A Collection of Essays Presented at Joint Meeting of The 8th Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C. S. Lewis & Friends and The C.S. Lewis & The Inklings Society Conference
May 31 - June 2, 2012

All essays copyright 2012 by the individual authors

Schedule

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2012
Thursday, May 31st
7:45 PM

C.S. Lewis as Transformational Leader

Crystal Hurd, East Tennessee State University

Taylor University

7:45 PM

The term "leadership" usually evokes images of great warriors, politicians, or social figures that saturate the pages of a history textbook. However, these are pre-conceived notions of the term. Leaders are those who exercise influence, be they soldiers, politicians, or even artists such as writers and musicians. One such leader is author and apologist C.S. Lewis. Lewis spoke to his generation (and many subsequent ones) in his texts. Through Lewis, many have achieved a greater understanding of literature, spirituality, and human nature. His words have, in essence, transformed the minds of readers.

Transformational leadership is desired because it performs what is implied in its title: it transforms others. Transformational leaders increase both motivation and morality in their followers. They lead with conviction, ultimately empowering followers to become leaders. Bass (1985) posits that transformational leaders exhibit four qualities: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration.

Upon exploring transformational leadership theory, it is evident that C.S. Lewis exhibits all four qualities of a transformational leader. Lewis has led many from the desert of spiritual ambiguity into a better understanding of God and of ourselves. His words still resonate in culture and demonstrate the lasting influence of his legacy.

C.S. Lewis's Lost Arthurian Poem: A Conjectural Essay

Joe R. Christopher, Tarleton State University

Taylor University

7:45 PM

C.S. Lewis aficionados know his unfinished "Launcelot," collected in Narrative Poems; but fewer know that he wrote an Arthurian poem intended for his first book, Spirits in Bondage, which was rejected by his publisher. The manuscript has since been lost, but a few things can be known or reasonably conjectured about the poem. This paper will cover the following topics:

(1) Lewis's mention of the poem in his correspondence with Arthur Greeves,

(2) its title,

(3) its date of composition,

(4) its source (quoted),

(5) its probably application for Spirits in Bondage, and

(6) the loss of its manuscript

C.S. Lewis: An Overlooked 1963 Monograph by Roger Lancelyn Green

William O'Flaherty

Taylor University

7:45 PM

The first full-length (and authorized) biography of Lewis was published in 1974. One of its authors was Roger Lancelyn Green. Few are aware of (or have even seen) a monograph he wrote before Lewis's death about Jack's life and writings. While Jack saw and approved of the manuscript in 1960 it wasn't released until the same year he died. The purpose of this talk is to reveal what information and insights this trusted friend presented in this rare monograph about Jack at the end of his career.

Father Knows Best: The Narrator's Oral Performance as Paternal Protector in The Hobbit

Anderson Rearick III, Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Taylor University

7:45 PM

In Tolkien lore, the narrator of The Hobbit is the only human connection to the world of Middle Earth. He is not, as some have suggested, a hobbit himself. In spite of his humanness, however, he apparently has a great amount of information about the time in the world "when there was less noise and more green." He is also a narrator with opinions. In fact it is clear that for the narrator the whole telling of The Hobbit is a teaching tool; however much adults may enjoy Bilbo's adventure, the teller is talking to children. Being a creation of Tolkien's special imagination The Hobbit's narrator deserves more study to determine his purpose and his true nature.

Feminine Leadership: Spenser's Britomart and Lewis's Reason

Jonathan Himes, John Brown University

Taylor University

7:45 PM

Scholars have debated the apparent sexism in many of Lewis's statements and in his views on female clergy. Without addressing these particular issues of importance in Lewisian studies, this paper will analyze Lewis's choice of a female virgin in the role of Reason who topples the giant Spirit of the Age in his early allegory, The Pilgrim's Regress. Besides the obvious influence of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress on this work and the feminine figures of the divine in George MacDonald's fiction as another influence, Edmund Spenser's female knight Britomart may have provided Lewis with the idea of a strong feminine leader who steps in to show the would-be hero how to conquer one's competing impulses.

