The Wonders of Creation: Learning Stewardship from Narnia and Middle-Earth
When an author of fiction employs the imagination and sets characters in a new location, they are in a sense creating a world. Might such fictional worlds give us a deeper appreciation for our own?
Many readers have found themselves, like the Pevensie children, transported by C. S. Lewis into Narnia, and they have traveled from Lantern Waste to Cair Paravel and the edge of the sea. Thanks to J. R. R. Tolkien, readers have also journeyed with Bilbo, Frodo, and their companions across Middle-earth from the Shire to the Lonely Mountain, the forest of Mirkwood, the mines of Moria, and the very fires of Mount Doom. But as often as we enter these fictional worlds as readers, we eventually return to our world refreshed with sharpened insight.
In The Wonders of Creation, biologist Kristen Page explores the beloved fictional landscapes of Narnia and Middle-earth in order to discover what we might learn about real-life landscapes and how to become better stewards of God's good creation.
Based on the annual lecture series hosted at Wheaton College's Marion E. Wade Center, volumes in the Hansen Lectureship Series reflect on the imaginative work and lasting influence of seven British authors: Owen Barfield, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams.
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About the Author
Kristen Page (PhD, Purdue University) is Ruth Kraft Strohschein Distinguished Chair and professor of biology at Wheaton College. Her work has appeared in scholarly journals, including The Journal of Wildlife Management, Journal of Parasitology, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, and Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Christina Bieber Lake (PhD, Emory University) is the Clyde S. Kilby professor of English at Wheaton College. She is the author of Beyond the Story: American Literary Fiction and the Limits of Materialism, Prophets of the Posthuman: American Literature, Biotechnology, and the Ethics of Personhood, and The Incarnational Art of Flannery O'Connor.
Emily Hunter McGowin (PhD, University of Dayton) is associate professor of theology at Wheaton College. She is also a priest and canon theologian in the Anglican diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others.