Christianity, the Last Inkling and the Evolution of Human Consciousness

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Date(s) - 26th October, 2019
11:00 - 13:00

Old Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church


Christianity is in crisis in the West. The faith that fed our ancestors seems to be failing to do so now. Many people just don’t sense that it promises life in all its fullness, so it’s time to reconsider things from the roots up. CS Lewis was one of the best known defenders of Christianity in his generation but he called his friend, Owen Barfield, the “wisest and best of my unofficial teachers”.

The two of them co-founded the Oxford group, The Inklings, which also included JRR Tolkien. So what did Barfield have to say and why might it matter now? He witnessed what became the key theme in his work: how human awareness of life changes radically over time and is continuing to change today.

He tracked it back over 3000 years to the ancient Hebrews and Greeks and developed a profound account of the significance of Christianity and how we participate with others, nature and the divine. Mark Vernon will introduce these ideas and argue that in an age of ecological crisis and widespread mental ill-health, they are crucial today.