Winner of the 2007 Man Booker International Prize, Chinua Achebe will deliver the Third Biennial Blessed Pope John XXIII Lecture Series in Theology and Culture at the University of Notre Dame on March 23, 25, and 26. A prominent figure in modern African literature, Nigerian novelist and poet Achebe is best known for his 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart, which has been listed as one of the most important books of the 20th century.
“The Igbo and their Perception of God, Human Beings and Creation” is the central theme of the lecture series. The lecture on March 23 will focus on “God,” the lecture on March 25 will focus on “Human Beings,” and the lecture on March 26 will focus on “Creation.” Each lecture will begin at 7:30p.m. in the Jordan Auditorium in the Mendoza College of Business.
Achebe’s works, which include four additional novels and numerous collections of short stories and poetry, have sparked international dialogue around the effects of colonization on African culture and the way in which western writers have depicted Africa and Africans over time. Achebe is currently the Charles P. Stevenson Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College in New York.
“Achebe allows you to see the beauty in people and their dignity as they try to navigate the complexities of life,” said Professor John Cavadini, chair of the Theology Department.
When asked what the Notre Dame community will glean from Achebe’s visit, Cavadini said he hopes they will be inspired by the clarity of vision, and the sheer patience and persistence that Achebe brings to the issues he explores.
Achebe will be available for book signing after each lecture. Unsigned books will be available on special display at the Hammes Bookstore. In addition, Achebe’s lectures will be published by ND Press.
This event is sponsored by the Department of Theology and made possible by a grant from the Dilenschneider Family. For more information, go to http://theology.nd.edu/ .
Originally published by newsinfo.nd.edu on March 17, 2009.at