Summer Institute 2000

The C.S. Lewis Foundation Is Pleased To Present
A Program of the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns


Session I: July 29 - August 4, 2001
Session II: August 5 - August 11, 2001


Engaging the Mind
As one of the twentieth century’s most widely read writers, and certainly one of its most influential Christian apologists, C.S. Lewis has often eluded the understanding of the readers who have approached him merely as a religious thinker or man of letters. In "Branches To Heaven: The Geniuses of C.S. Lewis," Dr. James Como will explore the full range of Lewis’ manifold genius while also addressing the surprising reason for Lewis’ enduring literary and spiritual achievement.

Lewis admirers and critics alike will be astonished to learn that Lewis was far from the settled convert he appeared to be. Yet, this very unsettled state--which Lewis himself found alarming— was the source for the challenging and appealing tension in his work. It also fueled his unrelenting commitment to inquiry and apologetics. In the service of this vocation of inquiry, Lewis exercised his overarching rhetorical genius – a dazzling adroitness at suiting word, voice and argument to a particular purpose that always managed to be healthfully militant, compelling and persuasive.

Participants will be given ample time for open dialogue and free discourse as they explore Lewis’ inner landscape – the core of both his spiritual insight and his intellectual greatness.


  • The Life of C.S. Lewis
  • The Work of C.S. Lewis
  • The Thought of C.S. Lewis
  • The Voice of C.S. Lewis
  • The Achievements of C.S. Lewis

    DR. JAMES COMO, a professor of rhetoric and public communication at York College of the City University of New York, has most recently authored Branches To Heaven: The Geniuses of C.S. Lewis. He is also the editor of C.S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminiscences, the author of numerous articles on Lewis, and a founder of The New York C.S. Lewis Society (whose Bulletin, CSL, he edited for nearly ten years). Dr. Como holds an advanced degree in medieval literature from Fordham and in rhetoric from Columbia. He is the father of two grown children and lives with his wife in Westchester County, New York. Dr. Como is a member of The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, a regular lecturer at The fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the C.S. Lewis Foundation; recently he was a featured presenter at the Southern California Regional RoundTable on Christian Faith and the Academic Profession sponsored by the C.S. Lewis Foundation Faculty Forum.

    An Enchanted Destination
    In the very heart of England lies the university city of Oxford. Steeped in 700 years of traditional scholarship and academic excellence, Oxford is a city brimming with culture. Its striking architecture lays claim to such buildings as the Ashmolean Museum, Christopher Wren’s Sheldonian Theatre and the world famous Bodlien Library. Not far from city centre, with a history all its own, is the former home of C.S. Lewis. Located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on the outskirts of Oxford, The Kilns is uniquely positioned for easy access to the surrounding countryside including that essential English idyll, the Cotswolds, a region of charming hamlets such as Burton-on-the-water, the stately Blenheim Palace as well as the bustling and historically rich city of London.

    A Comfortable Environment
    Built in 1922 and purchased by C.S. Lewis, Major Warren Lewis and Mrs. J. Moore in 1930, The Kilns is a modest twelve room brick cottage that was home to Lewis until his death in November 1963. Now beautifully restored to reflect the home Lewis knew in the early 40’s, the home also boasts many of the conveniences of modern living. Guests residing in the red brick two-story home will take pleasure in discovering The Kilns many rooms and exploring its gardens ablaze in color.

    There are six BEDROOMS scattered throughout the house. All are furnished with comfortable beds, fine linens, wardrobes, oriental rugs, wing back chairs, bedside lamps, fresh flowers and a drop leaf desk where one might choose to take a moment to pen a postcard from The Kilns. Varying in size and located throughout the home on two floors, each room is equipped in traditional English fashion with a sink and mirror and share access to the home’s bathroom, shower and three water closets.

    Guests may partake of breakfast, afternoon tea, or perhaps pre-dinner apéritifs in the DINING ROOM of The Kilns. Carefully prepared meals will be served in this homey, light-filled room, with its lovely view of the BEAUTIFUL GARDENS just outside its mullioned windows. There, inviting lawn chairs in the summer sun or cool evening breeze will add to the day’s contentment.

    Just across the entry hall from the dining room one finds the COMMON ROOM. Although no longer smoke-filled, it offers comfortable couches, easy chairs, book-lined walls, and a large walnut desk. Here, one can easily imagine the days when Lewis entertained friends, penned a letter to a child, or entered into hearty debate with the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, Warnie, or Joy.

    At the north end of the house, one finds the lovely, spacious, paneled LIBRARY, which will provide the setting for many of the lectures and discussions. The Library is also a lovely sanctuary for a quiet and thoughtful escape at day’s end. A full complement of TELEPHONE, FAX, and COMPUTER with INTERNET ACCESS will be made readily available for the use of guest’s.

    The Pleasure of Dining
    Whether one is enjoying a cup of piping hot morning coffee accompanied by a hearty English breakfast, fresh-from-the-oven scones and afternoon tea enjoyed beneath blossoming fruit trees, or an intimate candlelit dinner in a twelfth century Benedictine nunnery, program participants will participants will be treated to an eclectic dining experience featuring imaginative and tasty reinterpretations of authentic British dishes.


