Fr. Michael Ward is a member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford. He is the author or editor of several books, including Heresies and How to Avoid Them, The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis, and After Humanity: A Guide to C. S. Lewis’ ‘Abolition of Man’. But it was another one of his books that Walter Hooper, the esteemed literary advisor to the Estate of C. S. Lewis, lauded as “unsurpassed in showing a comprehensive knowledge of and depth of insight into C. S. Lewis’ works.” That book is the groundbreaking and persuasive Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis.
Fr. Ward brought his world-class expertise on the works of C. S. Lewis to a new volume recently released from Ignatius Press, for which I myself happened to serve as editor. This book is The Chronicles of Transformation: A Spiritual Journey with C. S. Lewis. In the book we take Narnia seriously as a place where the choices and actions, the desires and dispositions of children affect their own destinies and the fate of the world. It is a place where children learn what it means to grow in maturity, to become responsible and develop character. But it is also a place where adults can always start over in relearning what is all too quickly forgotten, for the sake of their own moral and spiritual transformation. For his part, Fr. Ward authored the chapter on Lewis’s Prince Caspian. In his chapter, Fr. Ward helps us to get acquainted with and be delighted by what it feels like to live inside a chivalric tradition.
We first recorded this episode a few years ago when Fr. Ward visited Notre Dame to give a lecture on Prince Caspian. Our conversation moves broadly across and deeply into the imagination of C. S. Lewis.
As for me, I’m Leonard DeLorenzo, this is Church Life Today, a production of the McGrath Institute for Church Life. I’m glad you’re here.