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How G.K. Chesterton Shaped the Man Who Shaped Narnia

Donald Williams, Toccoa Falls College

About the Event

In The Pilgrim’s Regress, C.S. Lewis explored the idea of a person who has to wander in order to recognize and appreciate his own home. In the Narnia Chronicles and the Space Trilogy, Lewis used fantasy to give his readers gleams of divine truth. It’s well known that Lewis was a friend of J.R.R. Tolkien. What is less well known is that both the motifs above, and many others, were inherited by Tolkien and Lewis from a prior generation, from writers like George MacDonald and G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton’s writing influenced Lewis’s conversion, and how he conceived of Christianity, fantasy, and the Christian concept of home. This event will explore the ideas of Chesterton and how they shaped the writers who produced the greatest fantasy literature of our time.

About the Speaker

Dr. Donald Williams is the chair of the Department of Humanities & Natural Sciences at Toccoa Falls College. He holds a B.A. in English from Taylor University, a M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from the University of Georgia.

He is the author of seven books, including Inklings of Reality: Essays toward a Christian Philosophy of Letters (Toccoa Falls College Press, 1996), Mere Humanity: G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien on the Human Condition (Broadman, 2006), and Credo: Meditations on the Nicene Creed (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2007).

He has also contributed essays, poems, and reviews to such journals as National Review, Christianity Today, Touchstone, Modern Reformation, The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Philosophia Christi, Theology Today, Christianity and Literature, Christian Scholar’s Review, Mythlore, SEVEN: An Anglo-American Literary Review, Christian Educator’s Journal, Preaching, and Christian Research Journal.

An ordained minister in the Evangelical Free Church of America with many years of pastoral experience, he has spent several summers in Africa training local pastors for Church Planting International.