Inspired by the forthcoming Walden Media/Disney Film of the classic Chronicles of Narnia story The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Belmont University has scheduled an unprecedented popular and academic conference on author C. S. Lewis and his contribution to literature, culture and faith. The conference, titled Past Watchful Dragons: Fantasy and Faith in the World of C. S. Lewis, will explore Lewis’ contributions to literature, theology, apologetics, scholarship, popular culture, myth, and imagination, and also the works of several writers associated with Lewis such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and Dorothy Sayers, over three days, November 3-5, on the Belmont University campus in Nashville.
Key events of the conference include scholarly panels and presentations; a dinner with a keynote address Thursday night of the conference by Doug Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis and consultant to the forthcoming Disney film; a Friday night performance of “An Evening with C.S. Lewis” by British actor David Payne; and two concerts – literary progressive rock band Glass Hammer perform music from its new album “The Inconsolable Secret,” based on the writings of C. S. Lewis, and a performance by the Nashville Symphony of Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony.
Shore composed The Lord of the Rings Symphony from the 30 hours of scores he created for the popular Lord of the Rings movies. The symphony, in six movements, requires more than 200 musicians and singers and will be performed with images from the movies projected above the stage, at Belmont’s Curb Event Center on Saturday night at the conclusion of the conference.
In addition, Jonathan Rogers, author of the brand new book The World According to Narnia, to be published in November Time Warner – the book that will be given to all conference registrants in their welcome packets – will be at the conference, signing copies of his book.
Scheduled to appear at the conference are:
• Doug Gresham, stepson of C. S. Lewis and consultant to the Disney film;
• Devin Brown, of Asbury College, a well recognized Lewis scholar and the author of the brand new 2005 book Inside Narnia: A Guide to Exploring the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe;
• John Granger, (www.hogwartsprofessor.com), one of the foremost scholars of Harry Potter and the author of The Hidden Key to Harry Potter and Finding God in Harry Potter, Granger has frequently been a guest on CNN and other national networks as a key authority on the Harry Potter series. His Belmont appearance, which will include a book signing, comes just days before the release of the latest Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
• Mike Foster, established scholarly authority on J.R.R. Tolkien and the North American Representative of the International Tolkien Society.
• Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Marion E. Wade Center and Assistant Professor of Theology, Wheaton College;
• Bruce Edwards, noted Lewis scholar, Associate Dean, and Professor of English at Bowling Green State University;
• David Payne, British actor and President of Rising Image Productions, specializing in dramatizations of the works of C. S. Lewis
• Amy Sturgis, (www.amyhsturgis.com) professor of liberal studies and resident Tolkein scholar at Belmont University, who speaks international at such conferences as the international meeting of the Mythopoeic Society, a scholarly organization that studies Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams.
The university invites scholars, students, church and community members to attend this exciting event.