19535Graduate programs - C.S. Lewis, theology, & the arts
- Feb 28, 2008Greetings, all.
I am currently researching Masters programs in theology, theology & the
arts, individualized study, and liberal studies. Yep, I know it seems like a
wide field. However, I'm currently casting a wide net so as not to rule out
a program that might be a good fit for me.
I have realized, through my past several years reading of C.S. Lewis and the
other Inklings (esp. Tolkien), that I do not have nearly the background in
Christian theology and general philosophy that I would like. No theology
courses were offered at my high school or college (New York University). As
an undergrad pursuing a B.F.A. in Theater from the Tisch School of the Arts
(with a double major in Psychology), I did make time to take a few courses
that, at the time, were just for fun (Arthurian Legend, Tolkien & Lewis: The
Antiquarian Answer to Modernism, and an independent study on Lewis entitled
C.S. Lewis: The Christian Storyteller). However, I've realized that working
as an actor is not enough, and I want to gain the general background in
theology and philosophy (theology especially) that I need in order to carry
on the discussions I try to have with others, and then work toward a Ph.D.
I want to attend a program where traditional orthodox Christianity is taken
seriously. I would like to write a thesis on the moral role and duty of the
Christian storyteller (literature and the performing arts are the artistic
spheres with which I am most familiar), especially looking at what Lewis had
to say about the subject. (This would be, in effect, a much more in-depth
look at the topic of my independent study final paper. It would also be a
response to the artistic philosophy at NYU, where I was taught: art for
art's sake, as long as you're expressing yourself without censor you're
doing something right, and artists shouldn't be held to a moral code because
otherwise they wouldn't be free to comment on society.) Therefore, I would
like to go somewhere where there is a a Lewis scholar (or at least
aficionado) teaching. I've seen a couple of programs, like the Ph.D. program
in Theology, Imagination & the Arts at the University of St. Andrews and the
Centre for Literature, Theology & the Arts at the University of Glasgow
(which offers pre-Ph.D. programs) that excite me. Flexibility and the
ability to individualize one's program are desirable, but not deal-breakers.
So basically, I'm looking for a post-baccalaureate program where I can get a
grounding in Christian theology & basic philosophy, and which doesn't
require previous formal study of these fields; has people with a positive
view of traditional orthodox Christianity; and will be helpful in writing a
thesis discussing C.S. Lewis, theology, & the arts. A Lewis scholar and
individualized study are nice bonuses (and desirable in that order).
As I said, I'm doing my own research, but I thought I'd run this question by
this group of distinguished folk in case I was rewarded by flashes of
insight that wouldn't come from other sources. So, any suggestions as to
places to look into?
Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate any of them I can get.
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