When I was in Oxford this past summer, I had the opportunity to collaborate on a podcast series with Dr. Michael Ward, who is our Visiting Professor in Apologetics — he will be teaching “C.S. Lewis and Imaginative Apologetics” in the first semester of our MA in Apologetics program, this spring. The podcast series was hosted by William O’Flaherty of EssentialCSLewis.com.
I enjoyed interviewing my colleague and I hope that you will enjoy the podcasts! (Links are below.)
Each episode in this thirteen-part series is focused on one chapter in Dr. Ward’s book The Narnia Code, which is the popular version of his acclaimed scholarly book Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis. Thus this podcast serves as excellent introduction to Dr. Ward’s ideas about Lewis’ use of the medieval imagery of the ‘seven heavens’ as a deep, underlying structure of meaning for the Chronicles of Narnia.
However, his explanations in this podcast range beyond what’s in the book, including topics such as what it means to ‘baptize’ pagan mythology; the difference between ‘Enjoyment’ and ‘Contemplation’ and what that means in literature; how Lewis draws extensively and deeply on Scripture and theology in the Chronicles; why it matters that we consider these questions; why Christians should not avoid talking about death; how Lewis made Christ central to all aspects of the Narnia Chronicles (more than just a ‘Jesus-figure’); and a lot more.
- Episode 1: The Mystery
- Episode 2: The Beam of Light
- Episode 3: The Seven Heavens
- Episode 4: Jupiter’s Kingly Crown
- Episode 5: The Wooden Shield of Mars
- Episode 6: Sunlight’s Golden Treasury
- Episode 7: Mirror or Moonshine?
- Episode 8: Mercury’s Winged Cap
- Episode 9: Apples Are from Venus
- Episode 10: Saturn’s Sands of Time
- Episode 11: The Candlestick
- Episode 12: The Telescope
- Episode 13: Final Q&A
Further work by Dr Michael Ward:
The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (Michael Ward & Robert MacSwain, editors; Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis (Oxford University Press, 2008)
Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe (Ben Quash & Michael Ward, editors)
Chapters in: Imaginative Apologetics; Christian Theology and Tragedy (Ashgate Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts); C. S. Lewis and the Church: Essays in Honour of Walter Hooper; Christ and Culture in Dialogue; etc.