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FEBRUARY 22, 2001--James J. O'Donnell, Professor of Classical Studies and Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing at the University of Pennsylvania, will present the Charles Beebe Martin Classical Lectures 2000-2001 at Oberlin College the first week in March. All of the lectures will be free and open to the public.

The lectures mark the 74 anniversary of the series established at Oberlin in honor of Charles Beebe Martin, professor of classics and classical archaeology at the College from 1880 to1925.

Titled "The Lives of Augustine", this year's series will address fundamental issues in the contemporary reception of the work of Augustine of Hippo, and will set those issues in the larger context of modern scholarship and interpretation. Author of The Confessions, The City of God, and many other seminal works in the formation of early Christian thought, Augustine has been an enormously influential figure in the history of Christianity. The lectures will focus particularly on the place of biography in history, the nature and history of the conception of the "soul" and personality, and the shaping and emergence of Christianity in Augustine's time.

The series includes the lectures "Death in Hippo" to be delivered Monday March 5; "The Man Without Qualities" on March 6; and "The Past Recaptured" on Thursday, March 8, all at 8:00 P.M. The final lecture is entitled "The Tongue Set Free" and will take place on Friday, March 9 at 4:30 P.M.

Professor O'Donnell is currently filling a visiting professorship at Yale University. Before taking his position at the University of Pennsylvania he taught at Bryn Mawr College, the Catholic University of America, and Cornell University. He has also held visiting professorships at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington.

A graduate of Princeton University, he also has studied at University College, Dublin, and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Yale University in 1975. The author of seven books--including the definitive scholarly text and commentary on Augustine's Confessions--O'Donnell also has written on Latin authors of late antiquity and on the pedagogical potential of electronic media.

O'Donnell's 1995 book, Avatars of the Word: from Papyrus to Cyberspace, made him an acknowledged expert on the use of electronic media in Classical scholarship.

A member of numerous editorial boards for Classical and Post-Classical scholarly publications, O'Donnell is also well-known as the editor of many volumes of the monograph series, Later Latin Texts and Concepts, published by the University of Michigan Press.



Media Contact: Sue Kropp