The Inklings; Fantasists or Prophets? The Complete Set.

CS Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams. JRR Tolkien: The Inklings!

Over the last month I have given a series of five talks at St. Edward King and Martyr in Cambridge, exploring the thesis that far from being backward-looking, reactionary or escapist, the Inklings were fully and prophetically engaged with the main streams of modernity, that they forsaw the coming crisis of meaning in the materialist West, and in particular the attendant crises of violence and environmntal degradation. I have tried to explain the way they forged a coherent alternative vision, which called for us to reintegrate Imagination and Reason as ways of knowing truth and relating to one another and the world. These talks have been recorded as audio and the last four were also filmed, and I have assembled on this page the complete set of links to these recordings so that anyone who wishes can return to this page when they have the time and follow the talks through in sequence.

Its been a remarkable experience putting together and delivering these talks, at once draining and exhilarating, and I have had a sense as they were delivered of a new synthesis coming together in my mind.  I hope therefore, when I have the opportunity, to write these talks up and tfurther explore and develop these ideas in book form. Watch this space!

I will give the audio links first and then the video. I should say that the sound level is very low for the third talk, on Charles williams so people may prefer to take that talk from the video. I am very grateful to Daniel Son for filming the last four talks.

Part 1 The Inklings Fantasists or prophets

Part 2 CS Lewis and the Cosmic Summer

Part 3 Owen Barfield; poetry and participation

Part 4 Charles Williams; the Pattern and Glory of Love (you will need to turn up the volume on this one!)

Part 5: Tolkien; Roots and Branches


Now here are the links to the youtube video of the last four talks, on the individual Inklings, kindly provided by Daniel Son. The CS Lewis video starts a couple of minutes into the talk but the rest are complete.

1 CS Lewis and the Cosmic Summer

2 Owen Barfield: Poetry and participation

3 Charles Williams, the Pattern and Glory of Love

4 Tolkien; Roots and Branches


Filed under christianity, ecology, imagination, Inklings, literature, St. Edward's, Theology and Arts

15 responses to “The Inklings; Fantasists or Prophets? The Complete Set.

  1. Pingback: Imagination and Reality Part 1: Imagination and Identity - Hieropraxis | Hieropraxis

  2. debbiepullinger

    Thank you so much for posting these, Malcolm: they’re all brilliant. And again (as Faith, Hope and Poetry), they’ve provided some useful threads for my own research. Eagerly awaiting the book!

  3. Pingback: Three Sonnets Inspired by Charles Williams - Hieropraxis | Hieropraxis

  4. Markkur

    Thank you for sharing “all” Malcom. My wife and I are fans of God and JRRT & CSL. We’ve listened to “Roots and Branches”; your insights are a both affirming and inspiring. We will certainly listen to the rest. God Bless you and all who “prepare the soil”.

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  10. Frank faulk

    These talks are truly inspiring!! Malcolm presents engaging talks on why the Inklings are matter to us in the 21rst century!!!

  11. Frank faulk

    Sorry for the typos in the comment I just left — I’m just too damn enthusiastic about these talks!!

  12. Pingback: The Prophetic Critique of Malcolm Guite | A Pilgrim in Narnia

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