This conversation was recorded during the CS Lewis festival in Belfast. The festival took its theme from a collection of essays that Lewis wrote arguing for the importance of fantasy and speculative fiction. The title of that collection: Of This And Other Worlds.
I met with Johnny Lowden in the Lamppost Café in East Belfast not far from were CS Lewis was born. We met quickly and with no specialist sound equipment so the background noise of conversation and clinking china is all authentic.
Johnny Lowden’s theological studies specialised in cultural phenomena within evangelicalism and he’s well versed in the works of Lewis and Tolkien. We discussed why the same evangelical tradition which widely celebrates CS Lewis also encouraged parents to burn their children’s Harry Potter books and we explored how fantasy fiction, like theology – can either become pure escapism, or it can be the fuel for the transformation of the world.
You can listen in via your Podcast provider or watch the video on youtube here:
For more on the Satanic Panic, click here to watch this amazing short documentary from The New York Times.