Further Responses to Lewis's 'Lost Aeneid'

Richard James

Taylor University

7:45 PM

For almost fifty years, since his death in 1963, C.S. Lewis, Lazarus-like, has continued through his literary executors to come forth from his literary grave, providing an almost unending, vast landscape of multimedia productions from multi-volume collections of personal letters and anthologies of essays to four major Hollywood film productions; from miscellaneous small action figures and early reader literacy booklets connected to the Narnian movies to highly technical on-stage renditions of the demonic Screwtape and the verbally combative, but highly successful off-Broadway drama, Freud's Last Session.

But beyond all of these highly visible projects, this paper will provide some reflections on what is yet another more recent and more substantial Lazarus-like Lewis project: C.S. Lewis's Lost Aeneid. For here in this book is a translation both immensely personal to Lewis and also potentially a significant scholarly contribution to the instruction and understanding of one of the world's great epics. This paper shall make a brief analysis of the many published responses to Lewis's partial translation, note several places where Virgil is mentioned in the Lewis corpus and also provide insights gathered from a study of Lewis's own annotations in his personal library copy of the Works of Virgil.

Hidden Heroes in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

Jan Prewitt, Kendall College of Art and Design

Taylor University

7:45 PM

Joseph Campbell in his seminal book The Hero with a Thousand Faces says in the final chapter, "The Hero Today," that unlike the classical hero, the modern hero faces a world that does not embrace a single mythology. "Then all meaning was in the group, in the great anonymous forms, none in the self-expressive individual; today no meaning is in the group -- none in the world: all is in the individual" (334). That does not mean, however, that there are no heroes in the modern world or that the modern world requires no heroic figure -- quite the contrary. The modern world's need is greater now than in years ago because the modern world does not see or even acknowledge its need of a hero. Into this modern heroic J.R.R. Tolkien provides in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, not one, but several heroic figures that demonstrate the surviving appeal of the classical hero in the modern age. The proposed paper will examine the characters of two minor, but nevertheless heroic, characters -- Sam and Gimli -- as they relate to the heroic journey as described by Campbell.

Nothing Can Come between God and You: Uncle Tom's Cabin, George MacDonald and Shusaku Endo

Miho Yamaguchi, Kurume University

Taylor University

7:45 PM

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe depicts the ways that God reveals Himself when evil seems triumphant and God appears to be silent. George MacDonald and Shusaku Endo apparently read this novel and deeply sympathized with its theology -- and subsequently developed its ideas and episodes in their own writings. In their views, nothing can come between God and each person; therefore, even apparent enemies can never victimize anyone -- they can only help us ultimately to be more closely united with God. They also illuminate that God never deserts people who feel weakest in faith.

Friday, June 1st
10:30 AM

A Prisoner's Duty: The Sacred Role of Reading in the Christian Life

John Stanifer, Indiana University - Kokomo

Taylor University

10:30 AM

Just how important is reading to the Christian life? Most of us are willing to assert that the Scriptures are an important part of our reading diet, but what about classic literature or popular fiction? Reading anything and everything we can get our hands on is not so far from the formula followed by some of the most influential figures in Judeo-Christian history, from C.S> Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien to Daniel and Paul the Apostle. By the end of this presentation, our goal will be to gain a closer understanding of the sacred role of all reading in the Christian life.

"Between Two Strange Hearts": Spiritual Desolation in the Later Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins & Charles Williams

Sørina Higgins, Lehigh Carbon Community College
Rebecca Tirrell Talbot, North Park University

Taylor University

10:30 AM

Spiritual desolation, while a perennial human experience, is expressed in historically-determined diction. Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) and Charles Williams (1886-1945) are an interesting case study, especially as Hopkins shaped Williams' later prosody. "My Own Heart" (Hopkins) shares desolation with Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, and reading "My Own Heart" through Williams theory of spiritual "schism" as literary analysis reveals a cleft self similar to the split kingdom in "Prayers of the Pope" (Williams). Neither writer excludes hope: Hopkins' Ignatian language frames "My Own Heart" as a hopeful surrender, while Williams offers hope via occult vocabulary.

