Inklings lecture sheds light on C.S. Lewis’ beliefs

By GABI BOURN

Staff writer

 

A lecture supporting purgatory is not what one would usually expect to find at a Baptist university, yet this was the topic of a lecture held Oct. 25, hosted by the English department and Honors College.

The lecture, “Why our Souls Demand Purgatory,” was centered on C.S. Lewis, and conducted by Dr. Jerry Walls, professor in philosophy.

This is the third consecutive year the Honors College and English department have hosted the series. Each year, professors lead approximately six lectures across all disciplines at the University. Dr. Matthew Boyleston, interim dean of the School of Fine Arts, said the series allows for students to hear lectures from a variety of disciplines.

“The lecture series gives students the opportunity to see papers being delivered in a conference setting on topics that may not be given much time in a classroom setting,” Boyleston said.

This year, in an effort to reach out to the community and to have a more contemporary topic, the lecture series focuses on the Inklings.

The Inklings was a group of writers including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams, who integrated the classics with their Christian faith and greatly impacted the world through their writings.

Dr. Louis Markos, professor in English, said the Inklings were a great topic choice for this year due to their great Christian influence.

“We thought the Inklings would fit with the University’s Ten Pillars vision of bringing Athens and Jerusalem together,” Markos said.

This was the second lecture this year and four more will follow. In the most recent lecture, “Why our Souls Demand Purgatory,” Walls provided a logical argument with many quotes from Lewis’ writings showing that purgatory is an essential belief of Lewis.

Walls was able to shed light on this little known belief of Lewis by using Walls’ philosophical and logical background. This accomplished the goal of the lecture series, which was to help students learn about the Inklings.

Senior Brittany Herman said her favorite part was the question and answer section when Walls was able to provide some clarifications.

“This lecture series in particular has been beneficial because people have been able to learn about the Inklings and their doctrines that they have not previously studied,” Herman said.

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