Renowned Narnia expert to give talks at TWU

C.S. Lewis

Michael Ward, a leading C.S. Lewis scholar and Oxford University Senior Research Fellow, is coming to Trinity Western University next week to lecture on the author and his popular novels, including The Chronicles of Narnia.

As part of the university’s Distinguished Lecturer Series, Ward will discuss art, reason and imagination in Lewis’s oeuvre as well as deliver a free public lecture based on his award-winning and best-selling book Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis, in which he argues that Lewis included a secret code in The Chronicles of Narnia books.

In the United Kingdom, Ward was named “the foremost living Lewis Scholar” by the Times Literary Supplement. He was also presented in the 2009 BBC television documentary The Narnia Code, which was based on Planet Narnia

Ward said his interest in C.S. Lewis started when his parents read him the Narnia books as a child. After choosing to write a short undergraduate thesis at Oxford on the author, Ward kept coming back to Lewis during his academic career.

“And so, when the time came, it made sense to make Lewis the subject of my PhD research,” he said. “I then stumbled upon the imaginative blueprint of the Narnia books in 2003, and that has dominated my whole professional life ever since.”

Ward says he hopes people will get a new awareness of Lewis’s value as a writer and a thinker through his lectures.

“Often, people know little bits of Lewis: they know him as a fiction writer, or as a Christian apologist, or as the man in Shadowlands,” he said. “I’ll be trying to provide an integrated portrait that draws on all those elements at once, and on others besides.”

Ward’s talks will take place on Tuesday, September 27, Wednesday, September 28, and Thursday, September 29 at TWU’s Langley campus. The first lectures will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday morning (Parts 1 and 2) at 11 a.m. during the university’s chapel at the gym. All are welcome.

The Narnia Code lecture will take place Wednesday evening at TWU’s Northwest Auditorium. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Ward will then give the keynote address at TWU’s Verge Conference Thursday evening. Participants need to register to attend.

The Distinguished Lecturer Series and the Verge Conference are a partnership between Trinity Western University and the Inklings Institute of Canada, which was founded by TWU faculty to celebrate the works of the Oxford Inklings group. Lewis and friend J.R.R. Tolkien were both members.

To register for the Verge Conference, visit www.twu.ca/vergeconference.

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