Fall Conference (Houston)

Houston, Texas - Photo Credit by Henry Han

November 8-10, 2013

Location: Houston, Texas

Theme: “The Forge of Friendship: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, & the Creative Impulse”

Few friendships have managed to make more of a difference than the one between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. These two writers spurred each other on in life-changing ways to create literature that continues to inspire millions of minds, hearts, and souls all around the world.

They could never have imagined the impact they continue to have fifty years after Lewis’s death (and forty years after Tolkien’s passing). However, their imaginative worlds continue to inspire, as the success of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies can attest, as well as with Lewis’s admittance to Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey this November.

What made these men so successful in their attempts to combine the world of reason and imagination?  And how can we follow this creative impulse to forge our own friendships? What organizing concepts did they use that will help us impact our world today?

  • Creativity—Lewis and Tolkien imagined many worlds and populated them with creatures, languages, stars, and souls. Their combination of influences and their influence on each other’s works provides a creative example for us.
  • Camaraderie—Lewis and Tolkien inspire us to find and foster a circle of friends that helps nurture within us and within our groups the deep gifts of life that we can only find in community.
  • Criticism—Inklings’ meetings often featured an educated critique of each other’s writings. The daunting task of reading aloud from a fledgling manuscript forced from these friends greater writing than would have been penned without feedback. We too can follow their example of iron sharpening iron.

Come to Houston this fall and explore how Lewis and Tolkien, by pursuing their creativity and friendship “hammer and tongs,” can inspire us to do the same!