The Cambridge Roundtable on Science and Religion

Event Details

Saints, Sex, and Society

November 16, 2011

Sarah Ruden
 Wesleyan University, Classics

Sarah Ruden received a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Classical studies from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and a doctorate in Classical Philology from Harvard. She has taught at Harvard, the University of Cape Town, and Yale, and is currently a visiting scholar at Wesleyan University. 


Ruden is the first woman to translate Vergil’s great epic The Aeneid, rendering the poem in the same number of lines as the original work: a rare feat of maintaining technical fidelity to the original without diminishing its emotional drive. "The translation is alive in every part. . . . [T]he first translation since Dryden’s that can be read as a great English poem in itself." — Garry Wills, New York Review of Books



Sarah has published an award-winning volume of poetry and four books of Classical literary translation, and a fifth will appear in January from Yale University Press. She received a Guggenheim fellowship for her work and translates for the Landmark series of ancient historians. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in a variety of journals, including The New Criterion, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Century, and Salon.


The Roundtable has been waiting a long time to discover just the right person to lead the way into a rousing discussion of sex and sexuality: topics that are too much fun to be drowned in science or religion; until now! Our 27th roundtable will feature Classics translator and poet Sarah Ruden taking a new look at Saint Paul and sex. Ancient innovator? Accidental authoritarian? How would Paul handle our present perplexities? 


Please accept our invitation to the Wednesday, November 16 Cambridge Roundtable on Science, Art & Religion, an evening of dinner and discussion at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge (parking also provided) addressing Liberty and Justice For All? Saints, Sex, and Society. Setting controversial passages in Paul’s letters beside Greco-Roman literature on similar topics, Ruden’s latest book, Paul Among the People (2010), arose out of questions she encountered in the Quaker community about Paul of Tarsus as the founder of Christian society. You might never think about saints, sex and society in the same way again.