The C. S. Lewis Society Newsletter
1. Center on Culture and Civil Society Launched:
The Independent Institute has announced its launching of the Center on Culture and Civil Society, inspired by the Christian theist work of C.S. Lewis and headed by Institute Senior Fellow Robert H. Nelson. “Many of the most influential modern thinkers such as Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud treated religion as a ‘false illusion’ that was explained by deeper and more fundamental forces,” said Dr. Nelson. “It is now apparent that they had matters precisely backwardsMarxism and Freudianism were themselves new forms of religion. In the early part of the twenty-first century, it is apparent that the role of religion in public life is not receding, as so many had expected in the twentieth century, but is rising rapidly. The Center on Culture and Civil Society is dedicated to probing the contents of contemporary worldviews in all their dimensions and the essential contributions religion must make to public understanding of our world and the policy issues we face today.” Dr. Nelson, who received his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University, is Professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. He is the author of the new Institute book, The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion in Contemporary America (Pennsylvania State University Press), and he will be overseeing the new Center's program to reaffirm the transcendent, natural-law basis of human liberty in which individuals are understood as morally conscious, reasoning, goal-directed, and creative beings.
2. Recent Articles:
3. Recent and Forthcoming Books:
4. Recent Videos:
5. Upcoming C.S. Lewis Society Events:
A. C.S. Lewis Society Bay Area Book and Film Club (See year-long schedule here)
Meets bi-weekly Wednesdays
The upcoming meetings will be held at:
In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis vividly and imaginatively presents an allegorical, Christian portrayal of life after death. The writer, in a dream, boards a bus on a drizzly evening and embarks on an incredible voyage involving Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations and comes to significant realizations about the ultimate consequences of everyday behavior. This is the starting point for a profound meditation upon good and evil. "If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell." In the book, Lewis draws on the works of St. Augustine, Dante Aligheri, John Milton, John Bunyan, Emanuel Swedenborg, Lewis Carroll, and others.
St. Thomas Aquinas is enriched by Chesterton's unique ability to see the world through the saint's eyes, a view that shows us Aquinas in a fresh way. Chesterton's pen brings the author of the Summa vividly to life. Acclaimed as the best book ever written on Aquinas by such outstanding Thomists as Jacques Maritain, Étienne Gilson and Anton Pegis, this brilliant biography completely captures the reader, leaving him or her desirous of reading Aquinas's own monumental works.
"I consider it as being without possible comparison the best book ever written on St. Thomas. Nothing short of a genius can account for such an achievement."
Étienne Gilson, author, The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas
"A great read. Chesterton has a rollicking style. He was an author in love with the English language."
Ralph McInerny, Director, Jacques Maritain Center, University of Notre Dame
March 31 and April 14: The Mind of the Maker, by Dorothy L. Sayers
7:30 p.m.: Discussion, Leader/moderator, Darrell Burson
With an introduction by Madeleine L'Engle, this classic book by Dorothy Sayers, playwright, essayist, translator of Dante and the creator of the beloved detective Lord Peter Wimsey stories, is an entrancing meditation on language; a piercing commentary on the nature of art and why so much of what we read, hear, and see falls short; and a brilliant examination of the fundamental tenets of Christianity. The Mind of the Maker will be relished by those already in love with Dorothy Sayers and those who have not yet met her. In the book, Sayers sheds new, unexpected light on a specific set of statements made in the Christian creeds. She examines anew such ideas as the image of God, the Trinity, free will, and evil, and in these pages a wholly revitalized understanding of them emerges. Sayers finds the key in the parallels between the creation of God and the human creative process.
"In The Mind of the Maker, one of her most profound works, Sayers contends that the creative process in art works in ways that correspond to the dynamic relation among the three Persons of the Trinity in Christian theologyand that the activity of one illuminates the activity of the other."
Gregory Wolfe, Editor, Image: A Journal of the Arts & Religion
6. Other Events:
A. "God, Government or Me: Who Determines Moral Good? A Debate
Sponsored by the Veritas Forum
Eric Mack and Marcus Cole, after putting forth their individual arguments for political libertarianism, will engage in a discussion dealing with the foundation of morality from their respective secular and Christian perspectives. Free from the difficulties of crossing a political divide, these men will be able to address and critique each other’s fundamental principles that compel them to a common conclusion. Both Dr. Mack and Dr. Cole will also relate how morality in their personal lives is motivated by and rooted in their distinct worldviews and philosophies. Dr. Eric Mack's central philosophical interests are the basis of moral rights, property rights and distributive justice, and the legitimate scope of coercive institutions. Dr. Marcus Cole's wide-ranging academic interests include classical liberal political theory, natural law, and the history of commercial law.
When: 7:00 pm, February 8, 2010
Where: Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life: Kendall Cram Room, Tulane University
B. "C.S. Lewis and the Inklings: Discovering Hidden Truth"
13th Annual C.S. Lewis and Inklings Conference (CSLIS)
Papers on the above theme related to the works of C.S. Lewis, the Inklings, George MacDonald, and Dorothy L. Sayers are invited. However, papers on other subjects related to the above authors will also be accepted. There will be a competition for the best undergraduate and best faculty/scholar paper presented at this conference. Monetary awards will be given as determined by a committee of three jurors from the Executive Board members of the CSLIS. To be eligible, the presenter must a member of the CSLIS and present the paper at the conference. The awards will be presented during the evening banquet on April 9.
When: April 9-10, 2010
Where: Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK
Call for Papers: Deadline for papers: February 8, 2010
C. William Lane Craig in the San Francisco Bay Area
Sponsored by the Veritas Forum
When and Where:
D. "An Apologetics Conference for Promoting the Christian Worldview through Literature and the Arts"
Sponsored by Athanatos Christian Ministries
For centuries the Christian Church was the leading patron of the arts. The Christian faith was not just defended by intellectual argument but was also promoted and explained through paintings, music, and literature. It is evident that artists continue to manifest their beliefs today, only now they believe any number of different things. Christians must be involved in the arts and must re-commit to putting Christian artists into society because films, music, and literature have the power to influence and even transform whole civilizations. This first annual online apologetics conference is dedicated to inspire Christians to either express their faith through the arts or support those that do. This year’s conference will primarily focus on literary apologetics, or promoting the Christian faith through the written word, and fiction in particular.
When: May 8-9, 2010
Where: An online, virtual conference.
E. "C. S. Lewis, His Friends and Associates: Questions of Identity"
Although certain aspects of C. S. Lewis’s work have been studied in great detail, others have been comparatively neglected. In this international conference, the first of its kind to be held in France, we hope to look at Lewis’s life and work, and those of his friends and associates, from many different angles. Questions of identity are essential to the understanding of any writer. The ways authors perceive themselves and who they are, the communities they belong to by birth or choice, inevitably influence their work. The way they present other people, real or fictional, may also be rooted in their own conception of identity. We are therefore seeking for papers which examine gender and family roles, national, regional, racial or professional identities, membership of a particular church, movement or club, ideological or political attachments, descriptions of oneself (e.g., dinosaur, Old Western Man) either with regard to Lewis and those who knew him or in a study of their writings. Among Lewis’s friends and associates we would include his brother Warren, his wife Joy, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Dorothy L. Sayers, T.S. Eliot, Ruth Pitter and Owen Barfield, but would also consider studies of anyone who worked with Lewis or who influenced him. Comparative studies of Lewis and another writer are also possible.
When: June 2-3, 2011
Where: Lille Catholic University, France
Call for Papers: Deadline for propositions for papers (200 to 300 words, French or English): June 15, 2010
Contact: Suzanne Bray: email@example.com
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.
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