Starting on Oct 7th, I am excited to begin teaching a new Wednesday night series at my church entitled, “The Worlds of Lewis and Tolkien: Christian Imagery in Narnia and Middle Earth.”
For generations, the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien have inspired millions of people to use their imaginations in fresh and exciting ways. Each of these authors was committed to a Christian system of thought and sought to honor God with their writings. This class will explore the writings of these two authors—particularly The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings—and will examine the many ways that Christ and Christianity are represented and illumined.
For those in the Charlotte area, you can sign up for the in-person class here. For others, I will post a recording of each installment in the outline below.
Of course, it is fitting to study Lewis and Tolkien together, not simply because they are both Christian authors who wrote fictional works, but because they were close friends during their time at Oxford. Indeed, it was this friendship that not only led to Lewis’ conversion, but also was the context in which they developed many of their ideas that later appear in their fictional works. It was their friendship that made them who they were.
In short, their deep writings were the product of their deep friendship. They would gather together regularly with other members of the “Inklings” (sometimes at the Eagle and Child pub, sometimes at Lewis’s room in Magdalen college) to discuss literature, poetry, and their latest reflections on God and the world.
I appreciate how the Inklings modeled a vision for male friendships that’s so different than what we often see in the world today which is typically centered on career or recreation. It was less like hanging out with “the guys” watching football or shooting hoops, and more like being one of the twelve disciples as they shared their lives together. While there is nothing wrong with the former kind of friendship, it will rarely change your life. But the latter kind of friendship will.
Lewis, in his book The Four Loves, describes this kind of male friendship: [Read more…]