Christ Actually: Jesus in the 21st Century

WED, DEC 10, 2014 (1:40:36)

Hosted at the First Parish in Cambridge, 1446 Massachusetts Avenue

Award-winning author James Carroll discusses his new book, Christ Actually: The Son of God for The Secular Age with Harvey Cox of Harvard Divinity School.

Carroll asks what can we believe-and how can we believe in—Jesus in the post-20th century world of wars and Holocaust and the drift from religion that followed. Carroll revisits Christ’s crucial identity as a Jew. What can the ordinary humanness of the Christ figure mean to the 21st century? How can Christ, who is no Christian himself, transcend Christianity to speak to people in today’s world?

+ BIO: James Carroll

James Carroll is the author of 10 novels and 5 previous works of non-fiction, including the National Book Award winning An American Requiem, The New York Times bestselling Constantine's Sword, now an acclaimed documentary, and House of War, which won the first PEN-Galbraith Award. Carroll has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and other publications, and his column appears weekly in the Boston Globe. His writing, and his long work toward Jewish-Christian-Muslim reconciliation, make him a leading voice on the problem of religion and violence.

James Carroll, Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Suffolk University, received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from St. Paul’s College, the Paulist Fathers’ seminary in Washington, DC. After studying poetry at the University of Minnesota and working as a community organizer in Washington and New York, he was ordained into the priesthood.

The Paulists and Cardinal Cushing assigned Carroll to Boston University, where he served as Catholic chaplain from 1969 to 1974. During those years he published numerous books on religious subjects and a weekly column in the National Catholic Reporter, which earned him awards from the Catholic Press Association and other organizations. Carroll remained active in the antiwar movement until the Vietnam War ended. He left the priesthood to become a writer and has since published nine novels, an award-winning memoir, and a weekly op-ed column for the Boston Globe.

Carroll is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on its Committee for International Security Studies. He is a member of the council of PEN/New England, and he served four years as its chair. He has been a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at the Harvard Divinity School. Carroll is also a trustee of the Boston Public Library and a member of the advisory board of the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University.

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