Distinguished Lecturer Series 2012 Dr. Terrance Lindvall
Professor Terry Lindvall occupies the endowed C. S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan College. He earned his BA from Vanguard University, his MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, and his PhD from the University of Southern California where he wrote his dissertation on C. S. Lewis’ Theory of Communication. Born with a twin sister in Basel Switzerland, he lived a peripatetic life until settling down in Virginia Beach, Virginia teaching film at Regent University, where his students won several national Student Academy Awards and he was known for breaking the Dean’s window with a snowball. He also had a four-year stint as the Regent University President and was a defendant on Court TV, but confesses those years were a blur. He has taught at the College of William and Mary, Duke University, and numerous other institutions until invited to spend his silver years at Virginia Wesleyan College. He has authored books on film (Silents of God: Silent American Film and Religion; Sanctuary Cinema; and Celluloid Sermons) and on humor and faith (The Mother of All Laughter: Sarah and the Genesis of Comedy; Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C. S. Lewis). He and his wife Karen have two children, Chris a fourth year at the University of Virginia and Caroline, a freshman at James Madison University. He and his daughter have just published a children’s book, The Girl Who Couldn’t Laugh. He is presently working on a cultural history of animation, a book on prayers and hymns in film, and his magus opus, In the Seat of Scoffers: A History of Religion, Satire, and Laughter from the Hebrew Prophets to Stephen Colbert. One of his favorite former students, TWU Professor Ned Vankevich, was in his wedding party and wore brown shoes with his tuxedo.
Lindvall came to TWU from Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk, VA. where he serves as C. S. Lewis Endowed Chair of Communication and Christian Thought as film critic, rhetorician, and theologian. CV
The Mother of All Laughter (Sarah and Abraham)
Shall We Gather at the Movies: Eight Decades of Hymns in the Cinema, a DVD/lecture presentation.
The Four Loves of C. S. Lewis.
A Cinema of the Brazen Serpent: The Kinetic Icons of the Early 20th Century Church
“The Mocking of God: A History, Theology, and Ethics of Christian Satire.”
Screening and reflections on Logos Mysterium, film by Ned Vankevich.
Distinguished Lecture Series 2011:
Dr. Matthew T. Dickerson
The Distinguished Lecturer on October 19 & 20, 2011 was Dr. Matthew T. Dickerson, Professor of Computer Science and Environmental Studies, Middlebury College (Vermont, USA) and Director of the New England Young Writers Conference.
Dickerson spoke ten times on campus on topics ranging from environmental ethics to images of evil in The Lord of the Rings to apologetics amidst atheism. In addition to publishing scientific research in computational geometry, Dr. Dickerson has authored several books, including:
Following Gandalf: Epic Battles and Moral Victory in The Lord of the Rings (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2003).
Hammers and Nails: the Life and Music of Mark Heard (Cornerstone Press, 2004)
From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy, (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2006). (with David O’Hara)
Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R.Tolkien, (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006). (with Jonathan Evans)
Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: the Environmental Vision of C.S.Lewis, (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2009). (with David O’Hara)
The Mind and the Machine: What it Means to be Human and Why it Matters, (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2011).
Dickerson’s talk at the faculty luncheon addressed the presence of gnostic thought in evangelical theology that has led to the misguided devaluing of creation and the human body.
Dickerson comes to TWU under the aegis of the English Department as a C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien scholar. He is a novelist, environmentalist, apologist, and computing scientist.
Since 1989 Matthew Dickerson has published more than 40 papers and videos, and received 9 federal funded grants for his research in computational geometry. His work on Voronoi Diagrams and the Minimum Weight Triangulation is internationally known. He has also served as national president of CCSC (Consortium of Computing Sciences in Colleges) as well as a regional board member of the Northeast CCSC (CCSCNE). He has published several articles and videos on computer science education.
University webpage: http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/cs/faculty/mdickerson
Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_T._Dickerson
Faculty and students expressed their appreciation for Dr. Dickerson’s insight and critique on these diverse matters of contemporary concern.
Distinguished Lecture Series 2010
N.T. Wright came on November 16 and 17, 2010, as part of the University Distinguished Lecture Series. The Series is designed to introduce students and the general public to some of the most profound Christian thinkers of our time. Bishop Wright participated in two Chapel Talks – open to the public – about hope and character in “Tomorrow’s World.” On November 16, he gave a public lecture, “Called to be Human: Agenda for Tomorrow’s Church,” at Christian Life Assembly in Langley.
N.T. Wright, DPhil, is Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the former Anglican Bishop of Durham. His other previous positions titles include Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey and Dean of Lichfield Cathedral. Wright taught for twenty years at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford universities and authored many influential books on New Testament studies and theology – including What St. Paul Really Said and Simply Christian – for both scholarly and popular audiences.
"Wright offers [an] intelligent view of Christianity, and his title invites us to compare his work with Lewis's [...] Mere Christianity," states a Washington Post review.
A scholar and a Bishop, Wright walks a unique line: his time is split with dozens of books waiting to be read and written, while continually meeting with people, supporting organizations and preparing up to six or eight sermons per week. “One might fail in both,” he says, “but I think it’s important for some of us, at least, to do it for some of the time.”
And colleagues praise Wright’s contributions. "Brilliant Bishop Wright is one of God's best gifts to our decaying Western church..." declared J.I. Packer, professor of theology, Regent College in Vancouver.
When asked about the place of a Christian university in the world of higher education Wright says, “Christian faith has to face, unafraid, the challenges of the whole world, and Christians in higher education should be known for their robust intellectual (and of course moral) integrity, as leaders in their field who win and keep the respect of their peers. Christian faith should generate a desire, not to sidestep the big issues and hide in a private world, but to out-think and out-argue all comers.”back to top