Casting Truth in an Imaginary World: The Intertwining of Reason and Imagination

Sharon Kotapish

Taylor University

10:30 AM

When writing The Chronicles of Narnia, did C.S. Lewis deliberately turn from the world of reason and abandon logical argument? Or did he gravitate toward imaginative fiction because story may be the best way to communicate certain kinds of truth? Just as the Narnia tales reflect major themes in Lewis' overtly Christian nonfiction works, many of the truths taught by Jesus through parable are paralleled in the Apostle Paul's expository letters. By reading a passage from Lewis'' nonfiction writing along with a reflected passage from the Chronicles, our understanding and appreciation of both are deepened.

Ethics and Afterlife: The Moral Instruction of Thomas Aquinas and C.S. Lewis

H. Dennis Fisher

Taylor University

10:30 AM

C.S. Lewis's view of moral values and life after death flowed from both Scripture and his medieval sensibilities. This paper will compare and contrast medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas' views of ethics and the afterlife with those of C.S. Lewis. Special attention will be given to the controversial doctrine of purgatory. In today's postmodern world, ethical teaching is often relative and subjective. This paper will seek to find commonalities between Aquinas and Lewis to provide a viable basis for moral decision making in the 21st century.

'Few Return to the Sunlit Lands': Lewis's Classical Underworld in The Silver Chair

Benita Huffman Muth, Macon State College

Taylor University

10:30 AM

As his early interest in Greek mythology and his Aeneid translation testify, classical motifs resonated with Lewis. In The Silver Chair, his characters, like Orpheus and Herakles, travel to a Greco-Roman inspired Underworld on a mission to retrieve an inhabitant. Besides lending mythic dimension to the journey, these classical echoes and Lewis' original additions create an Underworld markedly different from a popular idea of Hell. Through doing so, he underscores that this fictional place, though frightening and dangerous, is not Hell and therefore makes a theological point about the fallen condition.

By emphasizing classical references and reforming Miltonic ones (fiery Bism becomes a wondrous part of creation), Lewis presents Hell as a deliberate mental construction, an idea also reflected by the sprawling suburb of The Great Divorce and the dwarfs of The Last Battle. By examining The Silver Chair's appropriation of classical motifs and heroics, I will argue that, through differentiating this place from the popularly imagined Christian Hell, Lewis paradoxically asserts his fundamental Christian position about the power of individual free will in the human being's disposition of his or her own soul.

The Logic of Purgatory in C.S. Lewis: Why Spiritual Formation Makes Less Sense Without It

Robert Moore-Jumonville, Spring Arbor University

Taylor University

10:30 AM

Purgatory figures significantly as a theme in the writing of C.S. Lewis. The Great Divorce represents the major fictional piece treating the subject, but theological allusions and references surface in Till We Have Faces, Narnia, and other fictional works, as well as in many of the essays.

This paper presents two main points: first, Lewis's logic of purgatory. Such an argument, though not stated explicitly anywhere by Lewis, might run like this: God is holy and human beings cannot remain in God's presence (comfortably or for long) without becoming holy themselves. Lewis consistently maintained a robust theology of sanctification. Next, if human beings are free -- and we are -- then God will not force us to let go of our sin. As illustrated so clearly in The Great Divorce, we cannot drag our Hell into Heaven with us (or it would cease to be Heaven). Therefore, to dwell with God in eternity, we must be purged of the sin that separates us from God.

The second point of the paper seeks to show how contemporary Protestants tend to think of death as instantly glorifying the individual. Not only would this be a breach of human freedom, it nearly makes spiritual formation in this life optional.

For any theology to take spiritual formation seriously, it ought to consider the biblical and theological roots of the purgatorial (in this life and the next) if not Purgatory itself as an actual place of residence.

The Necessity of the Terrible Good in the Works of C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams

Kimberly Moore-Jumonville, Spring Arbor University

Taylor University

10:30 AM

Through characters like Eustace, Psyche, and Orual, and others, Lewis reminds us that transformation from what we now are is a necessity if we wish to know God. We must relinquish the lies we blindly wear and be stripped to the bone; ironically, we have to go under the water so that we don't drown or die of thirst. Pauline, of Charles Williams's Descent into Hell, "was not yet prepared to accept the terror of good" (107), but she learns that "the Lord does things in the midst of a fire" (93). Pauline's salvation lies in relinquishing her fear to a friend and simultaneously facing her doppelganger, her double. That courage leads to her freedom from fear. Thus, a study of Lewis's and Williams's treatments of the fierceness of good clarifies that the terrible good is a purgation necessary to free the shrinking soul for its deepest soul work.

