I have listed below all the speeches I will be giving during the 2013-14 academic year. But first I would like to highlight a few things:
Over the last two years I’ve had three books published: Literature: A Student’s Guide (Crossway); On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis (Moody); Heaven and Hell: Visions of the Afterlife in the Western Poetic Tradition (Wipf & Stock). I’ve also published my first ebook: A to Z with C. S. Lewis.
CHANCE TO SIT IN ON ONE OF MY LECTURES FOR THE HONORS COLLEGE
The Honors College at Houston Baptist University (for which I’ve taught the Greco-Roman freshman curriculum for the last four years) has made an exciting change. We are now using an Oxford/Cambridge model in which I give nine 85 minute lectures per semester on literature-history-philosophy to supplement 4 hours per week of intense Socratic dialogue in classes of 15 students. I will be giving my lectures on Tuesdays from 4:20-5:45pm. We have chosen that late time to accommodate high schools (especially classical Christian academies) and homeschoolers who would like to sit in on one of my lectures. In the Fall, I will lecture on ancient Greek myth, epic, tragedy, and history with specific lectures on the Iliad and Odyssey; in the Spring, I will lecture on Roman myth, epic, and history with specific lectures on the Aeneid and the Metamorphoses. If you would be interested in bringing students to HBU to attend one or more of my lectures, please email me back and I will send you a list of titles and descriptions of each of my nine lectures.
A CLASS ON THE LORD OF THE RINGS
This Fall, I am teaching a special class on The Lord of the Rings at HBU. Here is a description: Although The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia are both undergirded by a Christian worldview, the links to Christianity are less clear and direct in Tolkien’s great epic fantasy. In this class we will explore how Tolkien, while reviving the reputation of the fairy tale and sub-creating a medieval-like world that runs by its own codes and values, found a way to integrate his rich creativity and love of language with his deep Catholic faith. We will further discuss how The Lord of the Rings, together with The Silmarillion and The Hobbit, were influenced by Norse mythology, Beowulf, and Tolkien’s friendship with C. S. Lewis.
Because the class raises issues of broad and perennial interest, HBU has granted me special permission to open up the class to the wider Houston community. The class meets every Monday from 4:00-6:30pm from August 26 to December 2; however, there will be no class on September 2 (Labor Day) or October 21 (when I will be giving my midterm). Although I’ve already held my first class (in which I covered the biography of Tolkien and started to lecture on his Silmarillion), the second class will not meet until September 9 (since HBU is closed for Labor Day). So there is still time to join the class.
Sign up for the class at a cost of only $150 (which is 1/3 the normal auditing price).
A CLASS ON THE ILIAD
On Wednesdays, October 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2013, from 7-9pm, I will offer a four-week class on The Iliad for the Rice School of Continuing Education. To register for my class, please visit this link:
My 2013-14 Speeches
On Friday, October 25, I will dramatically retell the Odyssey for Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston.
On Wednesday, October 30, I will give a speech based on my new book, Heaven and Hell: Visions of the Afterlife in the Western Poetic Tradition, for Second Baptist Church in Houston. The talk will include a booksigning and is free and open to the public. It will begin at 6:45 and be held in the Deacon’s Parlor.
On Friday-Saturday, November 1-2: I will be the keynote speaker for a conference on Christianity and Education (Pursuing Wisdom Colloquy) held at Providence Classical School (in Spring, TX; north of Houston). My speech titles: Darwin’s Bulldog: How T. H. Huxley “Packaged” Evolution; John Henry Newman: Christian Orthodoxy vs. Theological Liberalism.
On Saturday, November 9, I will give a plenary address (C. S. Lewis on Friendship) for a Houston C. S. Lewis conference sponsored by the C. S. Lewis Foundation. I will also give a paper on Virtue and Vice in Narnia. For more information on this exciting conference (celebrating the 50th anniversary of Lewis’s death) and to register, please visit this link:
On Wednesday, November 20, I will give a talk on the Byronic Hero for the Jung Center, Houston.
On Thursday, November 21, I will give a free talk on the campus of Houston Baptist University titled “And the Two Shall Be One” (on marriage and the sexes) as part of a series on Christianity and the Body.
On the weekend of Dec 27-29, I will be the keynote speaker for a Conference sponsored by the Seventh Day Adventists, Monterey, CA. I will give three talks on C. S. Lewis’s apologetics.
On Sunday, Jan 19, I will speak on Christianity and Education for the Geneva School, Boerne, TX.
On Thu, Feb 6, I will give a keynote speech on Christianity and the Arts for re:create, Franklin, TN.
On Wed, Feb 26, Mar 5, 19, 26, I will teach a 4-part class for The Rice School of Continuing Studies based on my book: On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis.
On Thu-Fri, June 26-27, I will give 2 plenary talks for the Society for Classical Learning Conference in Austin, TX: Dante’s Pre-Copernican Universe; Why Dante Chose Virgil as his Guide.