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C.S. Lewis Reimagined: A Possible Retreat

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Belfast

United Kingdom

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*This is a page to register interest in a C.S. Lewis event in his homeland. If enough people would like this to happen, I can start to plan it*

C.S. Lewis is one of the most innovative and influential writers of the 20th Century. His fiction continues to shape the cultural imagination of millions, while his work on “Mere Christianity” struck a resounding chord with his generation that resonates to this day.

Born and raised in East Belfast, N.Ireland, the land of his youth always held a unique place in his heart. The mythical landscape of N.Ireland was grafted into his fictional worlds, while the unique religious zeal that marked his homeland was cultivated and sublimated into his non-fiction.

Growing up around the corner from his childhood home, the shadow of Lewis loomed large over my youth. While not uncritical of his thought, there was something of his spirit that inspired me. Like G.K. Chesterton, his searing intellect and profound literary gifts allowed him to communicate complex ideas with compelling clarity and conviction. He was a towering public intellectual who loved nothing more than fervently discussing the most pressing issues of his day, particularly in The Inklings group and at The Oxford Socratic Club. This event would attempt to recreate the dynamic experience of these groups. Engaging both the ideas of Lewis, and the ideas that engaged him. As well as exploring the landscape of his youth and his rich literary work.

How Much will it Cost

I'm not sure yet, but I imagine it will land around $1000 a ticket (maybe $1500 for two people sharing a room). In addition to all the content of the retreat (speakers, musicians, tours, access to venues), the cost will also include accommodation for 4 nights in the beautiful Crawfordsburn Inn as well as a full Irish breakfast, lunch and dinner in the award winning Lewis Restaurant every day.

Where Will it all Happen

This retreat will take place in the absolutely stunning Crawfordsburn Inn, where Lewis often holidayed and where he spent his honeymoon with Joy. The Inn is located in a beautiful town close to Belfast, and melts into the forest park that is reputed to have been an influence for Narnia’s landscape. It’s basically everything you might imagine Ireland to be.

What to Expect

Think of this as a type of literary holiday. There will be plenty of time for walks, conversations and lounging around open fires, while we learn about the life and legacy of Lewis. There will be tours (including the brand new C.S. Lewis Square and world-renowned North Coast), debates, music, spoken word, talks, and I’ll be critically engaging with Lewis’ theological legacy. I’ll also be exploring the spirit of Lewis, and how we might emulate that spirit today.

This is a retreat for those for whom Lewis has been an influence, but who also want to engage critically with his body of work. I’ll be asking why his work was so influential, drawing out some of his greatest insights, and exploring some of his weaknesses.

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Belfast

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