Innocence and Wisdom in Narnia
The Narnia stories by C. S. Lewis are among the most popular ever written, selling millions of copies in multiple languages. Joseph Pearce will show how these stories, ostensibly for children, contain a wealth of wisdom, working on levels of theology and philosophy that are all too often overlooked. As Professor Pearce delves into the deepest meanings of these wonderful works we will see that Narnia is for grown-ups, as well as for children.
A native of England, Joseph Pearce is Senior Editor at the Augustine Institute, Senior Fellow and Journal Editor at the Cardinal Newman Society, and Tolkien & Lewis Chair in Literary Studies at Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He is editor of the St. Austin Review (www.staustinreview.org), an international review of Catholic culture, series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions (www.ignatiuscriticaleditions.com), executive director of Catholic Courses (www.catholiccourses.com), and senior contributor at the Imaginative Conservative.
The internationally acclaimed author of many books, which include bestsellers such as The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile and Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc, Joseph Pearce is a world-recognized biographer of modern Christian literary figures. His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Croatian and Polish.
Pearce has hosted two 13-part television series about Shakespeare on EWTN, and has also written and presented documentaries on EWTN on the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He has participated and lectured at a wide variety of international and literary events at major colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Europe, Africa and South America.
Dr. Amy Fahey
Children's Literature: Restoring the Imagination for All Ages
What if, as an adult in the twenty-first century, you suddenly realized that you didn’t know a single nursery rhyme? That you’d never had a single memorable children’s author—Beatrix Potter, Joel Chandler Harris, A. A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson—read aloud to you, or that you had never read them aloud to your children? That you’d never gazed in wonder at an illustration by Howard Pyle, Walter Crane, N.C. Wyeth?
What if you couldn’t sing a single lullaby?
Would it matter? Would it be too late for a remedy? Is it true, as Richard Wilbur reminds us, that “some things are truly lost”?
Or are we, as Catholics, encouraged to “restore all things in Christ,” even if that means undertaking the seemingly remedial but deceptively difficult task of acquainting ourselves with the simplest of stories, songs, and images?
This talk will explore why and how a robust encounter with children’s stories, poems, and songs is essential to remedying our current cultural and moral malaise.
Dr. Amy Fahey teaches literature and writing at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. A graduate of Hillsdale College, the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Fahey’s teaching interests include Anglo-Saxon and Medieval literature, Scandinavian literature, the modern short story, and twentieth-century Catholic writers Sigrid Undset and Flannery O’Connor.
Before coming to Thomas More College, Dr. Fahey taught literature and writing courses at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. Her essay on science and the poetry of Byron, Shelley, and Keats, will appear in the forthcoming Ignatius Press volume of English Romantic writers. Dr. Fahey and her husband, William, have been homeschooling their five children for over a decade.
Dr. Glenn Arbery
Lost and Found: The Fortunes of Eve in Milton and Perelandra
As the new Eve, Mary redeems our First Mother and reverses the Fall--but the figure of Eve continues to exert her own fascination. In the imaginations of John Milton and C.S. Lewis, she enacts the universal feminine in all its essential relations to the masculine. For Milton, female nature itself makes Eve surpassingly beautiful and therefore susceptible to Satan's temptation. For Lewis, who sets his drama on unfallen Perelandra, his second Eve, Tinadril, embodies a moving and splendid conception of a reimagined feminine with many implications for our current cultural perplexities.
Dr. Glenn Arbery came to Wyoming Catholic in 2013 primarily to teach in the Humanities track, but he was drawn to the whole curriculum, the excellent faculty, and the strong Catholic character of the College, all of which he hopes to further in his tenure as President.
Born in South Carolina, Dr. Arbery grew up as a Protestant in Middle Georgia. His reading of Flannery O’Connor as a freshman at the University of Georgia began his journey toward the Roman Catholic Church. A convert at 25, he entered the Church at the University of Dallas, where he later took his Ph.D. He has taught literature at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire, the University of Dallas, and Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he held the d’Alzon Chair of Liberal Education. He also served as Director of the Teachers Academy at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and as an editor at People Newspapers in Dallas, where he won a number of regional and national awards for his writing. He has published two volumes with ISI Books, Why Literature Matters (2001) and The Southern Critics (2010), editor. He is the author of one novel, Bearings and Distances (Wiseblood Books, 2015), and the editor of The Tragic Abyss (2003) for the Dallas Institute Press and Augustine’s Confessions and Its Influence, which will appear from St. Augustine Press in 2016.
Dr. Arbery and his wife Virginia, who teaches Humanities, Trivium, and Philosophy at Wyoming Catholic, have eight children and sixteen grandchildren, all of whom love to visit Wyoming at every opportunity.
Dr. Anthony Esolen
Dickens and the Gospel of Childhood
Charles Dickens was the one English author of the Nineteenth Century who most deeply and relentlessly thought about childhood--not only about what would improve the lives of children in industrial England, but about what Christ means when he says, "Unless you become as one of these little ones, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Dickens understood that children are important for us not because of what they will be--which is to view them as a resource--but because of what we must become, especially after we have amassed a life of sin and folly and forgotten the wonder we used to know. Yet in Dickens' Bleak House, we have not only many examples of the poor treatment of children, but also an example of a kind of adult whose character parodies what Jesus commands.
Anthony M. Esolen is a writer, social commentator, translator of classical poetry, and professor of English Renaissance and classical literature. He has taught at Furman University and Providence College, and joined the faculty of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts as a professor in 2017.
Esolen has translated into English Dante’s Divine Comedy, Lucretius‘ On the Nature of Things, and Torquato Tasso‘s Jerusalem Delivered. In addition to multiple books, he is the author of over five hundred articles in such publications as The Modern Age, The Catholic World Report, Chronicles, The Claremont Review of Books, The Public Discourse, First Things, Crisis Magazine, The Catholic Thing, and Touchstone, for which he serves as a senior editor. He is a regular contributor to Magnificat, and has written frequently for a host of other online journals.
Recommended Reading for Attendees:
Collections of folk and fairy tales, such as those by Andrew Lang and Peter and Iona Opie; book illustrators from the “Golden Age” of book illustration (Jessie Wilcox Smith, Howard Pyle, Walter Crane, N.C. Wyeth).