James J. O'Donnell


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James Joseph O'Donnell is a classical scholar and University Librarian at Arizona State University. He formerly served as University Professor at Georgetown University (2012-2015) and as Provost of Georgetown University from 2002–2012. O'Donnell previously served as Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing at the University of Pennsylvania (1996–2002). He is a former President of the American Philological Association and a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. Since 2012, he chairs the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies.

O'Donnell writes and lectures on topics of the late Roman Empire, Augustine of Hippo, and also on information technology in the modern academic and cultural world. He was an early adopter of th
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“Monarchs have a great weakness, however, for their own sons, no matter how feckless and inept. A statistical study should be done across cultures assessing the relative frequency of the bizarre outcomes to which monarchical succession is prone: failure to provide an heir or successor, provision of an heir completely inept, or division of rule among several incompatible ones. Orderly succession followed by a successful reign is the exception.”
James J. O'Donnell, Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity

“Few moderns may think of the linear development of human history in the same terms the old Christians used, but the modern world of ideas is unimaginable without the irreversible linearity of connection and direction they provided. Everyone on the planet recognizes the Christian scheme of marking and pointing time’s arrow, even when we noncommittally mark our dates BCE/ CE.”
James J. O'Donnell, Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity

“(A kingdom without justice, he memorably observed, was nothing but a very large band of pirates.”
James J. O'Donnell, Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity

Topics Mentioning This Author

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The History Book ...: * ROLE OF RELIGION IN HISTORY 118 657 May 26, 2020 03:33PM  
Ancient & Medieva...: Freebie/Giveaway/On Sale Historical Fiction Books - eBook and Audio 2610 1280 Sep 05, 2020 09:14AM  
The History Book ...: * CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY 504 1277 Dec 25, 2020 10:56AM  


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