Notre Dame’s Thomas F. Noble, Ph.D., to deliver Hesburgh Lecture April 3

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 10:45am
Dr. Thomas Noble

MOBILE, Ala. – Dr. Thomas Noble, professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, will deliver the 2014 Notre Dame Alumni Club Hesburgh Lecture, in conjunction with Spring Hill College and the Christus Theological Institute. 

The lecture, “Faith Taking Shape: Early Christianity and the Arts,” will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the Gautrelet Room, located in the Lucey Administration Center. 

In light of the spectacular contributions of Christianity to western art, one might suppose that glorious religious art was somehow inevitable. But given the Exodus prohibition of images (Exodus 20:4) and classical philosophical reservations, it was by no means likely that Christianity would develop any art at all. This lecture explores how and why a distinctive Christian art emerged. One key feature of the talk is a parallel story: Christians learned to talk about God as they learned to depict Him and His story. While featuring a number of beautiful images, the talk will focus on Christian discourse about art, God, and the holy.

Noble earned his B.A. at Ohio University and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Michigan State University. He has taught classical and medieval history at Texas Tech, the University of Virginia, and at Notre Dame, where he is currently a professor of history and was formerly director of the Medieval Institute. Noble has published and lectured widely on both Europe and the Mediterranean world. He has held numerous fellowships and awards, including Notre Dame’s Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Currently president of the American Catholic Historical Association, he is a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Housed at Spring Hill College, the Christus Theological Institute is a grassroots consortium of Mobile Bay area churches joined in the quest to promote a deeper understanding of our Christian faith.

The event, which is hosted in conjunction with the Notre Dame Alumni Club, is free and open to the public. For more information on this and upcoming Christus events, contact the Theology Department at (251) 380-4458 or