Academic Roundtable

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Call for Papers

The C.S. Lewis Retreat Academic Roundtable

C.S. Lewis Foundation
Of This and Other Worlds: C.S. Lewis and the Call of Deep Heaven

Dates: October 30 – November 1, 2015

The Academic Roundtable of the C.S. Lewis Retreat at Camp Allen, Navasota, Texas, October 30 – November 1, 2015, will be a community of interdisciplinary scholarly engagement and discussion within the broader context of the Retreat theme, Of This and Other Worlds: C.S. Lewis and the Call of Deep Heaven.

The Roundtable will consist of scholars from various fields who will meet together in breakout sessions during the Retreat. Each participant will read his or her paper to the Roundtable for discussion and feedback during the sessions of the Roundtable. All papers, limited to a 20-minute presentation time, shall be scholarly in nature, with the author’s unique thesis clearly set within the context of existing scholarship on the subject matter.

After each presentation there will be a brief time of discussion prompted by the other members of the Roundtable. Each member of the Roundtable is expected to participate in each session of the Roundtable group and to fully engage the discussion. Depending upon the number of participants in the Academic Roundtable more than one group will be formed to meet during the session times. Each particular Roundtable group will be limited to twelve scholars.

The Retreat will explore the rich and challenging ideas and perspectives woven into the powerful stories of Lewis’ Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. Written and published between 1937 and 1945, a highly fruitful period of Lewis’ productive life, these novels not only count as important contributions to the intersection of fantasy and science fiction, they embody many of the ideas and concerns that are to be found in Lewis’ nonfiction writing in that fertile period.

As the Retreat title suggests, perhaps the greatest theme of the trilogy as a whole is Lewis’ belief that the ordinary world in which we live our lives is actually pervaded with spiritual reality—“deep heaven”—which has a claim on our lives. Deep heaven is ultimately the spiritual realm of God and, in these works, Lewis teaches that we are called to live our lives in light of the reality and priority of God’s life. In addition to this primary theme, these novels are replete with numerous other subordinate themes and ideas from Lewis’ full menu of concerns, views, and theories, including his breathtakingly prescient vision of the intellectual collapse of the post-Christian university in That Hideous Strength.

Papers that explore the novels themselves, or any of the ideas or themes addressed in the novels, will be most welcome. More generally, papers will be considered that explore the intersection of Christian faith and the world of ideas and the arts. Academics from every discipline are invited to participate.

Each participant must submit a 300 word abstract of their proposal by August 1, 2015. After a peer review of the abstracts, acceptance notices will be given no later than September 1, 2015. Arrangements necessary for attendance at the Conference can be made by visiting the Retreat website: www.cslewis.org/programs/retreat.

Contact: Scott B. Key, Ph.D., Dir. Academic Roundtable, C.S. Lewis Foundation, selmore@cslewis.org