Functions & Events > The Bentley Lecture > 2004 Archive

The Bentley Lecture 2004:

James Carroll:

Crusade: Some Thoughts on the War on Terror

Sunday, March 28, 2004, 4:00 p.m.

Commentator, Writer and Novelist James Carroll will be this year's Bentley Lecturer. Most people know Carroll for his weekly opinion pieces in the Boston Globe. At once thoughtful and iconoclastic, James Carroll always brings a new perspective to an issue that makes even those who might disagree with him consider the issue from another angle.
A former Catholic Priest who left the Church, Carroll brings an erudite and sensitive voice to issues of religion and civic life in this country. A well-known novelist, Carroll began his literary career as a playwright. In 1976, he published his first novel, Madonna Red which was translated into seven languages. Since then he has published nine novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Mortal Friends (1978), Family Trade (1982), and Prince of Peace (1984). His novel The City Below was a New York Times Notable Book of 1994. Carroll's essays and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Daedalus, and other publications. His op-ed page column has run weekly in the Boston Globe since 1992.

Carroll's memoir, An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War that Came Between Us, received the 1996 National Book Award in nonfiction and other awards. His book Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History, published in 2001, was a New York Times best seller. Responding to the Catholic sex abuse crisis in 2002, Carroll published Toward A New Catholic Church: The Promise of Reform. His tenth novel, Secret Father, was published in August, 2003 to widespread critical acclaim. In the summer of 2004 Metropolitan Books will publish Crusade, a volume of Carroll's Boston Globe columns since 9/11.

Carroll lectures widely on Jewish-Christian reconciliation, on Catholic reform, and on the question of war and peace. He is a regular participant in on-going Jewish-Christian-Muslim encounters at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

We welcome him to Salem and to the First Church and the Salem Athenaeum, our co-sponsor for this event. The lecture will begin at 4:00 PM at the First Church and will be followed by a period of questions and answers.

James Carroll

Author/Illustrator Bio:
James Carroll was born in Chicago in 1943, and raised in Washington where his father, an Air Force general, served as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Carroll attended Georgetown University before entering the seminary to train for the Catholic priesthood. He received BA and MA degrees from St. Paul’s College, the Paulist Fathers’ seminary in Washington, and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1969. Carroll served as Catholic Chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974 and then left the priesthood to become a writer.
In 1974 Carroll was Playwright-in-Residence at the Berkshire Theater Festival in Stockbridge, MA. In 1976 he published his first novel, Madonna Red, which was translated into seven languages. Since then he has published nine additional novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Mortal Friends (1978), Family Trade (1982), and Prince of Peace (1984). His novels The City Below (1994) and Secret Father (2003) were named Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times. Carroll’s essays and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Daedalus, and other publications. His op-ed page column has run weekly in the Boston Globe since 1992.

Carroll is a regular participant in on-going Jewish-Christian-Muslim encounters at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Carroll is a member of the Council of PEN-New England, which he chaired for four years. 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. He is a trustee of the Boston Public Library, a member of the Advisory Board of the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University, and a member of the Dean’s Council at the Harvard Divinity School. Carroll is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Suffolk University. James Carroll lives in Boston with his wife, the novelist Alexandra Marshall. They have two grown children.