Second Annual Davenant Award Banquet


Dr. Wilfred McClay

In Search of the Baptized Imagination


Thursday, April 4, 2024


The Capital Hilton

1001 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036



At this award banquet, which we intend to be an annual event, the Davenant Institute is pleased to offer Dr. Wilfred M. McClay with our second annual C.S. Lewis Award for Christian Wisdom, in recognition of his insightful work on the role of guilt in post-Christian American public life and his eloquent defense of the blessings God has bestowed through the American experiment in liberty.

About the C.S. Lewis Award for Christian Wisdom

C.S. (“Jack”) Lewis (1898-1963) taught English literature at Oxford University (Magdalen College, 1925–1954) and was chair in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University (Magdalene College, 1954–1963). He rose to prominence through his work as an apologist, devotional writer, and later children’s fiction author. He wrote over forty books including Mere Christianity, Miracles, Till We Have Faces, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Ransom Trilogy. As a powerful Protestant scholar and public intellectual who combined deep insight, historical perspective, and resolute orthodoxy with winsome, articulate, and persuasive presentations of Christian truth before a watching world, C.S. Lewis embodies the Davenant Institute’s vision of Christian humanism.

As Davenant seeks to RETRIEVE THE RICHES OF CLASSICAL PROTESTANTISM TO RENEW AND BUILD UP THE CONTEMPORARY CHURCH, we want to honor those who, following in Lewis’s footsteps, courageously confront the weighty intellectual challenges facing modern Christians. The C.S. Lewis Award for Christian Wisdom, accordingly, will be given each year to a Christian scholar or public intellectual who has made a significant recent contribution to Protestant faith and thought by demonstrating (1) broad historical perspective, (2) wise insight into contemporary challenges, and (3) persuasive and irenic articulation of much-needed truths.


6:00 PM

VIP reception

6:30 PM

General reception

7:30 PM

Dinner and program

9:30 PM

Event concludes

“By relentlessly placing on display the pervasive crookedness of humanity’s timber, history brings us back to earth, equips us to resist the powerful lure of radical expectations, and reminds us of the grimmer possibilities of human nature–possibilities that, for most people living in most times, have not been the least bit imaginary. With such realizations firmly in hand, we are far better equipped to move forward in the right way.”

WIlfred McClay, A Student’s Guide to U.s. History
Our Speaker

Wilfred McClay

Second Annual recipient of the C.S. Award for Christian Wisdom

Wilfred M. McClay holds the Victor Davis Hanson Chair in Classical History and Western Civilization at Hillsdale College. Before coming to Hillsdale in the fall of 2021, he was the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, and the Director of the Center for the History of Liberty. His book, The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America, received the 1995 Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history. Among his other books is The Student’s Guide to U.S. HistoryReligion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in AmericaFigures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American PastWhy 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 is 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 served as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in American History at the University of Rome. He is a graduate of St. John’s College (Annapolis) and received his Ph.D. in History from Johns Hopkins University.


Register now for

the Banquet

Registration is currently open! For further inquiries, contact Julia Thiele per below.

[email protected]
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