Harding University is celebrating “A Year of C.S. Lewis” in conjunction with the annual Harding Read. The 2018-19 selection is “Mere Christianity,” an adaptation of a series of radio addresses the author delivered from 1941-44. The expanded program, “Join the Harding Read,” invites students in surrounding communities to read this year’s selection, or another Lewis work, along with Harding students, employees, alumni, parents and friends. The University is also hosting a number of events during the C.S. Lewis Festival Nov. 5-10 and invites area students and families to attend.
“Harding University loves this community and we are always looking for ways to provide educational entertainment that we can share with our neighbors,” said Jana Rucker, vice president for communications and enrollment. “The C.S. Lewis Festival offers something for everyone from insightful dialogue, to live theatre, a kids movie and even a date night opportunity on Friday to see the romantic and tragic movie, ‘Shadowlands.’ We hope many members of the community will be able to join us.”
Harding is donating copies of C.S. Lewis’ “Space Trilogy” to area schools and libraries so that more participants can join the Harding Read for 2018-19.
The C.S. Lewis Festival is a series of events related to the life and works of C.S. Lewis.
On Monday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Benson Auditorium, Harding will host a free American Studies Institute lecture featuring noted C.S. Lewis scholar Devin Brown and a discussion with Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis, who was featured in the C.S. Lewis biographical film “Shadowlands.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in Benson Auditorium, the Harding University Arts & Life Performance Series will host playwright and actor David Payne as C.S. Lewis in “An Evening with C.S. Lewis.” Tickets can be purchased for $8 at hardingtickets.com or $10 at the door.
On Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in Administration Auditorium, the University is showing “Shadowlands,” the 1993 feature film starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. Admission is free.
On Saturday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre, the University is sponsoring a free showing of the animated Children’s Television Workshop classic “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Admission is free, and attendees will receive a free small popcorn and drink.
Harding will continue the Year of C.S. Lewis celebration with a two-part event, the Liberal Arts Colloquium, which draws professors from all over campus to present on a common theme. This year’s theme is “Encountering C.S. Lewis.” The first round of presentations will be held Monday, Nov. 12 in Cone Chapel, and the presenters will speak about “C.S. Lewis: Identity, Humanity and Weltanschauung.”
Dr. Larry Hunt, C.S. Lewis’ background and works
Dr. Nathan Guy, “C.S. Lewis, Human Dignity & Creation Hope”
Vignettes from “Freud’s Last Session” by Mark St. Germain, Dr. Dan Stockstill will play C.S. Lewis & Dr. Ken Cameron will play Freud.
The second round of presentations will be held Monday, Nov. 26 in Cone Chapel, and the presenters will speak about “C.S. Lewis: War & Why We Fight.”
Dr. Dutch Hoggatt, “Lewis at the BBC”
Dr. Steve Choate, “The Lion, The Illustrator, & World War II”
Dr. Cliff Ganus III, “Swinging mit der Führer: The Curious Case of Nazi Jazz”
Dr. Kevin Klein, “Lewis’ Vision of Natural Law”
More celebration events are planned and will be announced in January.