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Oxford Chaplain to Lecture at the John Jay Institute on C.S. Lewis' Ideas for the Reconciliation of Conservatism and Liberalism

by Staff
September 25, 2009
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., ( -- The John Jay Institute, in partnership with the Political Science Department and the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, will host a lecture by the Rev. Dr. Michael Ward, Oxford University Chaplain and author of Planet Narnia, on the campus of UCCS, 7pm Tuesday, October 20, 2009.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963), the famed children's novelist and Oxford University professor, was not only the creator of the Narnia Chronicles but a cultural critic and Christian apologist as well. In a style similar to other British literary figures like Samuel Taylor Coleridge and T.S. Eliot, Lewis contemplated deeply on the nature of things including humanity and the organization of society. With respect to both, Lewis embraced Lord Acton's dictum that "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power absolutely." Indeed, Lewis's defense of democracy rests upon his belief that mankind is so corrupted by the fall that no one deserves unchecked power over his fellows. For Lewis a democratic political system best checks power-claims and the other abuses of power that inevitably occur in politics. However, Lewis also had a much more positive understanding of power, both with respect to human relationships and with respect to the traditional Christian doctrine of the Trinity. What is Lewis's view of the relationship of power and politics?

In this lecture Dr. Michael Ward, Lewis scholar and author, will outline Lewis's understanding of the relationship between hierarchy, equality, and power. Drawing on a wide range of Lewis's writings, including: The Abolition of Man, its fictional counterpart That Hideous Strength, and an essay on John Milton entitled "A Preface to Paradise Lost," Dr. Ward will demonstrate that Lewis thought hierarchy and equality, tradition and liberal democracy were reconcilable ideas for using and constraining political power.

The public is invited to attend this lecture that will be held in the UCCS Lodge on the campus of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs at 7pm, October 20, 2009. A public reception for Dr. Ward follows the lecture. Tickets are free, but you are asked to RSVP by Thursday, October 15th by calling (719) 471-8900 or by email to

The John Jay Institute is a para-academic center that is headquartered in Colorado Springs. Its mission is to prepare Christians for principled public leadership. More information about the Institute is available online at:

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