Product Type

Conversations

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 24

Alan Jacobs on The Narnian

Available for mp3 purchase

In this Conversation with Ken Myers, Alan Jacobs, author of The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis, discusses a number of Lewis's writings, including The Great Divorce, The Abolition of Man, The Magician's Nephew, That Hideous Strength, and The Pilgrim's Regress. The theme that dominates the discussion is Lewis's view of the imagination, and his deep conviction that the shaping of the conscience requires the training of the imagination. 53 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 23

Church, State, and Society in Catholic Social Teaching

Available for mp3 purchase
The development in 19th-century Catholic social thought of the idea of society as a spiritual and cultural reality is one of the themes in this Conversation with Dr. Russell Hittinger. In addition to the contribution of Pope Leo XIII and the revival of Thomistic thought to Catholic social thinking, Hittinger discusses the significance of marital notions to society, the limits of the idea of social contract, the effect of an increasing proportion of Muslims on European social thought, and how modern democracies have abandoned the project of understanding public life in moral terms. 60 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 22

Hillbilly Thomist: Flannery O'Connor & the Truth of Things

Available for mp3 purchase
In this Conversation, Ken Myers talks with Susan Srigley about how Flannery O’Connor’s perception of reality suffuses her fiction in ways that fit the views of how art works developed by Thomas Aquinas, views often summarized as “sacramental” or “incarnational.” And Ralph Wood discusses O’Connor’s acceptance of the limits placed in our lives by Providence, how limits may be a source of wisdom rather than frustration. 60 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 21

Science and Theology from the Bottom Up: Sir John Polkinghorne on Enriching the Dialogue

Available for mp3 purchase
In 1979, a much-respected physicist named John Polkinghorne resigned from his position at Cambridge. Just five years earlier he had been honored for his remarkable achievements in mathematical physics (he had been part of the team that discovered the quark) by being appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society. Polkinghorne was departing the environs of this profound and mysterious reflection on the nature of reality for a vocation no less intellectually and personally challenging: the study of theology and service as an Anglican priest. One of the benefits to the public of Polkinghorne’s twin interests in science and theology has been the remarkable series of books he has written since 1983, beginning with The Way the World Is, continuing with the publication of his 1993 Gifford Lectures (published as The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker) and most recently Science and the Trinity: The Christian Encounter with Reality (Yale). Sir John Polkinghorne talks about the main themes of this book in this Conversation. 54 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 20

Texts, Sex, and Sanctity: Robert Gagnon on Homosexuality and the Bible

Available for mp3 purchase
There are few issues within the church more potent than that of homosexuality. Barbara Wheeler, President of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, has noted that "What we in the churches teach about homosexuality affects the lives of many more people than our own members." In recent years, the debate on this issue has centered on disagreements over the exact nature of biblical teaching concerning sexuality. Dr. Robert Gagnon, Associate Professor of New Testament Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is one of the world's foremost experts on the subject and the author of the critically acclaimed text, The Bible and Homosexual Practice. In this Conversation, Dr. Gagnon talks with Ken Myers about the cultural trends and theological arguments that have shaped the dispute over the past few decades, in the hope of clarifying the answers to many of these complex questions. 72 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 19

The Crisis of Islam and the Crisis of the West

Available for mp3 purchase
After the events of September 11, 2001, many people in the West began pursuing crash courses in understanding Islamic belief and history. As a result, many realized the wisdom of acquiring some historical perspective on what appears to be a clash of civilizations. In this Conversation, Bernard Lewis, a Western historian of the Middle East whose work is recognized around the world, helps provide that essential perspective. 50 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 18

Human Nature, Human Dignity

Available for mp3 purchase
Modern people tend to ignore questions about the nature and purpose of things while learning to control them more efficiently. But as science and technology offer us the ability to fundamentally transform human nature, we can no longer avoid addressing metaphysical questions. The crisis of our time, many thinkers agree, is one concerning the definition of human nature. In “Human Life, Human Dignity,” Leon Kass outlines what is at stake and sets forth a framework for indispensable discussions surrounding biotechnologies. Kass stresses that we must approach the discussion with reverence and awe and that a major component of the discussion should be the notion of human dignity. Kass recommends that we turn first not to the findings of science and technology, but to the canon of “residual wisdom” in the East and West—found in literary, philosophical, and religious traditions—that vividly depicts human nature in its glories and tragedies. 60 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 17

Maker of Middle-Earth

Available for mp3 purchase
While it is not a story set in the twentieth century, Tom Shippey (author of J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century) claims that The Lord of the Rings is very much a work of the twentieth century; the momentum of evil sweeps characters into action before they understand the events in which they are involved. Joseph Pearce (author of Tolkien: Man and Myth) defends The Lord of the Rings fantasy genre against those who would claim that realistic fiction is a better vessel for truth; because mythology is stripped of the factual, he explains, it can deal with truth unencumbered and therefore convey its moral more directly. Literary critic Ralph C. Wood explains why he has been drawn to J. R. R. Tolkien's moral Middle-Earth since his first reading of The Lord of the Rings in the 1960s. It is a world ordered by heroism, friendship, loyalty, and hope. These ties alone, he states, enable the hobbits to complete their quest and go where no one else can. 86 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 14

Till We Have Faces and the Meaning of Myth

Available for mp3 purchase

C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces is, in his own words, “a myth retold.” Literary critic Thomas Howard explains that Lewis’s decision to tell this story as a myth was informed by the fact that the mythical outlook on the world is fundamentally opposed to the tenets of modernity, for which Lewis had such unrelenting criticism. 50 minutes

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 13

Life Work: On the Christian Idea of Calling

Available for mp3 purchase
Paul Marshall, author of A Kind of Life Imposed on Man, discusses how society and the Church have understood work throughout history, and what positive ramifications we might expect to see if Christians began to understand their life at work as part of their life in Christ. On part two, Os Guinness, author of The Call, explains how vocation and identity have lost their theological moorings among Christians. 62 minutes

Pages