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RSVP for the Center for Christian Studies – First Things Lecture

Wilfred McClay on the Baptism of the Imagination.

We are pleased to announce the annual Center for Christian Studies – First Things Lecture, to be held in Austin, Texas, on Monday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m.  This year’s speaker will be Wilfred McClay, a historian from Hillsdale College.

We at the Center for Christian Studies are happy to cooperate in this lecture once again with First Things, which is one of the most widely read and influential religious journals in the United States.  First Things shares much in common with CCS, whose mission is to help Christians better understand, practice, and pass on their faith to others, to equip teachers of teachers.

Our speaker, Wilfred McClay, is Professor of History at Hillsdale College, where he holds the Victor Davis Hanson Chair of Classical History and Western Civilization. His book The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America received the Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history. Among his other books are The Student’s Guide to U.S. History; Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America; Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past; Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Public Life in Modern America; and Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story.

He served for eleven years on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and currently is a member of the U.S. Commission on the Semiquincentennial, which has been charged with planning the celebration of the nation’s 250th birthday in 2026. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Academy of Education, and received the Bradley Prize in 2022. He is a graduate of St. John’s College (Annapolis) and received his Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University.

McClay will be speaking on “Baptism of the Imagination.”  He writes, “We desperately need creative people, artists and novelists and filmmakers and so on, to produce cultural artifacts that reflect the Christian understanding of things: not doing so didactically or otherwise overtly, but by a subtle infusion arising out of the artist’s sensibility. How to do that? How does that happen? When does it happen? How does the present situation relate to the writings of T.S. Eliot on this general subject of Christian culture?”

The evening lecture and refreshments to follow will be hosted at the University Avenue Church of Christ in downtown Austin.  Admission to the lecture is free, but we ask that you RSVP at  Parking will be available in the church lot and across the street at the AT&T garage.  See here for parking details.

To sponsor or make a gift in support of this annual lecture, please give here and write “FT Lecture” in the memo line, or contact us at


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