Christopher Mitchell, Professor of Christian Thought in the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University, will explore "The Gospel and the Imagination: The Literary Art of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien" Thursday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. at Stauffer Chapel.
Mitchell received his MA from Wheaton College and a PhD from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where his concentration was Historical Theology. Prior to coming to Biola he taught for twenty years at Wheaton College, nineteen of which he served as the Director of the Marion E. Wade Center. During the last five of those years he held the Marion E. Wade Chair of Christian Thought.
The Wade Center was founded more than four decades ago for the purpose of gathering and publicizing the books, manuscripts, letters, and other writings of seven noted British authors: Owen Barfield, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, J.R R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. This special collection and archives is a tribute to the importance of the literary, historical, and Christian heritage of these writers. Together, these seven authors form a school of thought, as they valued and promoted the life of the mind and the imagination.
The majority of Mitchell's publications during the Wade Center years were related to C.S. Lewis; most recently, "C.S. Lewis as a Lay Minister," in Persona and Paradox: Issues in Identity for C.S. Lewis, his Friends and Associates, eds. Suzanne Bray and William Gray (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012), and "C.S. Lewis and Historic Evangelicalism," in C.S. Lewis and the Church: Essays in Honour of Walter Hooper, eds. Judith Wolfe and Brenden N. Wolfe (T&T Clark, 2011). Currently he is working on a critical edition of C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man forthcoming from HarperCollins in 2014.
Before joining the faculty of Wheaton College, Chris pastored churches for seven years and before that he was engaged in missionary work in Haiti and India. He currently resides in La Habra, California with his wife Julie. They have four children and four grandchildren.
The Frank Pack Lectures
The Thomas F. Staley Foundation of New York City funded a lecture program on the Pepperdine campus from 1981 to 2004. As of 2004 the Staley Foundation ceased funding lecture programs on American campuses. However, these programs had been so well received by the Pepperdine community that the University made the decision to continue the programs under a new name. Beginning in January 2005, the former Thomas F. Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Lecture Program became known as the Frank Pack Distinguished Christian Scholar Lecture Program. It is planned that the same high quality of Christian scholars will be maintained in the Pack Lectures.
For more information, visit the Church Relations website.