2:00 PM

A Meaningful Hierarchy: How C.S. Lewis Perceives Humanity's Significance

Zachary A. Rhone, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Taylor University

2:00 PM

"Humans are amphibians -- half spirit and half animal," writes Screwtape. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis would clarify these halves as the Bios and the Zoe -- the biological and the spiritual, respectively. Humans are, as Dr. Ransom admits in That Hideous Strength, "More. But not less" than animals, yet humanity's Fall resulted from "the idea that they could 'be like gods' -- could set up on their own as if they had created themselves -- be their own masters -- invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God" (MC). Humans are placed above animals yet below the divine. Lewis, like his fellow authors, points to these paradoxes as the heart of humanity's significance -- that is, humanity should be not only the masters of the beasts but also the mastered of the divine. As Ransom aptly states," We are now as we ought to be -- between the angels who are our elder brothers and the beasts who are our jesters, servants and playfellows." This presentation discusses how humanity, in Lewis' worldview, must accept its place in the hierarchy of the universe in order to find significance, for, as G.K. Chesterton remarks in The Everlasting Man, humanity is "the measure of all things."

A Tryst with the Transcendentals: C.S. Lewis on Beauty, Truth, and Goodness Part II: Truth

Donald T. Williams, Toccoa Falls College

Taylor University

2:00 PM

In an age of Post-Modernism and Post-Foundationalism, the very concept of truth finds itself subject to deconstruction. C.S. Lewis held to the old "correspondence theory" of truth, but did so in a way that withstands contemporary assaults better than many traditional formulations because he sought to integrate Reason and Imagination in ways not typical of earlier philosophy. Essays like "Bluspels and Flalansferes" provide a framework for understanding Lewis's statements on the nature of truth. They make possible a view of truth that is neither relativist nor reductive, but rather profoundly humane.

C.S. Lewis and the Angelic Hierarchy

Susan Wendling
Woody Wendling

Taylor University

2:00 PM

After describing the belief in the Angelic Hierarchy as central to ancient "spiritual cosmology," both Scriptural and Neoplatonic, this paper identifies Lewis's fascination with it in both his fiction (the Ransom trilogy) and his nonfiction (The Oxford History of English Literature in the 16th Century excluding Drama and The Discarded Image). Often viewed by Moderns as a "mythological hangover from pre-Modern times," belief in the Angelic Hierarchy is a key component of what Lewis calls "the Discarded Image." For those tempted to think that Lewis's interest in the Angelic Hierarchy was merely love for the beauty of the "old model," or else merely the mythic backdrop of his fictional "Random trilogy," this paper reveals Lewis's actual personal belief in the reality of the Angelic Hierarchy: the fact that God "comes filtered to us" through the hierarchies of angelic spiritual beings. Lewis's essay The Empty Universe reveals that the ancient "spiritual cosmology" has been increasingly replaced with a "modern" materialist worldview, leading not only to the "dryads leaving the trees" but also ultimately to the "abolition of man."

Facts and Meanings: From Word to Myth

David Rozema, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Taylor University

2:00 PM

The 1948 Anscombe-Lewis Debate is often cited as an example of how two of England's finest minds of the twentieth century -- C.S. Lewis and Ludwig Wittgenstein -- would have debated had they ever had the chance. Anscombe was a student of Wittgenstein's, and their debate is a case in point for showing the distinction between investigating a proposition's truth and investigating its sense, its meaning. Using remarks from the works of both men, I will show that their understanding of the meaning of language -- from single words to complete stories, including myths -- is remarkably similar; and immensely helpful.

