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Summer Seminars-in-Residence 2006 - Oxford England


Week I: July 8 – 14, 2006
“A Pilgrimage of Head and Heart: Exploring the writings of C.S. Lewis”

Dr. Jerry Root

Week II: July 16 – 22, 2006
“Past Watchful Dragons:  The Narnian Chronicles of C.S. Lewis”

Dr. Walter Hooper & Aidan Mackey

Week III: July 29 – August 4, 2006
“The Life and Legacy of C.S. Lewis:  20th Century Pilgrim”

Dr. Stan Mattson



Week I:   July 8 – 14
Prof. Jerry Root
“A Pilgrimage of Head and Heart: Exploring the writings of C.S. Lewis”
Taking one book a day, participants will explore the continuity in Lewis’ work.  How his “Big Ideas” connect his work, from his earliest pre-Christian works to the end of his life.

Of course, Prof. Root would prefer for you to have read the books.  However, he stresses that you not be intimidated if you have not.  He will offer plenty of content during the lecture time to acquaint you with the work.

Reading List
1) Abolition of man
2) Dymer – from his collection of narrative poems
3) Pilgrim’s Regress
4) The Great Divorce
5) Till we have Faces


Week II:   July 16 – 22
 Walter Hooper, Aidan Mackey and special guests
“Past Watchful Dragons:  The Narnian Chronicles of C.S. Lewis”

With the film release of the first of the Narnia Chronicles, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe," participants will be provided insight into Lewis’ background and experience that led him to write the Chronicles of Narnia.  

Although this book is out of print, it can be found at used book stores or at Amazon.com.  However, we will have printed excerpts from the book available for participants at the lectures.

Reading List
1) Past Watchful Dragons by Walter Hooper
2) Chronicles of Narnia


Week III:   July 29 – August 4
Dr. Stan Mattson, Founder and President of the C.S. Lewis Foundation
“The Life and Legacy of C.S. Lewis:  20th Century Pilgrim”

Participants will join Dr. Mattson as he looks at Lewis’ spiritual journey through his writings; autobiography, poetry, letters, science fiction and, of course, children’s literature.  

Reading List
1) Surprised by Joy
2) Pilgrim’s Regress 

Dr. Stan MattsonAustin Farrar, one of the most famous theologians of England, Warden of Keble College, Oxford, until his death  in 1968, and a lifelong friend to C. S. Lewis, observed of Lewis that “…he had more actuality of soul than the common breed of men. He took in more, he felt more, he remembered more, he invented more. His reflections on his early life right up to manhood, which he has left us in his writings, record an intense awareness, a vigorous reaction, a taking of the world into his heart.” 

Ever the seeker, Lewis affords us the unique privilege of accompanying him on his own spiritual journey through writings that run the gamut from letters to autobiography, from poetry to science fiction and children’s literature. On the occasion of this 75th anniversary of Lewis’ conversion to faith in Christ in 1931, this seminar is designed to engage both novice and expert alike in a penetrating examination of Lewis’ own spiritual journey with an eye towards grasping its deeper significance for our own journey, gleaning rich insights into how we, in our own time, might benefit from Lewis’ approach to both living and communicating a living faith in troubled times.    

Together, the seminar will explore answers to these questions:

  • What were the primary forces that pulled Lewis in such radically different directions as he sought to “make sense” out of life experiences that were, on the one hand, so intensely joyous and, on the other, so deeply tragic?  And upon what, or whom, did he ultimately come to depend?
  • How did Lewis ultimately integrate his reliance upon both reason and imagination (both of which served him so well on his journey) to provide him with invaluable tools and the necessary emotional and intellectual equilibrium with which to engage his time – intellectually, creatively, and, above all, more truly, to the glory of God and the nurturing of millions.
  • And finally, how might we draw upon Lewis’ account of his own spiritual journey, and the lessons learned thereby, as a means to draw closer to the living Christ in our own lives as well as to enable others to do so in theirs?

In addition to reading and discussing Surprised by Joy, Pilgrim’s Regressand select letters and poetry by Lewis, the seminar will actually journey to key locations that figured significantly in Lewis’ conversion story, including Addison’s Walk in Oxford, where Jack, J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson walked and talked late into the night in September of 1931, as well as to the Whipsnade Zoo, just north of London, where Lewis finally acknowledged that “Jesus Christ was the Son of God.”

Although decidedly open to seekers as well as to those who readily confess faith in Christ, seminar members will be encouraged to use the occasion of the seminar to reflect upon and write their own story of their personal spiritual journey and share it with other members of the seminar.

Seminar Lecturer, Dr. Stan Mattson, is Founder and President of the C.S. Lewis Foundation and Director of the C.S. Lewis Study Centre in Oxford. He has been teaching and lecturing on the works of C.S. Lewis on college and university campuses, summer seminars, church retreats, and scholarly forums over the past 20 years. An historian of American thought and culture, he is particularly dedicated to the mission of restoring a credible Christian presence to the academic mainstream of American higher education and, by extension, to the culture at large. In pursuit of this objective, he views the life and work of C.S. Lewis as of singular importance.








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