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Evangel University filmmaker experiences world of C.S. Lewis in trip to Oxford

August 2, 2013 | Irene Kanthan

Junior film major Elijah Austin is accustomed to looking at life through a creative lens. As a filmmaker, he is also a storyteller.

It is no surprise, then, that he jumped at the chance to join a summer class that culminated with a trip overseas to view the world through the eyes of master storyteller C.S. Lewis.

Austin and his classmates journeyed to Oxford, England, to experience the culture and appreciate the works of Lewis, author of some of the most cherished Christian literature of all time, including The Chronicles of Narnia series.

The class, C.S. Lewis: Communicating through Myth and Imagination, was conducted online for four weeks in preparation for the trip abroad.

“As a storyteller, it is cool to see where Lewis grew up and the things he did that influenced his work,” Austin says. “We did not just read about C.S. Lewis and his life, but we got to see the world through his eyes, experiencing his home country.”

C.S. Lewis graveAlong with Austin, sophomore Andrew Kilpatrick and senior Christina Irizarry spent a full week in England after participating in weekly book readings and online group discussions.

The class and trip were led by Dr. Chip Stanek, assistant professor of communication at Evangel.

“The trip serves as an opportunity to understand C.S. Lewis’ life and worldview by visiting where he lived. The goal is to get the students to examine their own worldview in light of cultural influences,” Stanek says.

While they were there, the group also was able to interact with students from Regent University who were in Oxford for the same C.S. Lewis tour.

“The discussions we were able to have with the Regent group added depth to our experiences,” Austin says. “We were able to challenge each other and the way we think about life and literature by discussing our experiences with them.”

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