Dr. John Fitzgerald, theology professor at Notre Dame, discussed intoxication of early Christians at the Carmichael-Walling Lectures on Nov. 9.
The Carmichael-Walling Lectures, hosted by the Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts at ACU, have been held every November since 1987.
During his lecture, Dr. John Fitzgerald, professor at Notre Dame, said early Christians never mentioned alcoholism, but did recognize the difference in being drunk once or frequently drinking outside of social events.
Fitzgerald spoke on “Friends and Drunks: Two Glimpses into the Social History of the Early Christians and Their World.” He lectured in two different sessions during the annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures: one at 4:30 p.m. on “The Testament of Jesus: Wills, Friends, and the Fourth Gospel” and one at 7:30 p.m. on “Wine and the Problem of Intoxication in the World of Early Christians.”
In his lecture, Fitzgerald asked and answered seven questions related to aspects of early alcoholism including: when people drank or get drunk, what contributed to intoxication, were people aware of the adverse effects and what social and moral consequences drunkenness was known to have.
“No ancient writer or philosopher described the phenomenon as a disease or addiction, but they did show an awareness for the moral and social consequences of drunkenness,” said Dr. John Fitzgerald.
Dr. John Fitzgerald (’72 M.A.) is a professor of Biblical studies/Christianity and Judaism in antiquity in the department of theology at the University of Notre Dame. Fitzgerald obtained his Bachelors and Masters at ACU before attending Yale for additional degrees.
“They [the lectures] give us the chance to bring in world-class scholars who share their cutting-edge research with the ACU community, with academics from different universities and with local ministers and other people interested in the Bible,” said Dr. Jeff Sessions, Director of CSART.