Taylor students continue on C.S. Lewis’ legacy - The Echo News
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Taylor students continue on C.S. Lewis’ legacy

The weekly meetings in the spirit of the Inklings

Students get tea, biscuits and fellowship at the C.S Lewis and friends tea event. (Photograph by Ellie Bookmyer)

Students get tea, biscuits and fellowship at the C.S Lewis and friends tea event. (Photograph by Ellie Bookmyer)

By Ethan Rice | Staff Writer

During Professor of Biblical Studies Bill Heth’s talk in chapel, he joked that at Taylor, C.S. Lewis is the honorary fourth member of the Trinity.

Taylor’s admiration for Lewis and his associated fellow writers can be seen first hand in the basement of Zondervan Library, where The Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis and Friends houses the world’s third largest collection of Lewis material. Its scope expands beyond the author of such works as the “Narnia” series and “Mere Christianity.” It also includes a wide array of material from Lewis’ friends and peers, in particular the group of Oxford-based writer’s known as the Inklings.

Also, it is here that a group of Taylor students first began to meet in the spirit of the Inklings. Fridays at 4 p.m., students gather together on the upper floor of the library for tea and biscuits and to fellowship over discussions of literature and a mutual love for the writers represented in the archives.

University Archivist and Librarian Ashley Chu and senior Kaylin Dwyer highlight the many diverse and fascinating presentations led by both visiting speakers and the students themselves. One memorable meeting was entitled “Tea, Biscuits and the Smell of Old Books.” For this, several of the school’s oldest books were brought out from the archives to explore just what makes the old pages smell the way they do.

The wide range of topics and student fields makes it easy for new guests to join in at any point.

“It’s not a book club; you don’t have to know anything about them,” Dwyer said. “If you like to read, write, and imagine, then come eat cookies, drink tea and have a good time.”

The Lewis Center’s program director and Professor of English Joe Ricke is proud to have seen the Lewis Teas grow. After the idea spawned from an international Inklings conference to expand beyond the occasional event to regular, weekly meetings, the group has grown exponentially, forcing a move from the the Center itself, in the library basement, to the current meeting place on the upper floor.

Ricke believes the Inklings represent an intersection of faith, learning and imagination. The meeting of faith and learning is often discussed at Taylor, but he feels we hear less about imagination. As worshipers of a creative God, Ricke sees that students can connect to this in a powerful way.

“The teas are at the end of a week — time for a break,” Ricke said. “Not from using your brain, but from the required stuff. You get to know amazing authors outside of a classroom setting. It’s a good time in the spirit of the Inklings, learning and enjoying at the same time.”

Ricke, Chu and Dwyer all extended warm greetings to anyone who enjoys good books, good conversation and good tea. Every Friday, the door is always open to anyone who wishes to join the Lewis Tea.

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