The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien's Ideas on Fairy-stories

Paul E. Michelson, Huntington University

Taylor University

2:00 PM

The paper is an analysis of how Tolkien's thought on "fairy-stories" evolved between his 1939 St. Andrews Andrew Lang Lecture "Fairy Stories," through his contribution "On Fairy-Stories" to the 1947 Essays Presented to Charles Williams, and concluding with his 1967 essay on the nature of "Faërie." Time permitting, the paper will also include a discussion on how Tolkien's "Smith of Wooton Major" illustrates his concepts.

The Pedagogical Value of The Screwtape Letters for a New Generation

Brenton Dickieson, University of Prince Edward Island

Taylor University

2:00 PM

C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters launched a genre of demonic epistolary fiction. Intriguingly, we have seen Screwtape-style letters about psychotherapy, (anti-) creativity, pedagogy, and scientific research. Evidently, Screwtape continues to be relevant among contemporary writers, but is it relevant to students? From the results of a spiritual perspective survey and various teaching methods in a secular undergraduate class, and including the analysis of ninety-five student-created Screwtape letters of cultural critique, we see that the genre of demonic epistolary fiction gives space for creative cultural critique and the content provides inspiration for that critique -- even for generically spiritual, nonreligious, or anti-theistic students.

Saturday, June 2nd
9:30 AM

A Speculative Meditation on Tolkien's Sources for the Character Gollum

Woody Wendling
Susan Wendling

Taylor University

9:30 AM

In speaking of his sources for ents, Tolkien said they "are composed of philology, literature, and life." Was Gollum composed in the same way? Gollum got his start in Tolkien's writings as a creature in his poem "Glip." Gollum got his name from his "gurgling sound," the "horrible swallowing noise in his throat." From which literary sources did Tolkien arrive at the name Gollum? From the Old Norse word for gold, gollum? From the Jewish Golem (Psalm 139:16)? From the giant Goliath in the Old Testament? From Gorbo or Golithos, two characters in E.A. Wyke-Smith's book, "The Marvellous Land of Snergs?" Or from the "Gollywogg" books by the Upton sisters? Tolkien wrote of his creative process, "Nevertheless one's mind is, of course, stored with a 'leaf mould' of memories (submerged) of names, and these rise up to the surface at times, and may provide with modification the bases of 'invented' names." Two more definite sources for Gollum are the monster Grendel in "Beowulf" and the Christian Gospel, as expressed by the frequent appeals for mercy in the Roman Catholic mass.

Gandalf and Merlin, Aragorn and Arthur: Tolkien's Transmogrification of the Arthurian Tradition and Its Use as a Palimpsest for The Lord of the Rings

Mark R. Hall, Oral Roberts University

Taylor University

9:30 AM

Certainly J.R.R. Tolkien was very much aware of the Arthurian tradition that existed during the medieval period and even earlier, especially as depicted by Thomas Mallory in Le Morte d'Arthur. The affinities of the characters of Aragorn and Gandalf with Arthur and Merlin are too obvious not to notice, yet transformed in such a way by Tolkien that they are infused with new meaning and purpose. It is this transmogrification that connects Tolkien's work with the past and provides the palimpsest for the world he creates in his epic adventure depicted in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. An examination of the specific details of this process enlightens the readers, and enlivens and exfoliates the text.

"Take Away the Supernatural and What Remains is the Unnatural": Power, Secularization, and G.K. Chesterton's Villains

J. Cameron Moore, Baylor University

Taylor University

9:30 AM

Chesterton claims in Heretics that denial of the supernatural leads ultimately to the unnatural, and much of his work explores the consequences of suppressing or ignoring the fundamental religious dimensions of the human person. Indeed many of Chesterton's villains spurn religion altogether in their pursuit of social progress. In this paper, I examine the antagonists in The Ball and the Cross, Manalive, and The Flying Inn in light of their rejection of the supernatural.

In their attempts to recreate themselves and their societies, Chesterton's villains demonstrate a clear link between secularization, the loss of human freedom, and the deathly disfiguring of the human psyche.

