Nigerian novelist and poet Chinua Achebe, winner of the 2007 Man Booker International Prize, 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 (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday).
Widely regarded as the father of modern African literature, 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 March 23 lecture will focus on “God,” the talk on March 25 will focus on “Human Beings,” and the March 26 presentation will focus on “Creation.” Each lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Jordan Auditorium in Notre Dame’s 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 currently is 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 John Cavadini, associate professor and chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology.
Cavadini added that he hopes the Notre Dame community will be inspired by the clarity of Achebe’s vision, and the sheer patience and persistence that he 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 Notre Dame Press.
This event is sponsored by the Department of Theology and made possible by a grant from the Dilenschneider family. More information is available on the Web at http://theology.nd.edu/.