Around Town: Arts + the Inklings, Christ & Cascadia, St. Alban’s mural . . .

artandtheinklingsinsideThe Inklings have some particular champions right here in Metro Vancouver, and they are centrally involved in next week’s three-day Arts + the Inklings conference (which will feature leading C.S. Lewis scholar Michael Ward).

The Inklings Institute has been plugging away for several years now, from its lair on the Trinity Western University (TWU) campus, to enlighten us on the works and world of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and their circle of friends.

Led by TWU professors Monika Hilder and Stephen Dunning – who between them have researched Inklings authors for more than 40 years – the institute has sponsored a wide range of events, whose names suggest the breadth of the Inklings interests and influence: ‘Adaptations of The Hobbit: Killing the Book?’; ‘The Inklings and Psychoanalysis’; ‘C.S. Lewis and Thomas Merton: Soul Friends’ . . .

Hilder was interviewed for two CBC Ideas episodes (C.S. Lewis and the Inklings, October 9 and 17, 2013). She has also published three books: Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of C.S. Lewis and Gender; The Gender Dance: Ironic Subversion in C.S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogyand The Feminine Ethos in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, along with a chapter in Women and C.S. Lewis.

Monika Hilder and Stephen Dunning were key figures in opening the Inklings Institute three years ago.

Monika Hilder and Stephen Dunning were key figures in opening the Inklings Institute three years ago.

Members of the Inklings Institute are by no means alone in their appreciation of the Oxford friends. A massive new tome by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski (The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015) is just the latest in a long line of books about the group (The Oxford Inklings and Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings are other recent releases).

Writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education last year, the Zaleskis described Oxford’s Influential Inklings:

By the time the last Inkling passed away, on the eve of the 21st century, the group had altered, in large or small measure, the course of imaginative literature (fantasy, allegory, mythopoeic tales), Christian theology and philosophy, comparative mythology, and the scholarly study of the Beowulf author, of Dante, Spenser, Milton, courtly love, fairy tale and epic.

Drawing as much from their scholarship as from their experience of a catastrophic century, they had fashioned a new narrative of hope amid the ruins of war, industrialization, cultural disintegration, skepticism and anomie. They listened to the last enchantments of the Middle Ages, heard the horns of Elfland, and made designs on the culture that our own age is only beginning fully to appreciate.

They were philologists and philomyths: lovers of logos (the ordering power of words) and mythos (the regenerative power of story), with a nostalgia for things medieval and archaic and a distrust of technological innovation that never decayed into the merely antiquarian. Out of the texts they studied and the tales they read, they forged new ways to convey old themes – sin and salvation, despair and hope, friendship and loss, fate and free will – in a time of war, environmental degradation and social change.

Arts + the Inklings is an interdisciplinary Verge Conference put on by the Inklings Institute in partnership with TWU’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC).

Michael Ward

Michael Ward

There will be presentations by several experts; the keynote speaker will be Michael Ward, author of Planet Narnia, fellow of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford and professor of apologetics at HBU.

In the United Kingdom, Ward was named “the foremost living Lewis Scholar” by the Times Literary Supplement. On the 50th anniversary of Lewis’s death (November 22, 2013), Ward unveiled a permanent national memorial to him in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey.

Ward will deliver a free lecture on the first night of the conference (September 28) on the TWU campus: Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis.

Following is the conference organizers’ description of Arts + the Inklings:

This interdisciplinary arts conference features presentations on topics relating to and stimulated by the work of the group of Oxford authors known as the Inklings – including C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams and J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as friends such as Dorothy L. Sayers, and their literary mentors, earlier writers such as George MacDonald and G.K. Chesterton.

Presentation topics include:

  • The Inklings’ authors contributions to the arts
  • Translating their work into other media – film, theatre, music, visual arts
  • The relationship between faith and story
  • The Inklings’ legacy as culture critics
  • The role of friendship and mentorship in their/our/others’ artistic creativity
  • See full schedule for specific topics

Christ & Cascadia

Jason Byassee will be a presenter at Christ & Cascadia.

Jason Byassee will be one of the Canadian presenters at Christ & Cascadia.

This week Vancouver hosted the Cascadia Conference, featuring politicians, CEOs and academics from the Pacific Northwest, as they discussed creating a hub for innovation in the region.

If you missed it – or weren’t allowed in the door – there’s always the Christ & Cascadia Conference (October 14 – 15) next month in Seattle. True, you may not be rubbing elbows with Bill Gates or Premier Christy Clark or Washington Governor Jay Inslee, but I know from experience that it’s worth driving down the I-5 to take part.

