How can we revitalize and renew our culture? How can we help others to come to faith in Christ, and grow in our own faith? What role does imaginative literature have in our calling as Christians? These are all questions that are addressed by the discipline of cultural and imaginative apologetics. We intuitively recognize that stories matter; in this seminar we will dig deeply into why they matter, and how we can draw on the God-given faculty of the imagination to help us pursue and present the truth. In the first session, we will explore questions of meaning: how is it that the imagination is the “organ of meaning,” as C.S. Lewis said? How does metaphor and imagery convey truth? How can we be imaginative truth-tellers in a culture of media manipulation? In the second session, we will look at specific areas where imaginative approaches help us tackle the difficult issues of doubt and suffering, and help us to present an integrated vision of the Christian hope.
Holly Ordway is Professor of English and faculty in the M.A. in Apologetics at Houston Baptist University.
She is the author of Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms (Ignatius, 2014) and Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith (Emmaus Road, 2017). Ordway is also a published poet, and the Charles Williams Subject Editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies. Her academic work focuses on the writings of the Inklings, especially C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Her current book project is Tolkien’s Modern Sources: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (forthcoming from Kent State University Press, 2019). Her website is hollyordway.com.