Saturday Scholars to examine “The DaVinci Code”

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A panel of University 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 “The DaVinci Code” at the next presentation of the Saturday Scholar Series at 11 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 25) in the McKenna Hall auditorium.p. The second in a series of six lectures, this weeks presentation will feature Rev. Richard McBrien, Crowley-OBrien Professor of Roman Catholic Theology; Valerie Sayers, professor of English; and Robert Coleman, associate professor of art history.p. Sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters, the Saturday Scholar lectures begin three and one-half hours before the kickoff of each home football game.p. The remainder of the schedule is as follows: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 (Hesburgh Center auditorium) – “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 (Hesburgh Center auditorium) – “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 (Hesburgh Center auditorium) – “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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