Professor of Humanities
His publications include over a dozen books, as well as numerous translations and original plays. His most recent books are Herakles Gone Mad: Rethinking Heroism in an Age of Endless War and (forthcoming in fall 2014) Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War.
He has offered workshops on the translation and contemporary production of ancient drama at colleges and universities here and abroad, and has himself directed productions at such venues as the Samuel Beckett Centre, Dublin and the Nandan Centre for the Performing Arts in Kolkota, India. In recent years he has directed and participated in a range of events and programs concerned with healing the spiritual wounds of war in veterans, their families, and their communities.
An introduction to the archaeology, myth, history, art, literature, and religion of ancient Ireland: 4000 BCE to 1200 CE, from the earliest megalithic monuments to the Norman conquest. The emphasis throughout will be on the study of primary material, whether artifacts or documents. Readings will include: selections from the Mythological, Ulster, and Finn Cycles; The Voyage of St. Brendan; The History and Topography of Ireland by Giraldus Cambrensis; the writings of Patrick; and selections from early Irish hagiography.
The moral legitimacy of war has been the focus of intense division and debate within Christianity from its emergence in the first century of the Common Era. Crucial for the ensuing centuries of warfare in the West, Christian theologians, philosophers, and eventually canon lawyers have been the source of the doctrine of just war in its first formulations and in its many versions since, down to the present day. This course will trace the roots and the path of that tradition in the West.
The aim of this course will be the comparative study of four ancient epics from India, Greece, Israel, and Italy. The core readings will comprise: the Ramayana, the Odyssey, the David Story, and the Aeneid. Each text will be considered both in its own historical and cultural context and in the larger shared context of bronze age epic, myth, and literature.
This class will look closely at a number of prehistoric and ancient goddess traditions from Europe, the Near East, and South Asia, examining their ancient forms and their enduring legacies. More specifically, this class will begin in the painted caves of prehistoric France and end on the streets of contemporary Kolkota, home to the largest and most vital Mother Goddess festival in the modern world, the festival of Ma Durga.
The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the dramatic traditions and texts of classical Greek and classical Sanskrit theater. From the classical Athenian corpus, selected tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as comedies by Aristophanes and Menander, will be considered in depth. From the classical Indian tradition, we will read works by Bhasa, Kalidasa, and Shudraka. Special attention will be paid to the historical context of each play and to considerations of staging, ancient and modern.