The Lyceum Series on Faith and the Academy is a lecture series that draws inspiration both from the history of Grace College and Winona Lake itself. During America’s Progressive Era at the turn of the twentieth century, Winona Lake’s Chatauqua tradition attracted lectures and presentations from high- profile speakers who brought high culture to small-town America. Notable figures included three-time Democratic Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, humorist Will Rogers, and famous preacher Russell Conwell. Looking for continuity with this valuable heritage, Grace College established the American Lyceum Lecture Series, which showcased conservative voices such as Allan Keyes and Michael Reagan.
Under the newly formed Office of Faith, Learning & Scholarship, the recently renamed Lyceum Series on Faith and the Academy reflects Winona Lake’s tradition of cultural engagement and Grace College’s commitment to vibrant conversation on issues related to the intersection of Christian faith and academics.
Next year's Lyceum Lecture, to be held on November 22, 2013, will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of the English writer, C.S. Lewis. Our speaker will be Dr. Devin Brown, a Lilly Scholar and Professor of English at Asbury University. Brown, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and specializes in the literature of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, has published numerous books and scholarly articles on Lewis and Tolkien. These include Inside Narnia: A Guide to Exploring The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Inside Prince Caspian (2008), and Inside the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). His latest book is The Christian World of The Hobbit (Abingdon Press, 2012).
The 2nd annual Lyceum Series speaker is Gordon Nickel. He will be at Grace on March 22, 2013 at 7pm.
Peace and Proclamation:
A Christian Response to Global Islam
Gordon Nickel is a Christian scholar who researches the interplay between Islam and the Gospel, especially between the Qur'an and the New Testament. He began his study of Islam at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he completed an M.A. in South Asian Islam and wrote a thesis on Shah Wali Allah's principles of Qur'anic exegesis. In 2011 Brill Academic Publishers published Gordon's monograph "Narratives of Tampering in the Earliest Commentaries on the Qur'an." Gordon presently continues his research and writing on the origins of Islam and the earliest commentaries on the Qur'an while teaching university sessional courses on the Qur'an and Islam in the Modern World.
The role of religion in American society remains a topic of much discussion and debate. For many Americans, personal views on current religious and political issues are shaped by what they believe about America’s foundations. Was America founded as a Christian nation? Is it a secular nation? Or was it established with both secular and religious influences? Historian and author, Dr. John Fea, spoke on these important questions in a public lecture at Grace College in commemoration of Constitution Day on Friday, September 16, 2011.
John Fea, chair of the Department of History at Messiah College in Grantham, PA, is a respected historian of colonial and revolutionary America and has a long list of publications on Christian faith and its role in American life. He speaks to numerous audiences and has been spotlighted on talk radio and C-SPAN’s Book TV.