It is with immense pride and joy that we celebrate our very own Landon Loftin, who, along with his co-author Max Leyf Treinen, has been honored with the 2023 Owen Barfield Award for Excellence. This prestigious award, established in 2010 by the Owen Barfield Literary Estate, recognizes outstanding contributions to the understanding of Barfield’s work. Loftin and Treinen’s recent book, What Barfield Thought: An Introduction to the Work of Owen Barfield, published by Cascade Books, has been the catalyst for this well-deserved recognition.
A Testament to Barfieldian Philosophy
The book has garnered praise from scholars and authors alike, emphasizing its importance in the realm of Barfieldian philosophy. Owen A. Barfield, the grandson and trustee of Owen Barfield, lauded the book as a “balanced and measured response to the forthright question: What is Barfieldian philosophy teaching us?” Mark Vernon, author of A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness, highlighted how the book opens doors to “radical possibilities” in experiencing the world through Barfield’s thought and called Loftin’s work “not only remarkably interesting, but revolutionary.”
More Than Just an Introduction
Addison Hodges Hart, author of The Woman, the Hour, and the Garden: A Study of Imagery in the Gospel of John, praised the book as a “rich but succinct introduction” that fills a gap in Barfield studies. Bradley J. Birzer, author of Tolkien and the Inklings: Men of the West, commended Loftin and Leyf for placing Barfield at the center of his own intellectual story, rather than as an appendage to other Inklings like C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien.
A Man of Many Talents
Landon Loftin is not just an academic; he is a man of Christian compassion and action. Prior to joining Gravitas, where he teaches English, History, and Bible courses, Loftin served as a hospital chaplain and lead caretaker at a home for formerly trafficked girls in Ghana. He holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Southwest Baptist University and an M.A. in Apologetics from Houston Baptist University. Currently, he is nearing the completion of his Ph.D. in Humanities at the Great Books Honors College, Faulkner University.
A Lasting Impact
Jake Grefenstette from the University of Cambridge summed it up best when he said that Loftin and Leyf’s book is precisely the introduction he wished had existed when he began his own studies of Barfield. The book is not just an academic exercise; it is a guide for both newcomers and veteran Barfieldians.
Landon Loftin’s award is not just a personal achievement but a monumental step in the understanding and appreciation of Owen Barfield’s work. We are incredibly proud to have such a distinguished scholar and compassionate teacher as part of the Gravitas community. Congratulations, Landon Loftin, on this well-deserved honor!
Note: This blog was written with assistance from ChatGPT-4.