Newsletter of the C. S. Lewis Society of California
Winter 2018

In This Issue:

1. Renowned Christian Philosopher Alvin C. Plantings Wins Prestigious Templeton Prize

The world-renowned philosopher Alvin C. Plantinga has been awarded the 2017 Templeton Prize for his pioneering work over a half century has propelled Christianity and theism into cutting edge status in academic and other circles. Indeed, he has revolutionized the field of philosophy. The Templeton Prize is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation whose president Heather Templeton Dill has stated that, "Sometimes ideas come along that revolutionize the way we think, and those who create such breakthrough discoveries are the people we honor with the Templeton Prize. Alvin Plantinga recognized that not only did religious belief not conflict with serious philosophical work, but that it could make crucial contributions to addressing perennial problems in philosophy."

Indeed, Plantinga has shown that Christian belief is not just "properly basic" in being true but that naturalism, materialism, and atheism are inherently incoherent, irrational, and self-refuting. In the process, Plantinga has shown that reason, free will, consciousness, individual agency, and objective truth and morality are intrinsically true. Professor Plantinga is the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and a Founding Member of the Board of Advisors of both the C.S. Lewis Society of California as well as the Center on Culture and Civil Society at the Independent Institute.

Sample Media Coverage: Video of 2017 Templeton Prize Ceremony

Books by Alvin Plantinga: Sample Articles and Papers by Alvin Plantinga: Sample Videos with Alvin Plantinga:
2. The Silver Chair: Further Update on the Next Chronicles of Narnia Film

Twelve years after the 2005 release of the highly successful, Walden Media film production of C.S. Lewis's first book in The Chronicles of Narnia book series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, plans for a film version of Lewis's The Silver Chair continue. Screenwriter David Magee (Life of Pi and Finding Neverland) has completed the final script for the film for the Mark Gordon Company and C.S. Lewis Company, and the director for the film is the Academy Award-winning Joe Johnston (Honey, I Shrank the Kids; Jumanji; Jurassic Park III; Captain America: The First Avenger; etc.). In addition, Stranger Things (Netflix) star Millie Bobby Brown has been offered the lead role of Jill Pole by TriStar Pictures. Filming is slated to start in the Winter of 2018.

Sample Media Coverage:

3. Shadowlands: The Unlikely, True Love Story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman: New Stage Production

Sponsored by the Fellowship for Performing Arts (FPA)

From the producers of the stage productions of The Screwtape Letters, The Most Reluctant Convert, The Great Divorce and Martin Luther on Trial comes Shadowlands, the unlikely and true love story of the renowned Oxford scholar and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis and the much younger Joy Davidman, a divorced Jewish New Yorker, Christian convert, and former Communist.

The smart, brash Joy bursts into Lewis's sedate, middle-aged life and upends it. Lewis is as shocked as anyone to discover that he and Joy have fallen deeply in love---and then almost immediately he must contend with the equally deep pain of losing her when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Funny, poignant and insightful, Shadowlands---also an Oscar-winning film---is a moving portrait of love and loss, faith and doubt, as inspired by Lewis's own book, A Grief Observed.

Shadowlands was formerly made into the 1992 BBC TV production (starring Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom) and the 1994 Sir Richard Attenborough directed film production (starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger).

"Beautifully acted by Gerroll and Abramson and directed with quiet sympathy by Christa Scott-Reed, the production has the effect of a prayer delivered tenderly and even humorously."
Huffington Post

"A thoughtful and statisfying review . . . Under Christa Scott-Reed's direction, the exceptional cast catches every nuance of this fine play."
The New Yorker

"Shadowlands blends the lightness and humor of a good romantic comedy with just enough theological depth to engage the intellect."
National Review

"Mr. Gerroll and Ms. Abramson are appealing comic actors, smartly restrained and surrounded by a strong company."
New York Times

"FPA is like a breath of fresh are . . . Shadowlands deals with the mystery of human suffering . . . I can imagine many enthusiastic discussions that the play might provide."
The Tablet: Catholic News & Opinion
October 17, 2017, through January 7, 2018
Running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes including one 15-minute intermission
Theatre Row---The Acorn Theatre
410 W. 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-239-6200

4. Pope Francis and the Caring Society: Acclaimed New Book on How Liberty Creates a More Caring World

Pope Francis and the Caring Society
Edited by Robert M. Whaples
Foreword by Michael Novak

Pope Francis and the Caring Society is the widely acclaimed, very timely, new, and in-depth exploration of the Pope's earnest call for a dialogue on building a truly compassionate society. Francis's fervent support for uplifting the poor and protecting the environment has inspired far-reaching discussions worldwide: However, what is the most effective way to fight poverty? And what value does a Christian perspective offer in addressing moral, political, and economic problems?

