Latest News & Events

Malcom Guite & Benton Dickieson – “Inklings of Imagination”

Poster

On 23rd April 2021 at 7 pm Eastern European Summer Time (4pm British Summer Time/ 11 am US Eastern Time) ‘Inklings & Kindreds’ scholar Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson will host these two delightful raconteurs in an exploration of the value of imaginative literature generally, and why the work of ‘C.S. Lewis & Kindred Spirits’ specifically is significant for the world today. As highly regarded scholars for their work, these consummate teachers are equally admired amongst peers and students for their deep love of and playful enthusiasm for that material. For them it is not stuffy scholasticism, rather, it is the Stuff of Life.

You can register here: https://forms.gle/mqWHvnLG44B9mAU18

More information can be found here

Through the Looking Glass Sesquicentenary Conference

Alice through the Looking Glass

This online conference will take place, 4-5th November 2021 on the occasion of the sesquicentenary (150th anniversary) of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. Hosted by the University of York, all talks and associated events will be held fully online. Contributions will be a mixture of traditional academic papers and alternative formats and submissions are invited from all fields of study and practice, including (but not limited to) the arts, sciences, scholars of children’s literature, science historians, and also practitioners. There is scope for submissions from George MacDonald scholars for example on his use of mirrors, his literature, science and theological writings, and the organisers would be keen to include something like that in the programme. The website and call for papers are now live and can be viewed at: https://throughthelookingglasssesquicentenary.wordpress.com/

Open Table Conference – Unspoken Sermons

I’d recommend you take the time to listen to the full 40 minutes. It is a taster that will give you an idea of what the two sets of eight week sessions on the Unspoken Sermons will be like. Three friends chatting by Zoom, reflecting on the impact of another dearly loved friend in their lives. One throw away comment really struck home for me, that in the Unspoken Sermons George MacDonald “is moving us along spiritually, not theologically.” Faith is the process of our coming into alignment with what is real and true (God’s love, however, we imagine it). It is a journey into completion and away from our false selves. It is good to be reminded that a disciple is a learner, therefore we don’t have to have all the answers at the outset.

GMS Update

I am very pleased to announce that Malcolm Guite, who many of you will know, has agreed to become the George MacDonald Society’s President (his latest “Spell in the Library” can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iht8xFofLkA&t=314s). We have also broadened the GMS board and the Officers of the Society are now:

  • President: Malcom Guite
  • Co-chairpersons: Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson, Mike Partridge
  • Treasurer/ Membership Secretary: Mike Partridge (Acting)
  • Correspondence Secretary/ Orts Editor: Donna Whatmough-Triggs
  • North Wind Editor: John Pennington
  • Academic Representative: Daniel Gabelman
  • Society Historians: Rachel Johnson, John McNeill
  • Web Master: Mike Partridge
  • North American Representative: Bonnie Gaarden
  • Central & Eastern European Representative: Denise Vasiliu
  • Committee Members: John Flynn, Jess Lederman, Robert Trexler

If nothing else, the last twelve months have shown us that, while it is great to meet in person, much can also be achieved online to connect folks with shared interests, who are geographically (or for other reasons) separated. This is especially the case with an international Society like ours. Going forward we see the Society focussing on four main areas relating to the interest in George MacDonald: Academic, Popular, The Arts, and Theology. Already there are some exciting ideas being considered, which will have implications both for our visibility and online engagement with the membership. It is early days and conversations are still taking place, but watch this space! We are always open to ideas and if you have any suggestions or skills that would benefit the Society, then please do contact one of the above. We would love to hear from you.

Filming the “Princess and the Goblin”

Princess Irene at the bottom of her Grandmother’s Staircase
Princess Irene at the bottom of her Grandmother’s Staircase

Norwich-based Goblin Market Theatre Company is to produce a film of Donna Trigg’s dramatic version of The Princess and the Goblin, which was performed at Holkham Hall, Norfolk last year. Filming will take place using Binham Priory, an 11th Century Benedictine Priory north of Fakenham, as the set. For more information see this article on the Eastern Daily Press web site.

“The Believing Faculty,” George MacDonald on Universalism

Few topics generate as much controversy or misunderstanding than the question of George MacDonald’s view on universal salvation. Did he deny the existence of hell? Was he even a Christian? What exactly did he believe? Barbara Amell, editor of the quarterly Wingfold journal, is well placed from her research into press reports of MacDonald’s spoken lectures, to clear away some of the confusion and allow his distinctive voice to be heard. You can read her essay in full here.

“Unspoken Sermons” Online discussion

Paul Young, Baxter Kruger, and John MacMurray will engage in a 2 part interactive series online discussing the great George MacDonald’s Unspoken Sermons. They will also have guest panellists on an occasional basis. Part 1 will be every Wednesday beginning 5th May 2021 through 23rd June 2021. Session times are 7–8:30pm EST. All sessions will be recorded though to be viewed later (good news for those of us in Europe!). Registration is now open. You can sign up here

Part 2 will run from 8th September 2021 through 27th October 2021. 

God and Wonder: Theology, Imagination, and the Arts

Conference poster

Online 8–9th April 2021. What is the place of wonder in the Christian life? How can a theology of imagination contribute to our understanding of God and the world? What does wonder have to do with the life of the church in preaching, teaching, and worship? How might reflection on wonder enhance our understanding of place, vocation, and family? The 2021 Wheaton Theology Conference will ask renowned Christian scholars to consider how cultivating wonder and the gift of imagination can revitalize churches today.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/god-and-wonder-theology-imagination-and-the-arts-tickets-135567575267