1. Fox to Co-Produce Film Version of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:
Replacing Walt Disney Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox has just agreed to co-produce with Walden Media The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third of the films based on C.S. Lewis's beloved, 7-volume book series, The Chronicles of Narnia. As reported in the January issue of Logos, Disney had announced its withdrawal from the series (remarkably enough on this past Christmas Eve!) and many believe that they poorly handled the film version of Prince Caspian. Voyage will be directed by Michael Apted, who directed Walden Media's superb William Wilberforce film production, Amazing Grace. As the Los Angeles Times reports:
"Fox saves 'Narnia' from Disney," by Kelly Jane Torrance (Washington Times, January 30, 2009)
This article is the single best discussion of this issue, in which our own David Theroux (President, C.S. Lewis Society of California) is quoted, and Brandon Gray (President of BoxOfficeMojo.com) reveals both his and Disney's bias regarding the Narnia series. In the process, Brandon indicates his incredible, politicized belief that the relative success of the Narnia films is somehow correlated with U.S. elections.
. . . . "It's good that Disney is separating itself from 'Narnia,'" he says. Disney is a very brand-focused studio, and, unlike its animated films or the recent live-action flick "Enchanted," the "Narnia" films didn't scream "Disney."
"It just wasn't a good fit," Mr. Gray concludes. "What, are they going to re-enact the Passion of the Lion in a Disney theme park? 'Stab the lion right on Main Street!' Especially since Narnia is so overtly Christian, whereas Disney is more secular."
"Fox to pick up Narnia franchise for third film" (Reuters, January 29, 2009)
"Fox Picks Up Next Narnia Film," by Mark Moring (Christianity Today, January 28, 2009)
"Fox to develop 'Narnia': Walden Media finds post-Mouse partner," by Michael Fleming (Variety, January 28, 2009)
"'Dawn Treader' lands at Fox 2000: Third 'Narnia' film let go by Disney last month," (Hollywood Reporter, January 28, 2009)
"Saving Narnia," by Mark Joseph (BullyPulpit.com, January 29, 2009)
2. Important New Book on C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy:
A very important new book will be published by Oxford University Press in July 2009, C.S. Lewis on the Final Frontier: Science and the Supernatural in the Space Trilogy, by Sanford Schwartz (Professor of English, Pennsylvania State University). In the book, Schwartz offers a penetrating new reading of Lewis's celebrated Space Trilogy, showing that each of the novels takes up a distinct facet of the conflict between Christianity and the tendencies of modern thought that arose in the wake of Darwinian materialism. In Out of the Silent Planet, the target is evolutionary naturalism, primarily as it appears in the science fiction of H.G. Wells. In Perelandra, it is the alluring but perilous doctrine of "creative evolution" inaugurated by Henri Bergson. In That Hideous Strength, it is a eugenically inspired totalitarianism designed to control the evolutionary process and thereby achieve everlasting dominion over the planet. Schwartz argues that Lewis is far more engaged with modern developments in ways that are not only compatible with traditional Christianity but speak to the distinctive concerns of modern existence.
3. Articles on Christianity and Culture:
"What Will Heaven Be Like? Thirty-five frequently asked questions about eternity," by Peter Kreeft (Christianity Today)
"Those Odd Atheist Bus-Slogans," by Hal G.P. Colebatch (American Spectator, January 26, 2009)
"Secularizations," by Richard John Neuhaus (First Things, February 2009)
4. Upcoming C.S. Lewis Society Event:
C.S. Lewis Society Bay Area Book and Film Club (See year-long schedule here)
Meets bi-weekly Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
The upcoming meeting will be held at:
February 4 and 18: Discussion:
The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal, Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in a Few Centuries, by Rodney Stark; leader/moderator, Paul Ashby, Ph.D.
The Rise of Christianity is an excellent sociological history of the first Christian centuries, beginning roughly with the martyrdoms of James, Paul, and Peter and ending with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine. Here is how and why the Christian movement spread so quickly, undercutting the practice of paganism through vibrant and enterprising, voluntary organizations devoted to Christian teachings and charity. For those interested in the rise of Christianity and religious movements in general, Stark’s brilliant, Pulitzer Prize finalist book is a must-read.
