Asbury Presents C.S. Lewis: "A Life Observed" Events

Fans of The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis and Douglas Gresham — Lewis’s closest relative and consultant for all of the Narnia films — are in for an exciting and rare treat in late September as Gresham will make appearances in the Lexington, Cincinnati and Louisville areas.

As a gift to the community — admission to all events will be free and open to the public — and in conjunction with the release of “C.S. Lewis: A Life Observed” by Lewis scholar and Asbury University Professor Devin Brown, Asbury is flying Gresham to the U.S. for three evening events: Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Asbury University; Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at Vineyard Community Church (Tri-County) in Cincinnati); Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. at Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville.

brown%20book%20interior.jpgAt each event, Gresham — who lives in Malta — will offer “behind-the-scenes” looks at the world of Narnia and the life and legacy of his stepfather, C.S. Lewis. He will also sign copies of “A Life Observed,” a book he wrote the forward for and one of four books on Lewis and Narnia authored by Brown.

“Douglas Gresham has watched over the Lewis Estate for several decades, making sure that Lewis's books continued to be published with the quality and care they deserved and ensuring that the first three of the Chronicles of Narnia were brought to life on the screen in a manner that his stepfather would have approved of,” Brown said. “Everyone who attends his talks will not only learn more about C. S. Lewis and the Narnia films, they will also be uplifted and inspired by Mr. Gresham's message. He has a wonderful energy and enthusiasm for sharing the good news.”

Gresham was introduced to Lewis first as a young child, through Lewis’s well-known “Chronicles of Narnia” books, and then in person when his mother, Joy Davidman, and Lewis became friends. After Davidman and Lewis married, Gresham received a first-hand look at the robust faith and intellectual acuity that has made Lewis — “Jack,” to friends and family — an exemplar of joyful Christian living.

In his latest book, Brown outlines Lewis’s spiritual journey, drawing on his autobiographical, fiction and non-fiction works as well as the literature of those who knew him and influenced him. While many biographers have analyzed Lewis’s characters and life experiences in the decades since Lewis’s death 50 years ago, Brown’s book looks at Lewis through the lens of the beliefs that shaped his writing to yield a portrait of the famous author that is rarely seen. Gresham himself noted the accuracy of Brown’s perception in a rare endorsement of the biography:

Douglas Gresham
Douglas Gresham

“It takes a confident man to write a biography of C.S. Lewis and then turn to me for comments,” Gresham said in the foreword. “I have said often enough that they vary from the good to the bad to the just plain ugly. …But the biography that follows is different. …Brown helpfully works his way through the dross and difficulties of Jack’s earthly life in search of every factor, every influence, every event and all of the people who showed Jack where the narrow path lay and taught him where it led.”

“A Life Observed” is the latest in Brown’s growing body of work for both scholarly and popular audiences. Brown has published numerous essays and scholarly articles on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and has written chapters for six books, including a major chapter on “The Screwtape Letters” for the four-volume series “C.S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy” released by Praeger Publishers in 2007. In 2008 he served as Scholar-in-Residence for the Summer Seminar held at The Kilns, the Oxford home of C.S. Lewis.

Dr. Devin Brown
Dr. Devin Brown

Brown’s own book “Inside Narnia: A Guide to Exploring The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” was published by Baker in 2005 and is currently in its sixth printing. His second Narnia book, “Inside Prince Caspian,” was released in 2008. His third Narnia book, “Inside the Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” came out in 2010. Also in 2010, Brown was a contributor and Advisory Board member for The C. S. Lewis Bible published by HarperOne and was invited to appear on the Narnia Summit Panel with Michael Apted, Micheal Flaherty, and Gresham in Los Angeles.

“Devin began to come into the confused seas of my consciousness when his name began to appear as one of many ‘C.S. Lewis Scholars and experts’ who crop up, make a small splash for a while and then sink back into nonentity,” Gresham said. “Devin, however, really is a C.S. Lewis Scholar — and a darned good one at that, as is shown in his latest book ‘A Life Observed.’”

Did you know?
C.S. Lewis will be honored with a memorial stone in the Poets’ Corner section of Westminster Abbey in London this November. Other notable writers commemorated in Poets’ Corner include Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare and Isaac Watts.

For more information on any of the three events — including media credentials or interview requests — please contact Asbury University Director of Marketing and Communications Brad Johnson at bjohnson@asbury.edu.

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