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Owen Barfield & the Marion E. Wade Center

A Chronology of Connections

Owen Barfield was the only one of the seven Wade authors to visit the Wade Center; he had many connections with the Wade Center and Wheaton College for more than three decades. Highlights of these interactions are listed below in chronological order.

Owen Barfield and Clyde S. Kilby

Image above: November 6, 1971, Owen Barfield presents Clyde S. Kilby with the book Imagination and the Spirit (ed. Charles Huttar, Eerdmans, 1971), a Festschrift volume in honor of Dr. Kilby to which Barfield contributed the essay "Either: Or." The reception was held in the Churchill room, London House, London, England. Dr. Kilby visited Barfield in England on several occasions, as did future Wade Center Directors up until the time of Barfield's death in 1997.

  • October 16 and 17, 1964 – Dr. Clyde S. Kilby, founder of the Wade Center, invites Owen Barfield to speak at Wheaton’s Annual Writers’ Conference:
    • 10/16 – Lecture titled “BARFIELD ON LEWIS” delivered to an audience of 550 people. (Published in Owen Barfield on C.S. Lewis under the title “C.S. Lewis.” Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1989), Sound recording call number: OB-V / SR-4
    • 10/17 – Lecture titled “PHILOLOGY AND THE INCARNATION,” Sound recording call number: OB-V / SR-12
  • Spring 1966 – Barfield’s article "Philology and the Incarnation" appears in the Wheaton College Faculty Bulletin, 29 n.2: pp. 1-13.
  • April 30 and May 1, 1969 - Owen Barfield came to Wheaton, from the University of Missouri where he was lecturing for a semester, and gave 2 talks:
    • 4/30 – Lecture titled “THE HARP AND THE CAMERA” (Published in Rediscovery of Meaning by Owen Barfield, Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1977), Sound recording call number: OB-V / SR-9
    • 5/1 – Lecture titled “BARFIELD ANSWERS STUDENT QUESTIONS,” Sound recording call number: OB-V / SR-10
  • Summer 1969 (and subsequent years) – Kilby visits Barfield in England.
  • April 18-19, 1972 – Owen Barfield visits Wheaton College during his time at Drew University (NJ) as a visiting lecturer. This was shortly after a major acquisition of Barfield’s papers by the Wade Center. He gave three presentations:
    • 4/18 at 4:15pm – Lecture titled “GIORDANO BRUNO AND RENAISSANCE” (16th Century Italian philosopher and relativist), the same day at 7pm he answered questions with the “Lambda Iota Tau” group.
    • 4/19 – Barfield visited Dr. Kilby’s Modern Mythology class where he also gave a lecture titled “GIORDANO BRUNO AND RENAISSANCE” (most likely the same or a similar lecture to the one from the previous day).
  • November 3, 1977– Owen Barfield gave the 3rd Annual Marion E. Wade Lecture titled “LEWIS, TRUTH AND IMAGINATION” at 8pm.
  • Winter 1978 – Barfield’s article “Lewis, Truth, and Imagination” appears in the Wheaton College publication Kodon, pp. 17-26. (same lecture as November, 3, 1977)
  • November 19, 1983 – Barfield oral history interview with Wade Center Director, Lyle Dorsett in England.
  • July 19-20, 1984 – Barfield oral history interview with Wade Center Director, Lyle Dorsett in England.
  • July 17, 1985 – Barfield oral history interview with Wade Center Director, Lyle Dorsett in England.
  • 1994 – Christopher W. Mitchell becomes Wade Center Director and visits Owen Barfield in England on various occasions until Barfield’s death in 1997.
  • October 11, 1997 – Audio comments by Owen Barfield with Wade Center Director, Christopher Mitchell for Mythcon. A five-minute recording intended as comments by Owen Barfield to share with the Mythcon conference, Mythopoeic Society, at Wheaton in the Summer of 1998.
  • December 14, 1997 – Death of Owen Barfield on at age 99.
  • October 6, 2009 – Visit of Owen A. Barfield, grandson and trustee of the Barfield Literary Estate, to the Wade Center, and (in December) loan of various items related to his grandfather for the Wade museum.
  • May 9, 2014 – Marjorie L. Mead, Associate Director of the Wade Center, receives the Owen Barfield Award for Excellence for 2014 from the Barfield Literary Estate.
  • Barfield, Owen. "Foreword." VII. 1 (1980): 9.
  • Barfield, Owen. "The Concept of Revelation." VII. 1 (1980): 117-125.
  • Barfield, Owen. "They Stand Together: The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves." VII. 1 [book review] (1980): 128-129.
  • Barfield, Owen. "The Nature of Meaning." VII. 2 (1981): 32-43.
  • Barfield, Owen. "A Visit to Beatrice." VII. 9 (1988): 15-18.
  • Mitchell, Christopher. "In Remembrance: Owen Barfield." VII. 15 (1998): 6-8.
  • Hooper, Walter. "Obituary for Lucy Barfield (1935-2003)." VII. 20 (2003): 5.
  • Barfield, Owen. "Death." VII. 25 (2008): 48-60.
  • Barfield, Owen A. and Adelene. "In Search of Lucy: The Life of Lucy Barfield, Goddaughter to C. S. Lewis." (2010): 29-32.
  • Barfield, Owen. "'Rust' and 'She'." [poems] (2010): 67-68.

Learn more about VII

Clyde Kilby & Owen Barfield with Lewis wardrobe

Barfield on Video

See a video of Owen Barfield and Clyde S. Kilby during Barfield's visit to Wheaton College in 1977.

See Barfield & Kilby Video