The Great Conversation (TGC)

OUR NEXT EVENT: The Post-Christian Worldview as a New Religion

Pacifica continues The Great Conversation (TGC) over breakfast as Dr. Andrew J. Newell shares his thoughts on the topic: The Post-Christian Worldview as a New Religion.

Dr. Newell will be discussing how the post-Christian, cultural worldview has become a new religion, complete with its own high priests and sacred beliefs. Come gain a better understanding of this new religion forming under “The Myth of Progress,” and be encouraged to continue to think and live Christianly.

Andrew J. Newell BA (Hons) (Lpool), MSt, DPhil (Oxon) is the Junior Research Fellow (J.R.F.) in Literature & Theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and holds the post of J.R.F. at the Oxford University English Faculty. Andrew arrived in Oxford in 2016 as the first English student at Wycliffe Hall. He completed his MSt in 2017, and his DPhil in 2022. His doctoral research was the first comprehensive study of the hymns of the English poet and man of letters, William Cowper (1731-1800). Prior to his appointment as the Hall’s first J.R.F. in 2021, in 2019 Andrew was appointed ‘Wycliffe Hall Inkling Scholar for Literature and Theology’.


Date: Friday, April 21, 2023
Time: 7:30 – 9 AM
Location: The Pacific Club

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*Registration is required. All TGC events are open to the public.

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September 16, 2023

C.S. Lewis Dinner

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A Conversation with our Community

We’ve designed TGC to allow our students and our community to participate in a dialogue that transforms the way we live, study, work, and engage the world—or, stated another way: how we think and live well. TGC taps into the great conversations, debates, and issues of our time—and throughout history.

TGC includes online postings and videos, guest lecturers in Pacifica classrooms, public symposia on topics of interest, salon-style events with Pacifica faculty members, and major community speaking events. TGC speakers include Pacifica educators, visiting professors, marketplace and non-profit professionals, public officials, and church leaders.

Ultimately, through TGC, we learn that all parts of life matter to God, including entering into a good conversation with our neighbors—whether or not we always agree. It is with this understanding that we encourage our community to pursue lifelong learning, relationships, and careers. And we encourage our students in the training of their minds, the engaging of their world, and their faithfully leading wherever they are called.

Past Events & Speakers

Demise of Classical Education, the Recovery of Greek Wisdom, & Its Significance Today

Churchill Event: The Preservation of Civilization & Free Government

A Call to Conscience: Remembering the Holocaust

Senator Ben Sasse: On Meaning & Happiness

An Evening with The Bard: “Shakespeare's Macbeth”

C. S. Lewis Symposium 2017

Morality & American Foreign Policy

Acton Event: “The Free & Virtuous Society”

C. S. Lewis Symposium 2015: “Education of the Soul”

An Evening With Pacifica: “Why Study English”

Larry P. Arnn

Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College, where he is also a professor of politics and history. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School. He also studied at Worcester College, Oxford University, where he served as director of research for Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. From 1985 to 2000, he served as president of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. In 1996, he was the founding chairman of the California Civil Rights Initiative, which prohibited racial preferences in state hiring, contracting, and admissions. Dr. Arnn is on the board of directors of The Heritage Foundation, the Henry Salvatori Center of Claremont McKenna College, the Philadelphia Society, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the Claremont Institute. He served on the U.S. Army War College Board of Visitors for two years, for which he earned the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. In 2015, he received the Bradley Prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Dr. Arnn is the author of three books: Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education; The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It; and Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.

David L. Bahnsen

David L. Bahnsen is Founder, Managing Director, and Chief Investment Officer of The Bahnsen Group, a private wealth management boutique in Newport Beach. David has been named one of Barron’s America’s Top 1,200 Advisors, On Wall Street’s Top 40 Advisors, and Financial Times Top 400 Advisors in America. David brought The Bahnsen Group independent through the elite boutique fiduciary, HighTower Advisors, in early 2015. David is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is a regular columnist for Forbes magazine, focusing on the synthesis of markets and ethics. David serves on the faculty of Acton University and the Blackstone Institute, where he lectures on various aspects of the marketplace, economics, and applied worldview. David is a co-founder of Pacifica and the Vice-President of its Board of Trustees.

