• This is a photo of a student reading Mere Christianity.

    2018-19 Harding Read

    The chosen book for this school year is C.S. Lewis' 'Mere Christianity.'

  • A photo of a student reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

    2017 Harding Read

    Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place was the featured book for 2017-18.

    Read more
  • This is a photo of a student reading the bookAmazing Grace.

    2016 Harding Read

    The 2016 campus read was centered on Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas.

    Read more

Harding Read 2018

A campus read program called Harding Read began fall 2016. The American Studies Institute, Brackett Library and First Year Experience contributed ideas to the creation of the program, which encourages the campus community to read a book together and engage both in and out of the classroom.

The book selected for the 2018-19 school year is Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

Incoming students will be introduced to it at Summer Stampede, the entire student body will be exposed to it in chapel throughout the year, and alumni will be invited to online discussion groups. When young people come to college, they expect to be exposed to deep thoughts, important issues and grand ideas. Harding Read 2018 is an opportunity for the entire Harding community – students, faculty, staff, alumni and administration – to join together on what promises to be a thrilling journey with Mere Christianity.

Program info


The selection for the 2018-19 Harding Read is C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity.” This year, the read program has been expanded to include a number of activities and events to make up “A Year of C.S. Lewis,” our yearlong celebration which is comprised of several events and activities including book donations and special happenings on campus and in the community.

Join the Harding Read all year long. | The University once again has invited all White County area schools, neighbors and the Central Arkansas Library System to join the read. Participants are invited to read this year’s selection along with the Harding community or their choice of another work by this author.

C.S. Lewis Festival Nov. 5-10

Nov. 5 | American Studies Distinguished Lecture:
Devin Brown with Douglas Gresham, son of C.S. Lewis
The presentation, titled “C.S. Lewis: His Life, Works and Legacy,” will feature Brown, a noted C.S. Lewis scholar, followed by a panel discussion with Gresham, who was portrayed in the biographical movie, “Shadowlands.” Brown, a Lilly Scholar and professor of English at Asbury University, has extensive knowledge and experience with the works of Lewis. In addition to his 40 years of teaching and researching, Brown has published 11 books and more than 50 articles, essays, scripts, poetry and more on the writings of Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. The lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Benson Auditorium. Open seating — no ticket necessary.

Nov. 6 | An Evening with C.S. Lewis
Back for an unprecedented third year in a row, David Payne will portray C.S. Lewis again as intimate conversation with the late Christian author of The Chronicles of Narnia and Mere Christianity unfolds on Harding’s stage. The performance costs $8 online or $10 at the door, and it will be held at 7 p.m. in Benson Auditorium.

Nov. 9 | Free screening of “Shadowlands”
The movie will be shown in the Administration Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Nov. 10 | Free movie matinee for the community
The Rialto Theatre in downtown Searcy will feature the animated film “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Showtime is at 4 p.m.

Additional events and activities continuing into 2019 will be announced in January.

About the book

C. S. Lewis models for 21st century Christians how to "give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15). Based on his BBC radio broadcasts during World War II, Mere Christianity is a clear, reasoned, compelling example of how to explain the Christian faith to those who do not understand or share our faith. Now, 75 years since Lewis' broadcasts were first heard, this book continues to speak powerfully into the conversations of our postmodern times.

Dr. Bruce McLarty
President, Harding University

Faculty resources

Faculty are encouraged to use ideas and thoughts from the book in the classroom. Brackett Library has provided a resource page for more information and tools for classroom use. View the resources here.