Once again, the C.S. Lewis & Kindred Spirits Society of Iași, Romania, is hosting what sounds like an absolutely fascinating event. Back in the spring, I was pleased to join poet theologian Malcolm Guite and George MacDonald scholar Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson with an “Inklings of Imagination” of imagination conversation–including hundreds of smart readers and thinkers from Eastern Europe and around the world.
Now the CSL&KS returns with a conversation on the hospitable imagination. “Intellectual and creative hospitality is one of the hallmarks of the Inklings and their kindred writers,” the poster begins. And this is precisely correct, and a conversation about “the collegiality and creativity of the Inklings and their world” is one to look forward to.
But the poster below reveals much that might be missed on the surface. The speaker’s list looks like a collection of thoughtful and congenial Inklings scholars. Host Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson is a leading George MacDonald scholar with a vision for theological and imaginative integration. Michael Ward‘s Planet Narnia is probably the most impactful study in medieval intertextuality and the work of C.S. Lewis yet written, and his After Humanity is an excellent companion to The Abolition of Man. Fr. Andrew Cuneo’s doctoral thesis was on the literary letters of Lewis, and he worked with Walter Hooper on The Collected Letters. And Diana Pavlac Glyer is the leading thinker on the Inklings and creative collaboration with her The Company They Keep and Bandersnatch. All well and good, a stellar cast (which is a Planet Narnia pun, for those paying attention).
But when thinking about the Inklings and imaginative hospitality, I want to think not just about creative and literary hospitality–of which the Inklings are famous–but also of theological or ecumenical hospitality. With all their “likes,” the Inklings were a community of “differents” when it came to their faith perspectives. Given the personal presence of these scholars and their faith perspectives, this panel, for me, represents just such a potential for “Imaginative Hospitality.” I look forward to joining in by Zoom on Monday.
To join the C.S. Lewis & Kindred Spirits “Connected” Zoom Event, “Imaginative Hospitality,” fill out this brief form here. It is at 6pm Romanian time on Monday, but note that time change may affect your local viewing. I will be joining in at 1pm Atlantic time, which is 9am PST, 12 noon Eastern, 4pm UK time, and 1am in Japan.