Dr. Anthony Bradley

Dr. Anthony Bradley is a professor of religious studies and director of the Center for the Study of Human Flourishing at The King’s College. Dr. Bradley is also a research fellow at The Acton Institute. Dr. Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including: the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Examiner, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, Christianity Today, and World Magazine. Dr. Bradley is called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared on C-SPAN, NPR, CNN/Headline News, and Fox News, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race in America, mass incarceration and overcriminalization, youth and family, welfare, education, and ethics.

Rev. Hayden Butler

Hayden Butler is the founding Chair of the English Department at Pacifica Christian High School Orange County. He completed his undergraduate work in English Literature before continuing to study English and also Theology at the graduate level. His reading focused on the intersection of poetry and prayer in Shakespearean tragedy. As a teacher, Hayden seeks a sense of integrity, joy, and rigor in an interdisciplinary approach to the study of English. As an Anglican clergyman, he gratefully invites his formation in the liberal arts to assist his work as a preacher and pastor.

Keith Carlson

Carlson & Jayakumar LLP is based in Newport Beach and is focused on employment and healthcare. Keith has represented Fortune 500 companies, the largest California hospitals, as well as individual healthcare practitioners and small‐business owners. He has held church‐leadership positions for a decade, including teaching and preaching responsibilities. Keith has extensive experience on school‐related boards at all levels of education, including, Santa Ana Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee, Irvine Valley College Foundation Board of Governors, Boards of both Whittier and Chapman Law Schools, and Pacifica Christian High School‐Santa Monica Board of Advisors.

Keith and his wife Amy live in Huntington Beach with their four children, who attend Huntington Christian School. While serving on civic boards, he volunteers as a soccer coach and as Chairman of Cub Scout Pack 1. Previously, he was the California Republican Party’s Treasurer and oversaw party finances for three Gubernatorial and two Presidential elections. Both he and his wife attended UCLA. Keith graduated from UCLA School of Law, while Amy got her Masters in Education and taught in both local public and Christian schools. Keith earned the UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award for his work with inner‐city youth as a Young Life leader.

Fr. Andrew Cuneo

Andrew Cuneo graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in English and then traveled to England to complete an M.Phil. in English Renaissance Literature at the University of Oxford. Before completing graduate studies, he assisted Walter Hooper with research on the unpublished letters of C. S. Lewis, a subject which then became the focus of his doctorate at Oxford. The University awarded him his D.Phil. in English in 2001, making him the first Oxford scholar ever to receive a doctoral degree on C. S. Lewis. Andrew was a former Professor of English and C. S. Lewis Scholar at Hillsdale College and St. Katherine’s College.

Diana Glyer

Diana Pavlac Glyer is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University. She has published extensively on Lewis, Tolkien, and the Inklings, including contributions to The C. S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia and C. S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy. She is the recipient of the Wade Center’s Clyde S. Kilby Research Grant (1997), APU’s Chase A. Sawtell Inspirational Teaching Award (2002), and The Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Award (2008). She is best known for her book The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community. Her latest book is Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings. Learn more about Diana at

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; his focus is classics and military history.

Hanson was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991–92), the annual Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Visiting Fellow in History at Hillsdale College (2004–), the Visiting Shifron Professor of Military History at the US Naval Academy (2002–3),and the William Simon Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University (2010).

In 1991 he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award. He received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism (2002), presented the Manhattan's Institute's Wriston Lecture (2004), and was awarded the National Humanities Medal (2007) and the Bradley Prize (2008).

Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, and newspaper editorials on Greek, agrarian, and military history and essays on contemporary culture. He has written or edited twenty-four books, the latest of which is The Case for Trump (Basic Books, 2019). His other books include The Second World Wars (Basic Books, 2017); The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - from Ancient Greece to Iraq (Bloomsbury 2013); The End of Sparta (Bloomsbury, 2011); The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern (Bloomsbury, 2010); Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome (ed.) (Princeton, 2010); The Other Greeks (California, 1998); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001); Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003); A War Like No Other (Random House, 2005); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback ed., 2001); and Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003), as well as two books on family farming, Fields without Dreams (Free Press, 1995) and The Land Was Everything (Free Press, 1998). Currently, he is a syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services and a weekly columnist for the National Review Online.

Hanson received a BA in classics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1975), was a fellow at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (1977–78), and received his PhD in classics from Stanford University (1980).

