Saturday Scholar Series to kick off football weekends

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The fourth annual Saturday Scholar Series at the University of Notre Dame will feature a lecture by a leading faculty member on each of the six home football game weekends this fall.p. The lectures are sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters and will begin three and one-half hours before kickoff. Mark W. Roche, I.A. OShaughnessy Dean of Arts and Letters, initiated the program to add a scholarly dimension to a weekend schedule of athletics, pageantry and fine arts performances.p. The lectures will take place in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies, unless otherwise noted. They are as follows:p. Sept. 11 – “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins,” with James VanderKam, Rev. John A. OBrien Professor of Theology. The 900 scrolls discovered in caves near the shore of the Dead Sea offer a window into the conditions in Israel before the birth of Christianity. This lecture will describe the Dead Sea Scrolls and provide a new context in which to understand the Old and New Testaments.p. VanderKam’s research in the last decade has focused on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and he is a member of the editorial committee that is preparing the editions of the remaining unpublished scrolls. His prize-winning book, “The Dead Sea Scrolls Today,” has been translated into six languages.p. Sept. 25 – " ‘The DaVinci Code: An Assessment," with Rev. Richard McBrien, Crowley-OBrien Professor of Roman Catholic Theology; Valerie Sayers, professor of English; and Robert Coleman, associate professor of art history. A panel of Notre Dame experts will offer insights into the literary quality, theological implications and historical accuracy of the art depicted in the best-selling novel by Dan Brown.p. The location has been moved to the McKenna Hall Auditorium. p. Oct. 2 – “The Movie Mogul: Joseph P. Kennedys Film Career,” with Donald Crafton, professor of film, television and theatre. Best known as a successful banker and U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, the Kennedy family patriarch also made his mark on the fledgling Hollywood movie business of the early 20th century. From 1917 to 1931, Kennedy owned movie theatres, controlled three film studios and was instrumental in the transition from silent films to talkies.p. Crafton, a film historian, will survey Kennedys exploits in show business and offer insights into his little-known aspirations as a movie mogul. This lecture will be held in Notre Dames new Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts.p. Oct. 9, – “Another Kind of Founding Father: Jonathan Edwards and the American Heritage,” with George Marsden, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History. Marsden will examine the controversial Protestant theologian and author who was credited with igniting the Enlightenment movement of the 18th century, and who was committed to fostering religious sensibilities in the increasingly secular world of his time.p. One of the nations leading scholars of American religious history, Marsden is the author or coauthor of more than a dozen books, including “Jonathan Edwards: A Life,” which this year garnered three national book prizes.p. Oct. 23 – “Americas Largest Private School System: A Look Inside Catholic Schools,” with Maureen Hallinan, William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of Sociology. Recognized as one of the worlds leading authorities on the sociology of education, Hallinan will discuss recent research on Catholic schools and examine the “Catholic school advantage” – the documented higher academic achievement of students who attend Catholic schools. She also will report on preliminary results of a project funded by the Department of Education that compares best practices in Catholic and public schools in Chicago.p. Nov. 13 – “Children and Marital Conflict,” with E. Mark Cummings, Notre Dame Chair in Psychology. Cummings will discuss the impact of marital conflict on childrens emotional security and discuss factors that affect the emotional relationship between parents and children.p. As director of “The Happy Couples and Happy Kids Project,” Cummings has conducted extensive research on how marital conflict negatively influences a childs development. He was instrumental in the establishment of Notre Dames Center for Children and Families, a community resource for families in Northern Indiana where parents can learn strategies for constructive conflict resolution.p.

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