"This book raises, simply and brilliantly, just the kinds of questions anyone concerned with early Christianity should ask."
The Christian Century
"A fresh, blunt and highly persuasive account of how the West was wonfor Jesus."
"Compelling reading . . . highly recommended."
5. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Stage Performances:
A. Portland, Oregon:
Christian Youth Theater Vancouver/Portland will present “Narnia,” a musical adaptation of of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, at Sam Barlow High School, in Gresham, OR, on January 30 and 31.
"Youth theater stages classic C.S. Lewis tale," by Rob Cullivan (Gresham Outlook, January 21, 2008)
For further information: www.cytvanport.org, 360-750-8550 or 1-866-503-5648.
B. Redding, California:
The Redding School of the Arts will present “Narnia,” a musical adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, at Shasta Learning Center, in Redding, CA, on February 6 and 7.
"‘Narnia’: Redding School of the Arts" (Food for Thought, January 12, 2009)
C. London, England:
Antic Disposition's dramatization of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe will be presented March 17th through April 19th, St. Stephen's Hampstead.
"St. Stephen's To Reopen As Arts Center, 'Second Chances' Themed 2009 Season Planned" (Broadway World, January 14, 2009)
For further information: www.anticdisposition.co.uk, 0871 230 5540.
6. Other Events:
A. "Inklings: Dinosaurs or Contemporaries?"
Sponsored by the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society
The twelfth annual meeting of the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society will explore ways in which C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield and Charles Williams are particularly relevant to the literary, theological, philosophical and socio-political issues of 21st century times. In addition, the work of Dorothy Sayers and G.K. Chesterton will be included as strong-minded proto-Inklings.
B. International Colloquium on Perelandra with Second Premiere of Perelandra: The Opera
Sponsored by the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society
This opera by Donald Swann and David Marsh was originally written between 1960 and 1964, with enthusiastic support from C.S. Lewis. In a l962 letter to Marsh, Lewis wrote, "I think [the libretto] just stunningly good. It brought tears to my eyes in places. Done right, it will be terrific. I very heartily congratulate you." The opera was also very dear to Swann's heart, and contains some of his most lyrical music.
When first premiered, the opera received enthusiastic reviews in Oxford, Cambridge, London and later New York. However, the sale of the film rights shortly after Lewis's death placed a long-term embargo on its performance. The opera is now receiving a long-awaited second premiere. It is to be performed in its original, three-act version as a "theatrical oratorio" and recorded by Oxford Records.
Call for Papers (literary, theological, historical, musical, etc.): Abstracts of 150-500 words
Abstract submission Information
Perelandra: The Opera, by Donald Swann (music) and David Marsh (libretto)
Competition for Subject-related Artwork
Judge: Alan Lee, Academy Award-winning artist from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy
Artwork submission Information
C. "All Things Considered"
Sponsored by the New York C.S. Lewis Society
Commemorating its 40th Anniversary, the New York C.S. Lewis Society will host a weekend symposium.
Joseph Koterski, S.J., Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University; Editor-in-Chief, International Philosophical Quarterly
Christopher Mitchell, Wade Professor of Christian Thought and Director, Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College
Joseph Pearce, Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature, Ave Maria University; Author, C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church, Wisdom and Innocents: A Life of G. K. Chesterton, Tolkien: Man and Myth, Literary Converts, Literary Giants, Literary Catholics, and Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc
D. "Beyond the Wardrobe: Into the World of C.S. Lewis on a Tour of Ireland and England"
Sponsored by Will Vaus Ministries
For yourself and others, you can order books by or about C.S. Lewis, as well as videos and DVDs plus audio tapes and CDs.
Logos is made possible by the generous contributions of Members of the C.S. Lewis Society. If you enjoy Logos, please consider becoming a Member and making a donation to the C.S. Lewis Society. Click here for details on the C.S. Lewis Society Membership program, or contact us by phone at 510-635-6892, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by snail mail to C. S. Lewis Society of California, 100 Swan Way, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94621-1428. All contributions are tax-deductible. Thank you!