What do you want to know about “Faith and Fantasy”?

mythcon-45-logoDear Readers:

In addition to moderating a panel on “The Inklings and King Arthur” at Mythcon 45, I am also serving on a panel on “Faith and Fantasy” in the brilliant company of Carl Hostetter, Lynn Maudlin, and Chip Crane. Our panel will address the following questions generally:

* How does fantasy “fit” with faith?
* Can fantasy writing effectively express or affirm faith?
* How or when does it fall short of doing so?
* Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams are known for their Christian faith, and all three took distinctive approaches toward expressing it (or not) in their fiction. Are these writers successful in their approach?

I plan to focus on CW’s novels. More specifically, I will open my portion of the discussion by answering three questions:

1) Does CW’s faith show up in his fantasy writing?

2) How does he portray faith or religious practice within the story itself?

3) Does his representation strengthen or weaken the power or effect of the story?

Here is my question for you: What would you like to hear me address? What questions do you have? Do you want to suggest any examples I should use from CW’s novels? 121204-CharlesWilliams-FourNovels

About Sørina Higgins

Sørina Higgins is a PhD student in English and Presidential Scholar at Baylor University. She also serves as Chair of the Language and Literature Department at Signum University, online. Her latest publication is an academic essay collection on "The Inklings and King Arthur" (Apocryphile Press, December 2017). Her interests include British Modernism, the Inklings, Arthuriana, theatre, and magic. She holds an M.A. from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Sørina blogs about British poet Charles Williams at The Oddest Inkling, wrote the introduction to a new edition of Williams’s "Taliessin through Logres" (Apocryphile, 2016), and edited Williams’s "The Chapel of the Thorn" (Apocryphile, 2014). As a creative writer, Sørina has published two books of poetry, "The Significance of Swans" (2007) and "Caduceus" (2012).
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4 Responses to What do you want to know about “Faith and Fantasy”?

  1. Laura Schmidt says:

    Thanks for this question! I often find Christians very tentative about engaging with Williams’s works due to the varied spiritual images he uses (particularly those of the occult) that many people find hard to grapple with, or even frightened of. I would like to know more about how you feel Christians can engage with Williams’s works, and how I could help Christians better understand what the works may have to offer them that would be beneficial for their faith (or not).

    And this is a topic in general (fantasy / faith) that interests me greatly. I’d be very keen on hearing back about whatever is presented about it at Mythcon if possible since I won’t be able to attend. I hope your session goes well.


    • Sørina Higgins says:

      Excellent comments, Laura! I will plan to address your questions/thoughts. I was going to point out the *difficulties* with CW’s occultism, but maybe it would be more helpful if I show how he offers something that Christians can be comfortable with, while also showing respect to other beliefs.


  2. I’m curious about what you think that Williams did for literary readers to bring in his spiritual worldview that more contemporary authors struggle to do.


    • Sørina Higgins says:

      I’m curious about what I think about that, too!! I’ll do some pondering and maybe slip that into my 5-10 (!) minutes.


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