Whimsy and Wisdom: Fairyland as a Window to Reality in the Fiction of Chesterton and MacDonald

Jessica D. Dooley

Taylor University

9:30 AM

A comparison of how fairyland is employed in the fiction of G.K. Chesterton and George MacDonald, and the role fairyland plays in the personal development of their fictional characters, reveals parallels and important divergences between the two writers' philosophies. Their treatments of fairyland share the context of fixed moral standards that are clearly understood by fairyland's habitants and visitors, but disclose the authors' differing definitions of the relationship between personal responsibility and consequences. Fairyland, with its mysterious, imperative rules, and glorious generosity of rewards, provides a framework for explicating with startling clarity the dangerous immediacy of the consequences of moral choice. Chesterton and MacDonald's unique approaches to fairyland, its moral rules and its purpose, provide a window into their fundamental beliefs about reality, and the ultimate nature of the moral universe.

1:45 PM

"A Wild Hope": Resurrection Bodies and Lewis's The Last Battle

Michael P. Muth, Wesleyan College

Taylor University

1:45 PM

In the last chapters of The Last Battle, Lewis gives his readers a vision of the heavenly Narnia, or really of ever more real Narnias embedded within one another, people by the characters that readers have come to know through all seven books of the Chronicles, described as existing in physical bodies, though possessing abilities beyond those known in the Narnia outside the stable door (or even our own world). In this paper I will explore Lewis' representation of these "resurrection bodies" and what his representation of them means for his views on the body and the integrity of creatures, as well as the nature of his claimed Platonism.

In particular, I wish to put Lewis in conversation on these issues with several thinkers from the middle ages, including Hugh of St. Victor and Thomas Aquinas, who speculated extensively on the possibility and nature of resurrected bodies. But also want to bring Lewis into conversation with some more recent thinkers, including Michael Hanby, Graham Ward, and James K.A. Smith, who have made issues about the body -- especially the body of Christ and hoped for resurrection bodies -- central to their ontological speculations. My hope is not only to understand Lewis better, but to bring his insights and images into important debates about human existence as embodied creatures.

Chaplain Stella Aldwinckle: A Biographical Sketch of the Spiritual Foundation of the Oxford University Socratic Club

Jim Stockton, Boise State University

Taylor University

1:45 PM

Although the Oxford University Socratic Club is most often identified with its first faculty advisor and president, C.S. Lewis, the club's inception began when several young women of Somerville College asked their newly arrived chaplain, Stella Aldwinckle, to assist them in establishing a speaker's club that would extend an open invitation to all parties who were "interested in a philosophical approach to religion . . ." The Socratic Club was an instantaneous and long-lived success, and would not have been possible without Chaplain Aldwinckle's passion, dedication, and evangelical conviction.

The Wise Woman as an Agent of Identity in George MacDonald's Story The Wise Woman

Rachel Johnson, University of Worcester

Taylor University

1:45 PM

In this paper I investigate the Wise Woman as an agent of identity in terms of Aristotelian and modern philosophies of identity primarily drawing upon the work of Alistair McIntyre. I address the question 'how much choice does Rosamond have in the transformation process' and examine the part played by increasing self-knoweldge and personal will, given the strength of influence employed by the Wise Woman in shaping Rosamond's perception of herself.

The parallel journey of Agnes, a shepherd's daughter, is briefly mapped against Rosamond's progress in order to demonstrate choice. I conclude that Rosamond's choice is made within chosen limitations.

Through the Lens of The Four Loves: The Idea of Love in Till We Have Faces

Paulette Sauders, Grace College

Taylor University

1:45 PM

It is my contention that when C.S. Lewis wrote his non-fiction book The Four Loves and published it in 1960, he had not been thinking about love in all of its manifestations for just a short time before it was written. All of the fictional works he wrote over the years, beginning in at least 1938, reflect his definitions and descriptions of the various kinds of love and their perversions that he systematically describes so well in The Four Loves. He does this in his fiction through his various characters and their actions.

Specifically, in Out of the Silent Planet (1938), Perelandra, (1943), That Hideous Strength (1945), The Screwtape Letters (1942), The Great Divorce (1945), and Till We Have Faces (1956), Lewis demonstrates each kind of love he discusses in The Four Loves.

For the 2012 Colloquium, I would like to focus on Till We Have Faces in order to reveal the ways C.S. Lewis shows the reader the four kinds of love and their perversions instead of just defining and discussing the kinds of love as he does in The Four Loves.