Pope Francis and the Caring Society is an indispensable resource for considering these and other vital questions. Edited by Robert M. Whaples, with a foreword by the late Michael Novak, the book provides an integrated perspective on Francis and the issues he has raised, examining the intersection of religion, politics, and economics, includes both Catholics and Protestants, and it has been endorsed by dozens of Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish scholars. Readers will discover important historical and cultural context for considering Francis's views, along with alternative solutions for environmental preservation, a defense of Francis's criticism of power and privilege, the case for market-based entrepreneurship and private charity as essential tools for fighting poverty, and an examination of Francis's philosophy of the family. Pope Francis and the Caring Society is essential reading for anyone interested in creating a better, more caring, and prosperous world.

Read Michael Novak's Foreword

"We are all called to serve and care humbly for others, especially those most in need, but how we do so is crucial in guiding our moral responsibility. Firmly rooted in our Christian tradition, the incisive and timely book, Pope Francis and the Caring Society, carefully examines this vital issue by applying natural-law ethical and economic principles."
Michael C. Barber, S.J., Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, California

"The important book Pope Francis and the Caring Society makes a crucial point: It is not enough to have good intentions. How one attempts to fulfill them may override."
Rodney Stark, Distinguished University Professor of the Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University

"At a time when those today most responsible for transmitting Catholic social teaching need urgently to be reminded of some cause-and-effect realities essential to it, Pope Francis and the Caring Society provides us with many necessary reminders, readably and soundly."
John M. Finnis, Biolchini Family Professor of Law, The Law School, University of Notre Dame

"Pope Francis and the Caring Society appears like a team of economists forced to study the encyclical Laudato Si' in theory and then wonder if it might work in practice. . . . it provides the sound economic and ecological teaching that is missing in the debate. Such issues need to be addressed urgently to dispel confusion. . . . the book initiates a debate that has the added benefit of educating its readers on the Church's teaching on many issues like natural law and other moral and economic principles that would otherwise remain clouded. This alone makes the book valuable. . . . In today?s brutal world, it is refreshing to see a civilized debate that is carried out with great respect and reverence."
Crisis Magazine

"Pope Francis and the Caring Society is a stunning achievement. It is high-level scholarship put in prose that is accessible to the lay reader. And it is must reading for biblical exegetes, theologians, pastors and Christian leaders in general because, in a fair and careful way, the book brings conceptual economic clarity to those who often speak to and for the church about matters economical without the training to do so. One main purpose of the book is to clarify and defend the proposition that the teachings of Jesus (and scripture generally) set the ends for Christians (and many of these ends are set for everyone by way of natural law) regarding a cluster of related issues taken up within its pages, but it is the science of economics that provides knowledge of the best means to reach those ends. Much---usually unintentional---harm has been done by people who have failed to learn the economic justification for those means, but with the publication of Pope Francis and the Caring Society, that problem can now be laid to rest. A marvelous book."
J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University

"The Pope's teaching warrants respectful but critical appraisal and receives it in the important book, Pope Francis and the Caring Society."
Daniel N. Robinson, Faculty Fellow of Philosophy, Linacre College, University of Oxford; Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Georgetown University

"Pope Francis and the Caring Society is hardly 'for Catholics only,' and it will stimulate and challenge readers of diverse intellectual, theological, and ideological stripes."
John J. DiIulio, Jr., Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society and Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania; first Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

"Ever since the publication of Pope Francis's quite lengthy encyclical, we have needed a careful look at its suppositions, economic, ecological, and philosophical. Pope Francis and the Caring Society more than meets that need. Laudato si's concerns can mostly be met but usually by means other than those suggested in the document. At bottom, the real question this book clearly addresses is, what is the ?practical reasoning? about man?s ability to exercise 'dominion' over the earth?"
James V. Schall, S.J., Professor Emeritus of Political Philosophy, Department of Government, Georgetown University

"Pope Francis and the Caring Society responds to Pope Francis?s call for dialog with a clarion critique of redistributive bromides and bureaucracies. Grounded in the Judeo-Christian principles of liberty, subsidiarity, and civic virtue, this luminous work shines through and shrivels the sanctimonious smog of socialist levelers who wreak demoralization and poverty wherever they rule."
George Gilder, bestselling author, Wealth and Poverty, The Spirit of Enterprise, Microcosm, Knowledge and Power and other books
Sample Media Coverage: Sample Interviews of Robert Whaples: Videos with Robert Whaples: Other Media Coverage

5. The Lord of the Rings: New TV Series

The hugely successful, fantasy adventure book series by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of Rings, is now being developed for a multi-year TV series by Amazon Studios with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment. The 3-volume book series has sold over 150 million sets worldwide and the 3-part film series by director Peter Jackson made $2.91 billion dollars in box office tickets. The films were nominated for 30 Academy Awards and won 17. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were best friends and the main figures in The Inklings, the literary society they ran and that met at least once weekly for decades in Oxford, England.

Sample Media Coverage:


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