“The Romantic Theology of the Inklings”
As a literary scholar and evangelical Christian, C. S. Lewis felt that “if the real theologians were doing their job” there would be no need for lay theologians like him. He and his fellow Inklings championed the creative integration of reason and the ‘baptized imagination’ to produce several works of theological fiction. JRR Tolkien joined Lewis in employing mythopoetics–the language of myth, metaphor, narrative and imagination–to point to theological truths and religious reality. Charles Williams referred to this enterprise as the “theology of romantic love,” most clearly expressed in his posthumously published Outlines of Romantic Theology. “Our little literary club” known as the Inklings shared their works in pubs and rooms in Oxford in the 1930-40’s, is remembered today as the creators of “Romantic Theology.” This seminar introduces the whimsical Inklings and their creative works.
Michael J. Christensen is an author, speaker and practical theologian affiliated with Drew University in New Jersey and Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego where he lives.
A noted Lewis scholar, Michael is author of C.S. Lewis on Scripture, contributor to the C.S. Lewis Bible, and has taught courses on Lewis and the Inklings at Drew University over many years. The C. S. Lewis Foundation recently appointed him Senior Fellow in the Scholars-in-Residence Program at the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns in Oxford.
Michael is the author or editor of eleven books on spirituality and theology, including the Henri Nouwen Trilogy: Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation and Discernment. With the encouragement of Walter Hooper, this summer Michael plans to update and produce a new edition of his first book—C.S. Lewis on Scripture—which he wrote as his senior honors thesis while a student at PLNU and which was published by Word Books in 1979.