Why is there such an event? Here’s what the organizers say:

It is clear that this region presents the church with a wide range of cultural challenges and opportunities. How can Christians better understand and respond to these cultural realities? How can they do so with creativity, conviction and compassion? The Christ & Cascadia Conference envisions a truly collaborative future where Christian scholars, pastors and cultural leaders can dialogue about the cultural and spiritual renewal of their region . . . together. 

While millions of Christians and thousands of churches call Cascadia “home,” there are relatively few discussions of the relationship between these churches and the regional culture they inhabit. This October a coalition of Christian scholars, pastors and leaders are gathering in Seattle from around the region to discuss how the church can better know and love this place.

Christ & Cascadia may seem an odd event to include in an ‘Around Town’ column, but as the Cascadia Conference demonstrated, we’re becoming increasingly close, up and down the coast, across the border.

Most of the 50 or so presenters will be from south of the border, but at least five will be from the Metro Vancouver area: Jason Byassee and Ross Lockhart (both Vancouver School of Theology professors and authors), Fiona Moes Pel (artist and teacher), David Warkentin (Columbia Bible College) and Matt Humphrey (A Rocha Canada).

St. Alban’s mural

The new mural at St. Alban's by Joey Mallett. Photo by Larry Scherben ODNW.

The new mural at St. Alban’s by Joey Mallett. Photo by Larry Scherben ODNW.

Anglican communications officer Randy Murray has alerted us to a new church mural, which will be dedicated this Sunday at St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Richmond, right after the morning service, about 11:15 am.

He says (with notes from St. Alban’s priest-in-charge John Firmston,

Richmond is the latest locale to receive a mural created by well known Vancouver artist Joey Mallett.

The mural, located on the exterior north wall of the St. Alban’s parish hall overlooking the church’s outdoor labyrinth compound features three panels. The image on the left is a replica of the ‘Seraph’ panel on a clerestory window at Chartres Cathedral in France.  The Seraph is mentioned in the 6th chapter of the prophet Isaiah, in his vision of the temple and was the first to proclaim the words of our Sanctus – “Holy Holy Holy, Lord God of Hosts.”

The image on the right was inspired by the stained glass of Chartres but is Joey Mallett’s own creation. 

The centre panel bears the words, “You are Here” which bring to mind the themes of ‘mindfulness’  and ‘presence’ which are so much a part of the labyrinth experience.

For the full story go here.

Brief notes

dearestly3* Lauren Mann will be at The Home on Friday (September 23). I wrote about her a couple of years ago, then went to see her – excellent. No doubt she’ll be showcasing her new album Dearestly.

* Life Explored is being launched at Reality Church on Saturday (September 24). A bit like Alpha, I think, but different. Focuses on why our approach to evangelism generally doesn’t work, and how to transform it.

* Hillsong will indeed be here next week (September 26), at Broadway Church, but Young & Free is the younger generation.

* The Sisters of St. Ann have passed on the torch after nearly 90 years of running and owning Little Flower Academy.

* Mission Youth House (MY House) celebrated its first anniversary September 21. The day marks one full year of providing a “home” and support to Mission youth who are living on the street or in precarious conditions.

September 22, 2016

Christian Legal Fellowship National Conference – September 22, 2016 - September 25, 2016 at All Day
City in Focus 2016 Annual Awards – September 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Lauren Mann in Concert – September 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

September 23, 2016

Lauren Mann in Concert – September 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

September 24, 2016

Walk the Wall – September 24, 2016 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
WorldServe Thrift Store Grand Re-opening – September 24, 2016 at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Spiritually Rooted Direct Access Training – September 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
A Rocha: Brooksdale Volunteer Appreciation Shindig – September 24, 2016 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
King Road MB Church 50th Anniversary – September 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
REST International: A Night for Nigeria – September 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Life Explored Vancouver Launch – September 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

September 25, 2016

Dedication of St. Alban's Mural – September 25, 2016 at 11:15 am - 11:45 am
Choral Evensong to Celebrate Rupert Lang's 30th Anniversary at Christ Church Cathedral – September 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Babar the Elephant by Francis Poulenc (for narrator and piano), followed by The ​Josquin Singers ​Renaissance repertoire – September 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Flock & Hopson Quartet – September 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Coffeehouse Concert Series: Steve Delamar and Nightlight – September 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Engaging the Muslim Scriptures – September 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

September 26, 2016

Open Bethlehem: Director Leila Sansour in attendance – September 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
An Evening with John Bell & Blackthorn – September 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm
Hillsong Young & Free Canadian Tour – September 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

September 27, 2016

Book Signing: The Face of the Deep with Paul J. Pastor – September 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

September 28, 2016

Verge Conference 2016: Arts & the Inklings – September 28, 2016 - September 30, 2016 at All Day
Dr. Michael Ward: Planet Narnia – The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis – September 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: Holly Burke & the Naturals – September 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

