Lewis conference questions morality

This year’s 17th annual C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society conference plans to address the question of
the sources for morality.

John Brown University will be hosting the conference from March 31 to April 2.

Devin Brown, professor of English at Asbury University, and Charlie Star, English and film professor at Kentucky Christian University, will be the keynote speakers. Special Guest Jason Fisher, editor of the book “Tolkien and the Study of his Sources,” will also be in attendance to moderate the workshops, according to a university press release.

The conference started at Oral Roberts University in 2004, according to the press release.

Jonathan Himes, associate professor of English at the University and secretary of the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society, said this is the second time the University has hosted the conference, the first time having been in 2006.

Himes said, “I hope our JBU students and conference participants will gain a clearer picture of how the Inklings used the mythic mode of storytelling to convey profound truths.”

He said, “I created the theme ‘Is Man a Myth?’ for our conference when our keynote speaker last year, Jerry Root, told me that my beard reminded him of Mr. Tumnus.”

The character of Mr. Tumnus reminded him to phrase questions on whether human values are constructions and not innate, similarly to this character.

“In our day we are growing so estranged from old Western notions of virtue, for instance, that such views of humanity seem almost as alien to our generation; as they would to a mythic creature like a faun behind a wardrobe. I posed the question as our conference theme, inviting scholars and students to consider how Lewis and the Inklings might have addressed such a question in their writings,” Himes said.