|Celebrated author Thomas Cahill to visit campus
RELEASED: Oct. 2, 2003
DANVILLE, KYCentre College will sponsor a lecture by internationally acclaimed author Thomas Cahill on Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Weisiger Theatre.
Cahill is the author of the best-selling books How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe; The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels; and Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus.
Cahill is best known, in his books and lectures, for taking on a broad scope of complex history and distilling it into an accessible, illuminating and entertaining narrative. He writes history, not with the usual terms of war and atrocity, but by inviting his audience into an ancient world to commune with some of the most influential people who ever lived.
Cahill's talk will primarily focus on The Gifts of the Jews. This book was selected by the faculty as part of the Centre freshman book program, a program designed to give the freshmen a common educational experience upon arriving to campus. All of the freshmen were asked to read the book during the summer. They then had the opportunity to discuss the book over dessert with their faculty advisors and fellow students during orientation.
William Johnston, associate dean of the College, comments, "The College is delighted that Mr. Cahill will speak on his book The Gifts of the Jews, especially since his address will integrate so well into our freshman educational experience. An underlying foundation of Centre College's liberal arts curriculum is the study of Western civilization; Mr. Cahill's best-selling book describes the earliest of contributions to Western thought."
In The Gifts of the Jews Cahill recounts how Jews essentially invented Western civilization and shaped Western consciousness today, as they were the first in history to claim individual freedom, and to presume they could make the future better than the past. Cahill explores how Israelites gave the world a sense of history and destiny, concepts of individuality and justice, and the idea of monotheism.
A lifelong scholar, Cahill has studied with some of America's most distinguished literary and biblical scholars. He studied Greek and Latin literature as well as medieval philosophy, scripture and theology, at Fordham University, where he
completed both a B.A. in classical literature and philosophy, and a pontifical degree in philosophy. He went on to complete his M.F.A. in film and dramatic literature at Columbia University. He studied scripture at New York's Union Theological Seminary, and recently spent two years as a visiting scholar at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he studied Hebrew and the Hebrew Bible in preparation for writing The Gifts of the Jews.
Cahill has taught at Queens College, Fordham University and Seton Hall University, served as the North American education correspondent for The Times of London, and was for many years a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times Book Review.
Prior to retiring recently to write full-time, he was director of religious publishing at Doubleday for six years.
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