The annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures, presented by ACU’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts, will be held Thursday, Nov. 8.

Dr. John Fitzgerald (’72 M.A.) of the University of Notre Dame will give two lectures on the theme: “Friends and Drunks: Two Glimpses into the Social History of the Early Christians and Their World.”


Dr. John T. Fitzgerald

An expert on early Christianity, Dr. Fitzgerald will speak on how two fascinating topics from ancient culture functioned in the life of the Church. First, he will explore the role of friendship in the making of wills in antiquity, and how this practice illumines aspects of the Gospel of John. Second, he will discuss the consumption of wine and the problem of intoxication in the ancient Mediterranean world, along with the awareness of this problem by early Christian authors.

4 p.m. – The Testament of Jesus: Wills, Friends, and the Fourth Gospel
7:30 p.m. – Wine and the Problem of Intoxication in the World of Early Christianity

Lectures are free, open to the public and will take place in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building in room 114 on ACU’s campus. For more information, contact

Fitzgerald (’72 M.A.) is Professor of Biblical Studies/Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He is a master teacher and has published many articles and books, focusing on the cultural contexts of early Christianity. Among the areas Fitzgerald is currently researching are the role of friendship in the spread of early Christianity, the economy – including issues such as the attitude of the church and the government regarding unemployment – and domestic violence in antiquity.

Fitzgerald’s recent edited volumes include, Abraham J. Malherbe’s Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity (2014), Animosity, the Bible, and Us: Some European, North American, and South African Perspectives (2014), and Passions and Moral Progress in Greco-Roman Thought (2008).

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