Dr. William Inboden

William Inboden is Executive Director and William Powers, Jr. Chair at the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security at the University of Texas-Austin. He also serves as Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. He is a Non-Resident Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Associate with the National Intelligence Council, Member of the CIA Director’s Historical Review Panel, and Associate Scholar with Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project. Previously, he served as Senior Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council at the White House, where he worked on a range of foreign policy issues including the National Security Strategy, strategic forecasting, democracy and governance, and counter-radicalization. Inboden also worked at the State Department as a Special Advisor in the Office of International Religious Freedom, and has worked as a staff member in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. He is the author of Religion and American Foreign Policy, 1945-1960: The Soul of Containment (Cambridge University Press) as well as numerous articles and book chapters on security studies, American foreign policy, and American history.

Brian T. Kennedy

Brian T. Kennedy is President of the American Strategy Group, a think tank dedicated to understanding the strategic threats to the United States. Mr. Kennedy is also a board member and senior fellow of the Claremont Institute where he served as president from 2002 to 2015. During his 25-year tenure at the Claremont Institute, he directed their National Security Project and served as publisher of the Claremont Review of Books. Mr. Kennedy is a member of the Independent Working Group on Missile Defense and is a co-author of Shariah: The Threat to America. His articles on national security affairs and public policy issues have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and Hillsdale College’s Imprimis. Mr. Kennedy is a native Californian and a graduate of Claremont McKenna College.

Dr. Andrew J. Newell

Andrew J. Newell BA (Hons) (Lpool), MSt, DPhil (Oxon) is the Junior Research Fellow (J.R.F.) in Literature & Theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and holds the post of J.R.F. at the Oxford University English Faculty. Andrew arrived in Oxford in 2016 as the first English student at Wycliffe Hall. He completed his MSt in 2017, and his DPhil in 2022. His doctoral research was the first comprehensive study of the hymns of the English poet and man of letters, William Cowper (1731-1800). Prior to his appointment as the Hall’s first J.R.F. in 2021, in 2019 Andrew was appointed ‘Wycliffe Hall Inkling Scholar for Literature and Theology’.

Solange Pullman-Fisch

Solange Pullman-Fisch was one of thousands of "hidden children" in the Holocaust. Born in 1935, her joyful childhood ended in 1940, when World War II started in France. She and her mother ran from village to village across France, desperately fleeing the Nazis. Their lives were ultimately saved through the efforts of various brave and virtuous Christians, known in the Jewish community as righteous Gentiles. Solange, a woman of great backbone, conscience and courage, devotes her life to building bridges of love and fighting bigotry through the sharing of her story. You won't want to miss meeting Solange. Her uplifting account of a lost childhood, and the eventual triumph of hope in the face of evil, will stir your heart.

U.S. Representative Ed Royce

U.S. Representative Ed Royce is the Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He represents California’s 39th Congressional District, and has vast experience in the foreign affairs of our country. He previously chaired the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade as well as Subcommittees on Asia and Africa. After the president his position is the highest elected post directing American foreign Affairs.

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse

Senator Sasse was born and raised in Nebraska and has represented this state since 2015, winning the November 2014 Senate election by a landslide. He is a graduate of Harvard University and earned his Ph.D. in American History at Yale University. He taught at the University of Texas and was president at Midland University, a liberal arts Lutheran college in Nebraska. He has authored The Vanishing American Adult and Them: Why We Hate Each Other - and How to Heal.

Senator Sasse believes we have a moral obligation to pass along a country as great and free and opportunity-filled to the next generation as we were blessed to inherit from our grandparents.

Rev. Robert A. Sirico

Rev. Robert A. Sirico is the President and Co-founder of the Acton Institute and the pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, both in Grand Rapids, MI. A regular writer and commentator on religious, political, economic, and social issues, Rev. Sirico’s contributions have been carried by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Washington Times, CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, and the BBC, among others. In his recent book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, Rev. Sirico shows how a free economy is not only the best way to meet society’s material needs but also the surest protection of human dignity against government encroachment.

Michael Ward

Michael Ward is a Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, and Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, Texas. Described by N.T. Wright as “the foremost living Lewis scholar” (Times Literary Supplement, 2009), Ward is the author of Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis (Oxford University Press, 2008) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (Cambridge University Press, 2010). On the fiftieth anniversary of Lewis’s death, Dr. Ward unveiled a permanent national memorial to him in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey, London.

TGC Recordings

Watch past TGC events on Pacifica’s YouTube channel.

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