September 29, 2016

Call for Artists: 'Living on Shared Territory' Art Show – September 29, 2016 - October 2, 2016 at All Day
Bishop Melissa Skelton: The Spirituality of Benedict of Nursia – September 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Enoch Daniel: Personal Knowledge, Music & Truth – September 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Journeying Towards Climate Justice: An Evening of Prayer – September 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

September 30, 2016

Moriel Ministries Canada: Prophecy Conference 2016 – September 30, 2016 - October 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Discovery Bible Study Training – September 30, 2016 - October 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Life in the Margins Workshop – September 30, 2016 - October 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Andrew Smith & Neil Fraser – September 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Chapel North Shore – September 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Chapel Richmond-Delta – September 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Chapel Surrey – September 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Chapel Tri-Cities – September 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Chapel Vancouver – September 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Lydia Collins: Seasons of Renewal – September 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Two Generations Leadership Conference: Honouring Your Parents - God's Word, Cultural Heritage and Christian Community – September 30, 2016 - October 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Chapel Langley – September 30, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

October 1, 2016

Ride for Refuge Vancouver – October 1, 2016 at 7:00 am - 12:00 pm
SoulStream Presents: A Day with Esther Hizsa – October 1, 2016 at 9:15 am - 3:00 pm
A Rocha: Harvest Celebration – October 1, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
ICR Middle East Update / Praise & Worship Service – October 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 2, 2016

Life Chain: Burnaby – October 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Life Chain: Surrey/Delta – October 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Life Chain: Vancouver – October 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saint of Calcutta: Mother Teresa – October 2, 2016 at 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Blessing of the Animals – October 2, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Christie Grace – October 2, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
ICR Update on Muslim Conversions in the Middle East – October 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Prayer for the Festival of Hope – October 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

October 3, 2016

2016 Mahatma Gandhi Commemorative Lecture: Judy Graves - We Change the World Together – October 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 4, 2016

Christian Life & Witness Course (Tuesday evenings) – October 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Tuesday evenings) – October 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Tuesday evenings) – October 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Tuesday evenings) – October 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 5, 2016

Vancouver Pastors Prayer Fellowship – October 5, 2016 at 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Business By the Book: Jonathan Friesen – October 5, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Andy Crouch: Culture Making – October 5, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Wednesday evenings) – October 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Wednesday evenings) – October 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Wednesday evenings) – October 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Wednesday evenings) – October 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Wednesday evenings) – October 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Wednesday evenings) – October 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Earth & Spirit Speaker Series: Carmen Lansdowne – October 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: Laura Crema – October 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

October 6, 2016

Christian Life & Witness Courses – October 6, 2016 at All Day
Sarah Jane: Visible Light – October 6, 2016 - October 13, 2016 at All Day
The Firs Adult Retreat – October 6, 2016 - October 11, 2016 at All Day
Ben Heppner speaks at VST's 2016 Chancellor's Dinner – October 6, 2016 at 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Thursday evenings) – October 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Thursday evenings) – October 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Thursday evenings) – October 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Thursday evenings) – October 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Thursday evenings) – October 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Thursday evenings) – October 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dennis Venema: Surveying the Origins Landscape: What Do Evangelicals Think About Evolution? – October 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Thinking Series with Andy Steiger (Thursdays) – October 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
A Good Way Out by Cara Norrish – October 6, 2016 - October 15, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Love Fix Experience: Terrance Richmond & more – October 6, 2016 at 9:00 pm - 11:30 pm

October 7, 2016

Talks with Tom: Trauma – October 7, 2016 at 7:00 am - 8:30 am
Christian Life & Witness Course (Friday evenings) – October 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Friday evenings) – October 7, 2016 - October 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Friday evenings) – October 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Friday evenings) – October 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 8, 2016

Christian Life & Witness Course (Saturday mornings) – October 8, 2016 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Saturday mornings) – October 8, 2016 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Saturday mornings) – October 8, 2016 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Christian Life & Witness Course (Saturday mornings) – October 8, 2016 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

October 9, 2016

Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus: A Canada – Ukraine Friendship Tour – October 9, 2016 - October 18, 2016 at All Day
Jazz Vespers: Jennifer Scott – October 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

October 10, 2016

Connecting the Ends: A Part of Homelessness Action Week – October 10, 2016 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Kyiv Symphony Orchestra & Chorus: A Canada - Ukraine friendship tour – October 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 11, 2016

Journey Discipleship Course (Tuesday evenings) – October 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:45 pm
Laudato Si + 1: Faith, Business and Climate Change – October 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
ARPA Canada Fall Tour – October 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

October 12, 2016

Millennial Adults: Hearing Their Questions, Dreams & Faith – October 12, 2016 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
LeaderImpact Special Evening with Bill Adsit – October 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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