Specialist in Medieval Christianity to speak at Fairfield University


Image: Caroline Walker BynumCaroline Walker Bynum, Ph.D., an author and world-renowned expert in Christianity in Europe in the Middle Ages, will deliver "Goddesses, Saints and the Eucharist: What Does it Mean to Compare Religious Traditions" at 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 11, in the dining room of Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business. Sponsored by Fairfield's Department of Religious Studies, the event is free and open to the public.

Drawing on her travels in India, Dr. Bynum's lecture will explore cross-cultural comparison between Christianity and Hinduism. She'll consider processions of female holy figures, including the Virgin Mary of Christianity, and goddess veneration, especially Durga Puja, in India.

Dr. Bynum is professor emerita at both Columbia and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She is a former professor of Medieval European History at the Institute and holds honorary degrees from 14 universities.

Dr. Bynum studied at the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. at Harvard University. She has taught at Harvard, the University of Washington and Columbia University, where she became the first woman to hold the title of University Professor.

Dr. Bynum has served as president of the American Historical Association and the Medieval Academy of America and she was a MacArthur Fellow from 1986 to 1991. Her publications have won many prizes, among them the Philip Schaff Prize for her book "Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women" (1987); the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize and the Jacques Barzun Prize for "The Resurrection and the Body" (1995); and the Gründler Prize and the Haskins Medal for "Wonderful Blood: Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond" (2007).

In 2013, German Consul General Busso von Alvensleben awarded her the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in the rank of Knight Commander. Members of the Order are recognized by the German state for their significant contributions in science and art.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 28, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 191