer in Washington and New York. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1969.

Carroll served as Catholic Chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974. He studied poetry with George Starbuck, and eventually published a book of poems. He remained active in the anti-war movement until the Vietnam War ended.

Carroll left the priesthood to become a writer. In 1974 he was Playwright-in-Residence at the Berkshire Theater Festival in Stockbridge, MA.

Carroll is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he serves on the Committee on International Security Studies. He is a member of the Board of PEN-New England, which he served for four years as Chair. He has been a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he is currently a research associate, and a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at the Harvard Divinity School, where he remains a research associate. He is a Trustee of the Boston Public Library.

The program, sponsored by the Fairfield Alumni Association, the Departments of History and Religious Studies, and the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, is open to the general public. Admission is $10; free with a Fairfield University I.D. For tickets, please call the Quick Center Box Office, (203) 254-4010.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 25, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 141