Past Events

Holly Ordway, “Faith, Friendship, and Fantasy: JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis’s Mutual Influence’”

Fri, March 22, 2024 3:30pm

Ruane Center for the Humanities, Room 105

Tolkien’s epic The Lord of the Rings and his other Middle-earth writings are internationally popular, loved by millions who do not share his religious beliefs. Yet Tolkien declared, “I am a Christian (which can be deduced from my stories).” How was Tolkien’s faith related to his fiction? We will explore this question biographically, with special attention to his deep friendship with C.S. Lewis — including the question of whether Narnia would have existed without Middle-earth.

Sarah O’Dell, “R.E. Havard: What C.S. Lewis’s Physician Teaches us about the Medical Imagination”

Fri, September 29, 2023 3:30pm

Ruane Center for the Humanities, Room 105

Often called the “medical Inkling,” R.E. Havard was a Catholic writer, physician, and one of C.S. Lewis’s closest friends. This lecture explores the life and writings of this often-overlooked literary doctor, considering not only his profound influence on C.S. Lewis, but also revealing the riches of his medical imagination. In making room for the soul, Havard’s holistic vision of health both articulates a Christian response to mental illness, as well as recognizes the healing power of literature and the arts.

Carol Zaleski, “C. S. Lewis’s Divine Comedy: The Landscape of the Afterlife and the Substance of Christian Hope”

Fri, February 17, 2023 3:00pm

Ruane Center for the Humanities, Room 105

In the extraordinary course of his life as a literary historian, fantasy fiction writer, philosopher, poet, social satirist, memoirist, and apologist, C. S. Lewis introduced multitudes to the mysteries and rational architecture of Christian faith. This lecture will explore the particular service Lewis performed for Christian eschatology. Though averse to idle curiosity about the afterlife, Lewis created a Divine Comedy of his own, illuminating our fading picture of heaven, hell, purgatory, and end times, and providing sound reasons for the renewal of Christian hope.

Michael Ward, “The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God: C. S. Lewis, Narnia, and Medieval Cosmology”

Wed, January 25, 2023 3:30pm

Ruane Center for the Humanities, Room 105

C.S. Lewis disclosed that his best-known works, the seven Chronicles of Narnia, were “about Christ”. But how so? Michael Ward shows that, far from being simple allegories, the Chronicles are carefully constructed out of the imagery of the seven planets of the medieval cosmos, which Lewis described as “spiritual symbols of permanent value.”