Northern Michigan C. S. Lewis Festival

CS Lewis Festival (2014)This time I’m shining the spotlight on a site from a group who hosts an annual event that involves quite a celebration. Even if you’re reading this beyond the big weekend at the end of October, 2014 it’s not too soon to plan to be a part of the next gathering! This year the kick-off is October 24th-26th and the theme is “A Quest for Meaning.” This is the twelfth year for events in Petoskey, Michigan. The site also has a few recordings from previous celebrations.

The first event on Friday evening, October 24th is FREE (but most of the other events are not).  They will be showing an advanced screening of a new documentary film about “myth, imagination and faith in the lives & literature of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.” It takes place a Petoskey Middle School Auditorium at 7:30 PM.

The organizers has created a PDF flyer that gathers the most details in one spot to learn more about the resent of meetings (including prices when it is not a free event). The Saturday Seminar is a key gathering (that has various pricing options) that I’ve copied the promotional material below to give you the details (that’s because their website is not the easiest to navigate).

“A Quest For Meaning: Myth, Imagination & Faith in the lives and literature of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien”

Saturday Seminar
Saturday, October 25, 2014
North Central Michigan College
Library Conference Center
Registration Required

9:00 Registration and Welcome
9:30 – 10:30 Session One: Verlyn Flieger
“Myth and the Making of Meaning”

It’s been said that myth is the meaning of history—that is, that the stories we tell about events that invests them with significance and makes great happenings accessible to ordinary people. In the middle of World War I, on August 12, 1916, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote an anguished letter to his friend Geoffrey Smith about the death from enemy fire of another friend, a fellow-member of the TCBS, their school fellowship. Tolkien inquires several times what this death might have meant, indicating that he was searching for the meaning of this private event in the context of a great historical conflict. From this inquiry grew the “mythology for England” that Tolkien wrote over the next forty years and of which The Lord of the Rings is the jewel in the crown. Tolkien’s great mythological story gave fictive meaning to the real history he experienced. The stories of Frodo Baggins, Túrin Turambar, and Beren One-Hand are the heart of his mythos. Together we’ll explore not just what Tolkien did, but why it has had such enduring life.

10:45 – 11:45 Session Two: Peter Schakel
“The Quest for Meaning in Lothlorien and Perelandra”

In An Experiment in Criticism, Lewis notes that certain stories by modern writers achieve what he calls the “mythic quality,” and among them is “Lothlorien in Professor Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.” Also among them (though Lewis could hardly say so himself) is Perelandra. Looking at these two stories together reveals a good deal about Tolkien and Lewis as makers of myth. Both men used myth to convey meanings they could impart effectively in no other way, but their ideas about and approaches to myth compare and contrast in significant ways.

12:45 – 1:45 Session Three: Chip Duncan
“Visualizing the Landscapes of C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien”

As they prepared to bring epic stories to the screen, feature film directors Andrew Adamson (The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe) and Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) were faced with the extraordinary creative opportunity to create a visual environment to define both Narnia and Middle Earth. In both cases, New Zealand became the stomping ground – and at times the battleground – for hobbits, elves, dwarves and the quartet of youthful siblings that hailed from rural England. Director/Photographer Chip Duncan faced a similar task in creating the visual landscape for the new public television documentary A Quest For Meaning — Myth, Imagination & Faith in the Lives & Literature of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Working with a small fraction of the budget of the feature films and an entire crew smaller than the design department from any of the movies, Duncan used his own imaginative process to bring the landscapes of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien to life. Along with film maker and C.S. Lewis co-founder, David Crouse, they will examine the choices made and how Lewis & Tolkien inspire people to read the books and let the writers help guide their own imaginative process.

2:00 – 3:00 Session Four: Q&A and Panel Discussion
“A Quest For Meaning: Where do we go from here?”

Panel Moderated by Sarah Arthur.

VISIT C. S. Lewis Festival’s SITE

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