October 13–15
Trinity International University—Deerfield, IL

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Diabolical Fantasies & the Mystery of the Real

— About —

A diabolical fantasy is a false image that presents itself as something real. "Transgender woman" and "gay marriage" are two obvious examples of diabolical fantasies that mean to replace the reality of sex and marriage in God's created order. Christians must disentangle ourselves from the unrealities of our age because "by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."

The Touchstone conference brings together Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christians, a tradition-bound gathering of what C. S. Lewis called "Mere Christianity."

— The Talks —


Thur. 7:05 p.m.—Allan Carlson

Warlocks, Witches & Ouija Boards

The Occult at the End of Christian Civilization


Thur. 7:50 p.m.—Michael Hanby

What’s New about the New Totalitarianism?


Fri. 9:00 a.m.—Hans Boersma

Dionysian Power

Fantastical Wickedness or Deifying Reality?


Fri. 10:30 a.m.—Patrick Henry Reardon

The Infection of the Family


Fri. 11:00 a.m.—R. V. Young

100 Years in the Unreal City

T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land as Christian Prophecy


Fri. 2:00 p.m.—Jack Phillips & Jake Warner


Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop


Fri. 3:00 p.m.—Joshua Mitchell

The Heresy of Identity Politics


Fri. 7:30 p.m.—Carl Trueman

Studying the Non-Banality of Evil


Sat. 9:00 a.m.—Rod Dreher

Becoming God’s Spies

The Urgency Of Christian Re-Enchantment

— Speakers —

Hans Boersma

is the Saint Benedict Servants of Christ Chair in Ascetical Theology at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Wisconsin. His work centers upon the retrieval of a sacramental ontology. His books include Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry and, most recently, Five Things Theologians Wish Biblical Scholars Knew. Hans and his wife Linda have five children and fourteen grandchildren. He is a Priest in the Anglican Church in North America and a senior editor of Touchstone.

► Articles from this speaker in Touchstone.

Allan C. Carlson

is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the International Organization for the Family and Editor of The Natural Family: An International Journal of Research and Policy. He is also Founder of the World Congress of Families, which held its 13th major international conference this past Spring in Verona, Italy. Among his most recent books are: Godly Seed: American Evangelicals Confront Birth Control 1873-1973, Conjugal America: On the Public Purpose of Marriage, and Third Ways: How Bulgarian Greens, Swedish Housewives, and Beer Swilling Englishmen Created Family-Centered Economies—And Why They Disappeared.

► Talks from past Touchstone conferences.

► Articles from this speaker in Touchstone.

Rod Dreher

is the author of Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, one of the fastest selling Christian titles of 2020. He also wrote one of the best-selling books of 2018, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation.

He is a senior editor at The American Conservative, and has written and edited for Touchstone, the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Weekly Standard, among other publications. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone

► Talks from past Touchstone conferences.

► Articles from this speaker in Touchstone.

Michael Hanby

is Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy of Science at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America. Professor Hanby is author of No God, No Science? Theology, Cosmology, Biology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), and Augustine and Modernity (Routledge 2003). He has contributed chapters to a number of volumes and is also author of several articles appearing in Communio, Modern Theology, Pro Ecclesia, and Theology Today.

Joshua Mitchell

The Heresy of Identity Politics

Dr. Mitchell is currently professor of political theory at Georgetown University. From 2002-05, he was the Chairman of the Government Department. In 2005, he was on the start-team for Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in Doha Qatar, and has taught courses there periodically for the past 15 years. During the 2008-10 academic years, Dr. Mitchell took Leave from Georgetown, and became the Acting Chancellor of The American University of Iraq - Sulaimani (see www.auis.edu.krd). His research interest lies in the relationship between political thought and theology in the West. His most recent book, American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time was published recently by Encounter Books (2020). His next book project is entitled The Gentle Seduction of Tyranny.

In addition to teaching at Georgetown University, Dr. Mitchell is an avid conservationist, working to restore his small forest on the Eastern Shore, and working to develop the next generation of solar-electric sailboats.

Jack Phillips

is the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado. In 2012, Mr. Phillips was convicted of having violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act when he refused to design and bake a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex couple's "wedding" in another state. Three weeks after the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2017, the Colorado Civil Rights Division informed Mr. Phillips that he had once again violated the Anti-Discrimination Act, by refusing to design and bake a custom cake to celebrate the anniversary of a local lawyer’s "transition from male to female."

Carl Trueman

(PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College. He previously served as the William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life at Princeton University. Trueman has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including The Creedal Imperative; Luther on the Christian Life; and The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.

► Review of The Rise & Triumph of the Modern Self from Touchstone

► Articles from this speaker in Touchstone.

R. V. Young

is Professor of English Emeritus at North Carolina State University, and a former editor of Modern Age: A Quarterly Review. He is the author of Shakespeare and the Idea of Western Civilization (Catholic University of America Press). He and his wife are parishioners at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church in Tarpon Springs, Florida. They have five grown children, fifteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

► Articles from this speaker in Touchstone.

Patrick Henry Reardon

is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

► Talks from past Touchstone conferences.

► Articles from this speaker in Touchstone.

— Venue —

Trinity International University

2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, IL 60015

[ download detailed campus map, complete with walking paths, parking information, building locations. ]

— Lodging —

La Quinta Inn & Suites
This hotel is a short walk from Olson Chapel. Call (847) 317-7300 and let them know that you want to book a room for the Touchstone conference.

Homewood Suites
This hotel is is a five minute drive from Olson Chapel. Call 847-945-9300.

Hampton Inn
The Hampton Inn is a five minute drive from the Olson Chapel. Call 847-478-1400.

— Tickets —

$219 per person for full access to the conference.
Full-time clergy attend for free. Please email conference@touchstonemag.com for more information.

Register today!

Registration for the conference opens at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 13th, with the first talk being at 7 p.m.
The conference will wrap up Saturday, October 15th around noon.

Type Price Rate Ends Included
Buy Early Bird Rate $219 October 1 Full access / meals / entire conference
Buy Student Rate $19 October 16 Full access / meals / entire conference
Buy Thursday Only $75 October 13 Access to first day / no meals
Buy Friday Only $150 October 14 Access to single day / meals
Buy Saturday Only $75 October 15 Access to single day / no meals
Buy Virtual Access $100 October 16 Live-streaming access / entire conference

— Contact —

Check back for more information as it becomes available.

Questions? Contact conference@touchstonemag.com.

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