Notre Dame historian Thomas Noble to deliver Hesburgh Lecture at Newman University Oct. 22

Oct 10, 2013

Dr. Thomas Noble, Professor of History from the University of Notre Dame, will deliver the annual Hesburgh Lecture at Newman University at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 22. The speech is entitled “Western Civilization: What a Good Idea.” The event will be held in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center and is free and open to the public.

Thomas NobleSince 1986 the Hesburgh Lecture Series has brought Notre Dame’s academic excellence to clubs and communities across the nation. The lectures are designed to perpetuate a lifelong learning experience.

“My title comes from a famous question posed to Gandhi on his first visit to England,” Noble said. “Someone asked him what he thought of Western Civilization and he said ‘What a good idea. You ought to try it.'”

Noble’s speech will deal with subjects such as Western Civilization and political issues. Noble said he does not envision his trip to Newman as a presentation, but rather a “thought piece intended to provoke reflection and discussion.

“In part, I talk about the battles over this course in recent years and why both liberal and conservative positions miss the point,” Noble said. “I do not try to pack 5,000 years of history into 45 minutes.”

Thomas Noble 2Noble earned his bachelor of arts degree in History from Ohio University and his master of arts and doctorate degrees in Medieval History from Michigan State University. He received the Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Teaching from Notre Dame University in 2008. This award honors faculty members who have had an influence on undergraduate students through exemplary teaching, and creating environments that stimulate students’ learning.

“I have not met Dr. Noble before, but he is a well-known and well-respected historian who has spent many years studying Western Civilization,” said Newman Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Austin, Ph.D. “He will bring to Newman a solid perspective about how the study of history can enrich our understanding of ourselves and our present circumstances.”

Noble’s research has concentrated on late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, focusing on the history of the city of Rome, the history of the papacy, and the age of Charlemagne.

“Newman is very attractive. I very much look forward to my visit,” Noble said.