posted January 7, 2008

British Scholar on C.S. Lewis to Speak

Michael Ward, a noted British scholar on C. S. Lewis, will present "C.S. Lewis, Narnia, and the Seven Heavens" on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 4 p.m. in room 135 of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication at Hope College.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The lecture will be based on Ward's important new book "Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis," published in December by Oxford University Press. In the book, Ward argues that medieval cosmology, a subject which fascinated Lewis throughout his life, provides the imaginative key to the seven Chronicles of Narnia.

The book affirms that the seven Narnia stories were designed to express the characteristics of the seven medieval planets--the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn--planets which Lewis described as "spiritual symbols of permanent value." Using these seven symbols, Lewis constructed the Chronicles so that the story-line and details in each book communicate its respective planetary personality.

Ward has lectured on C. S. Lewis in South Korea and Sweden as well as in Britain and numerous places in the United States. He debated Christian fiction with the atheist writer, Philip Pullman, before an audience of 800 people in Oxford in 2002. He is co-editor of two books: "Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why it Matters What Christians Believe" (2007) and the forthcoming "Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis."

Ward studied English at Oxford University and theology at Cambridge University. He received his doctorate in divinity from the University of St Andrews. He was ordained in the Anglican Church in 2004 and since then has been the Chaplain of Peterhouse, the oldest of the Cambridge colleges.

The Martha Miller Center is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.