From its very inception until now, the C.S. Lewis Foundation has been devoted to one primary mission: namely that of enabling a genuine renaissance of Christian scholarship and artistic expression within the mainstream of the contemporary university.
Why the university? Because we believe it is the primary force in the shaping of modern culture. In the words of Dr. Charles Malik, philosopher and former President of the U.N. General Assembly, “Change the university and you can change the world!”
There are, of course, many ways in which one might wish to “change the university.” There are, however, two primary changes that the C.S. Lewis Foundation is working to bring about: 1. The attainment of a more genuine open forum for ideas that are grounded in Christian understanding; and 2. The emergence of an identifiable, although certainly not homogeneous, body of Christian scholarly and artistic work that would more truly and powerfully resonate within the curricular life of our colleges and universities.
But changing the university takes time and requires a great deal of patience. C.S. Lewis took note of this fact, observing that it required a full generation: “The schoolmasters of today were the undergraduates of twenty years ago.” He observed that “delayed results” were the norm within the “mental world,” where powerful ideas registered their impact much like intellectual “time bombs,” long after they had been planted (God in the Dock, p. 116). Indeed, most of the twentieth century’s greatest social and intellectual follies are evidence of just that, and with the gravest consequences for the world at large.
We believe God would have us chip away, Hobbit-like, in an effort to cultivate the soil and plant new seed within these strategic environments where spiritual aridity has reigned for more than a century. As you read of the various Foundation projects underway, please do remember us in prayer and give a thought as to how you might get involved. We can’t do this alone. Believe it or not, you can make a difference!
Dr. J. Stanley Mattson
President, C. S. Lewis Foundation