Academic Roundtable


Note: this option is for academics and scholars who wish to present a paper at the event as their afternoon session option. It is not required for general attendees of the Summer Institute.

Call for Papers

Surprised by Love:  Cultivating Intellectual Hospitality in an Age of Uncertainty

It is our common experience in our current cultural climate that all areas of our lives are marked by uncertainty and discord or the threat of discord.  Many of the assumptions that once shaped our interactions with others, in all social settings, are no longer shared either actively or implicitly.  Even in the arena of intellectual discourse where the notion of free unfettered discussion has often been understood as an essential shared value in the pursuit of truth the possibility of discussion often has been prevented or severely curtailed.  Escalating discord threatens the pursuit of truth, the practice of goodness, and the expressions of beauty that not only give life meaning but also point to transcendent values.

Scholars from all disciplines are invited to submit papers that will explore the idea of Intellectual Hospitality as an active and potent value which can provide both a witness to sacrificial love and the life-affirming basis for a renewed rhetoric of hope.  This concept is more than mere civility.  It is a positive value that can re-order our relationships and our concerns.  Are there ways of reclaiming a rhetoric of respect and meaning?  Is there something more basic than power upon which social relationships can be based?  Are there models of reconciliation or dialogical patterns or understandings of meaning that can provide resources for facing and diffusing the passions of discord?  Are there resources within the common life of the Church that can become exemplars of hope?

The Academic Roundtable and the Summer Institute

Academics are invited to apply for participation in the Academic Roundtable, a program element of the 2022 C.S. Lewis “Oxbridge” Summer Institute.

The Institute will take place in the city and University of Oxford, England, from 28 July – 5 August, 2022. The theme of the conference is “Surprised by Love: Cultivating Intellectual Hospitality in an Age of Uncertainty.”

The Institute will feature two plenary speakers each morning, followed by afternoon seminars, workshops, and the Academic Roundtable. Each evening will be devoted to a rich menu of artistic events: theatre, a modern dance program, choral and orchestral music. Finally, Christian worship is a prominent feature of the Summer Institute.

The Academic Roundtable, part of Oxbridge 2022, will be a community of interdisciplinary scholarly engagement and “Intellectual Hospitality,” which will occur during the afternoons of the Institute. Faculty from diverse disciplines will share their papers with each other, offering insights and critical comments from their respective vantage points.

Note: the Academic Roundtable will be the only breakout session for the roundtable participants.


All paper proposals submitted for selection must engage the theme of Oxbridge 2022, but may do so from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective. Papers coming from the domain of Lewis or “Inklings” studies also are welcome. Papers reflective of the tradition of Christian engagement of the culture or the academy will be especially welcome.

Paper presentations must not exceed 20 minutes. Please submit by email, as attached Microsoft Word documents, the following: [a] a 300 word abstract detailing the paper, clearly describing the paper’s relationship to the Summer Institute theme, and [b] a 2-page CV, including complete contact information.  Acknowledgement will be made by email.

Deadline for proposal submission: November 29, 2021

Faculty whose paper proposals are accepted will be expected to attend the entirety of the Summer Institute and participate in all scheduled sessions of the Academic Roundtable.

For more information, please visit the conference website at

Contact: Scott B. Key, Ph.D., Dir. Academic Roundtable, C.S. Lewis Foundation |

Note: some scholarship funding is available to participants of the Academic Roundtable. Please visit our registration page for more information.

Scott Key serves as the Vice-President for Academic Initiatives for the C. S. Lewis Study Center, Northfield.

Prior to his current position, he served California Baptist University for 32 years in a variety of areas including: Director of the Great Works Program (a 4 year great books program), Department Chair, director of two off-campus program sites, and a regular part of the Honors Program faculty.

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