A great article on C.S. Lewis and myth:
On Sept. 19, 1931, Lewis vented his frustration to J. R. R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson, two Christians and fellow scholars whom he was entertaining in his rooms at Magdalen. Whenever I encounter a dying god story in mythology, Lewis told them, I am “mysteriously moved, even though no one knows where he is supposed to have lived and died; he’s not historical.” …Why, Lewis wondered, am I not similarly moved by the gospels’ historical accounts of Jesus’s death and resurrection?
The answer, Lewis’s colleagues told him, was to recognize that the gospel story was mythic and should be appreciated as such, “but with this tremendous difference that it really happened. . . . The dying god really appears—as a historical person, living in a definite time and place.”
Lewis was persuaded by his friends’ view, in part because it helped to resolve three other matters previously disturbing to him. One was the mundane literary style of the gospels, which he, like Saint Augustine, had previously found distasteful. Now Lewis realized that “if ever a myth had become fact, had been incarnated, it would be just like this,” combining “the matter of the great myths” with an “artless, historical style.”
Another was the seemingly inconsistent portrayal of Jesus in the gospels—”as real, as recognizable, through all that depth of time, as Plato’s Socrates or Boswell’s Johnson, . . .yet also numinous, lit by a light from beyond the world, a god.” …
Lewis was perhaps most grateful for a third insight that accompanied his conversion, namely, that Christians should hold other mythologies and religions in high regard. (This was, of course, the opposite of his early teachers’ views, which had turned him away from Christianity as a boy.) “Myth,” Lewis wrote, “is the isthmus which connects the peninsular world of thought with the vast continent we really belong to”—indeed, “it was through almost believing in the gods that I came to believe in God.”