The Torrey Honors Institute of Biola University is honored to have Cambridge’s own Dr. Michael Ward speaking for us this Monday evening on his new piece of C.S. Lewis scholarship. Through medieval cosmology, Planet Narnia claims to provide the imaginative key to understanding the Chronicles of Narnia. This work is already launching Dr. Ward to world-wide fame, so do not miss this chance to hear from him in person. We hope to see everyone come out for this community-wide event. Copies of his groundbreaking book will be sold at this event so if you do not have one for yourself, you can be sure to pick one up when you come and hear Dr. Ward discuss his exciting new work; perhaps you can even acquire an autograph.
Walter Hooper, C.S. Lewis’ private secretary, had this to say about Ward’s piece of scholarship:
I cannot contain my admiration. No other book on Lewis has ever shown such comprehensive knowledge of his works and such depth of insight. This will make Michael Ward’s name.
For over half a century, scholars have labored to show that C. S. Lewis’ famed but apparently disorganized Chronicles of Narnia have an underlying symbolic coherence. Michael Ward has finally solved the enigma. In Planet Narnia he demonstrates that the Narnia stories were designed to express the characteristics of the seven medieval planets—Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn—planets which Lewis described as “spiritual symbols of permanent value” and “especially worthwhile in our own generation.” Using these seven symbols, Lewis secretly constructed the Chronicles so that in each book the plot-line, the ornamental details, and, most important, the portrayal of the Christ-figure of Aslan, all serve to communicate the governing planetary personality.
Michael Ward is Chaplain of Peterhouse, the oldest of the colleges that constitute the University of Cambridge. A leading authority on C.S. Lewis, he lived and worked for three years in “The Kilns”—which was once Lewis’s Oxford home. He is co-editing the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis.