Taylor University’s Insight into Lewis

C.S. Lewis may have died 40 years ago, but his voice still resonates today.

And if you listen closely, you’ll hear it March 12-14 at the Upland campus of Taylor University during its Fourth Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C.S. Lewis and Friends. It will bring together a prestigious group of scholars, international experts and devotees of the writings of C.S. Lewis.

Sponsored by the C.S. Lewis And Friends Committee, this event will present a side of Lewis seldom seen by the general public. Walter Hooper, private secretary to Lewis who is closely affiliated with the Lewis estate, will speak at the event. His insight into the writings of Lewis, coupled with his personal relationship with the man, will give attendees unprecedented access to the heart and mind of the Christian scholar.

Also coming from England are Barbara Reynolds, who will speak on Dorothy L. Sayers, a writer whom Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien held in high regard, and Ian Blakemore and Rachel Johnson, who will speak on George MacDonald, a poet, preacher and novelist whose work influenced Lewis.

“This will probably be the last time that you will have Barbara Reynolds and Walter Hooper in the same venue in America,” said Pam Jordan, associate professor of English at Taylor University Fort Wayne and chair of the C.S. Lewis and Friends Committee. “There will be opportunity for question-and-answer after the presentations of our main speakers.”

Jordan said this event is one-of-a-kind on this side of the Atlantic. One would have to travel to England to the Kilns, Lewis’ home-turned-study center to come close to the experience the colloquium offers, she said.

The jewel in the crown for this event will be access to the Edwin W. Brown Collection, considered by at least one appraiser as the third most valuable collection of materials by and about C.S. Lewis in the world, owned by and housed at Taylor University.

Included in this collection are first English and American editions of books written by Lewis, personal letters in his hand, manuscripts, letters, books and pictures from the likes of MacDonald, Tolkien, Lewis Carroll and Joy Davidman Lewis.

“About a year after we first acquired the collection, we thought we should open the collection for others and thought that offering a colloquium would be the best way to do that. It was a natural outgrowth of having the collection,” Jordan said.

Lewis was a multifaceted writer and scholar who may be best known by many as the author of “The Chronicles of Narnia” series.

He also was the writer of science fiction. His space trilogy began with “Out Of The Silent Planet” in 1936 and introduced the hero, Edwin Ransom, a philologist. This character was modeled roughly on Lewis’ good friend, Tolkien.

In addition to his fiction writing, Lewis was a popular writer and broadcaster of Christian apologetics during World War II. His essay “The Problem Of Pain” was his attempt to answer the question, “If God is good and God is all powerful, why is there pain and evil in the world?” His 15-minute radio talks became canonized in the book “Mere Christianity.”

Insight into Lewis

What: Fourth Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C.S. Lewis and Friends

When: March 12-14

Where: Upland campus of Taylor University

Cost: $95, including all presentations, a dinner on March 12 and a live performance on G.K. Chesterton on March 13, if ordered before Sunday. After that, tickets are $110 and the banquet and performance tickets will be on a space-available-basis only.

Tickets: Call 1-765-998-5245 or visit www.taylor.edu/cslewis

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