  • Bibury Court Hotel, Bibury
  • The Orchard Tea Gardens, Granchester
  • Randolph Hotel, Oxford
  • Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
  • Studley Priory, Horton-cum-Studley
  • A Unique Experience
    While the study seminars will engage the mind, study tours of the English countryside will delight the soul. Whether while enjoying evensong in a great English Cathedral, a stroll across Port Meadow, a survey of the Oxford countryside while punting down the river Cherwell, exploring the Ashmolean museum, or quaffing a pint at a famous Lewis pub, participants are sure to find a unique experience in the adventures and traditions of Oxford and Cambridge.

    Our travel parties will be limited to the small company of Kilns residents taking part in "Branches," in an attempt to provide increased camaraderie, flexibility and comfort. The services of professional guides, who are well acquainted with the legacy of C.S. Lewis and skilled in the culture and history of England, will also be made readily available. Participants will delight in the opportunity to meet several famed Lewis scholars and friends in the historic setting of The Kilns. Travelers who seek an engaging academic experience partnered with exploration, shopping, and dining will find their time at The Kilns provides all of this and much more.


  • Behind The Scenes at The Kilns
  • Walking Tour of C.S. Lewis’ Oxford
  • University Cities of Oxford and Cambridge
  • Blenheim Palace
  • The Cotswolds
  • KIM GILNETT, serves as Marketing Associate for the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Seattle Pacific University, but his abiding passion as an anglophile and a true Lewisian has made him into a highly experienced and engaging tour leader. His study of Lewis began in the early 1970s and has afforded him the opportunity to meet a number of Lewis’ friends and scholars. As a Board member of the C.S. Lewis Foundation, Mr. Gilnett has applied his profound understanding of England and the Anglican Church to enrich four C.S. Lewis Summer Institutes. Most recently, he has spent a decade of summers at the Kilns, where he has been actively involved in ensuring the historical accuracy of The Kilns Restoration.

    A Letter from the President

    For over fourteen years, the C.S. Lewis Foundation has successfully coordinated programs that offer rich intellectual stimulation while also providing unique opportunities for creative cultural pursuits. Continuing a tradition that hinges upon a lively and integrated approach to learning with an emphasis on active scholarship, we are pleased to announce the launch of a brand new type of summer programming at The C.S. Lewis Study Centre in Oxford, England.

    "Branches To Heaven: The Geniuses of C.S. Lewis" will offer a select group of 16 individuals unparalleled access to C.S. Lewis’ home, The Kilns. Participants will enjoy lectures by learned scholars, engaging dialogue, fine culinary cuisine as well as personalized tours of the region that will offer flexibility, service and personal attention. What is sure to be an unforgettable experience, this specially designed program will be steeped, like a fine cup of tea, in a rich brew of English tradition.

    Join us this summer in a place where time magically comes to a halt and one finds respite from the hectic pace of modern day life. Whether unwinding in the gardens, enjoying a good book, or partaking of tea while conversing with one’s companions, you will find that "Branches To Heaven: The Geniuses of C.S. Lewis will surely relax the spirit, engage the mind, and inspire the soul. This is the definitive experience for Lewis lovers of all ages. If you count yourself one of us, you simply won’t want to miss it.

    Under the mercy,

    J.Stanley Mattson

    J. Stanley Mattson, Ph.D.


    An applicant may enroll by telephone or fax by charging program fees to a MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. To enroll by mail, simply fill out and return the registration form below and mail it, together with the per person registration fee to: C.S. Lewis Foundation, PO Box 8008, Redlands, CA 92375. A $295 deposit is required to secure a provisional booking. (Deadlines for application are listed below.) SPACE IS LIMITED – ACT NOW!

    Non-Refundable Registration Fee $295 / Tuition $1,000 / Room and Board $1,400*

    *Partial Tour Packages Will Not Be Available

  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Teas, 4 Dinners, Farewell Banquet
  • Program Lectures With Distinguished Scholars and Authors
  • Services of Tour Director and Professional Guides
  • All Admissions To Special Venues per Itinerary
  • Ground Transportation per Itinerary
  • All Gratuities
  • Air Transportation / Transfer To Oxford
  • Laundry
  • Telephone Calls / Faxes
  • Local Personal Transportation
    Four comfortable rooms are available at The Kilns and can be furnished with one Double Bed or Two Single Beds. Due to our desire to maximize availability, single rooms are not available and shared rooms will be assigned to individuals travelling alone. The Kilns will be closed to all tours while tour participants are on the premises. When tour participants are not on the premises, The Kilns will be open to tours but bedrooms will be off limits to visitors.

    Due to the uniquely personalized nature of our programs, it may become necessary to alter the itinerary. Should that be the case, such substitutions will be carefully made to maintain the integrity of the tour.

    Should it become necessary for a registrant to withdraw from the program prior to May 15, 2001, all but the registration fee will be refunded. Registrants who find it necessary to cancel between May 15, 2001 and June 15, 2001 will also be assessed a cancellation fee of $200. No refunds will be made for any reason if cancellation occurs after June 15. We strongly recommend that participants purchase trip cancellation insurance to protect their travel investment. The C.S. Lewis Foundation reserves the right to cancel any program due to insufficient enrollment, in which case all program fees will be refunded. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Please note that The Kilns is not handicap accessible.

    Toll Free Reservations call 1-888-CSLEWIS or request a registration form via e-mail: