Belmont faculty members recently presented essays in a session about “C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and the Inklings” at the Christian Scholars’ Conference. The Inklings were a group of Christian writers who gathered in the 1930s and 1940s in Lewis’s rooms at Magdalen College, Oxford University or at the Eagle and Child public house to read and discuss their work. Tolkien described the name of the Inklings as “a pleasantly ingenious pun…suggesting people with vague or half-formed intimations and ideas plus those who dabble in ink.”
Don Cusic, professor of music business in the Curb College, presented on “Johnny Cash and C. S. Lewis.” Dr. Robbie Pinter, professor of English, presented “Fantasy Worlds in C. S. Lewis’s Narnia and George MacDonald’s Lilith: Thresholds, Portals and Crossovers.” Dr. Ann Coble of the College of Theology presented “Dorothy L. Sayers and Lord Peter Wimsey.” Dr. Kenneth C. Hawley, professor of English at Lubbock Christian University, presented “Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and the Consolation of a Happy Ending.” The session was organized by Director of the Honors Program Dr. Jonathan Thorndike, who will be teaching his Inklings course in the Belmont Month in London program starting in July at King’s College London.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Memory, Tradition and the Future of Faith.” The mission of the Christian Scholars’ Conference is to create and nurture an intellectual and Christian community that joins individuals and institutions to stimulate networks of scholarly dialogue and collaboration. The conference was created under the direction of Dr. Thomas H. Olbricht, distinguished professor emeritus, Pepperdine University and has since been hosted by several faith-based universities. The conference calls together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in the liberal arts, sciences, business, law, education and medicine to develop their own academic research and to reflect on the integration of scholarship and faith.