Why CS Lewis?

The lecturer, a short, thickset man with a ruddy face and a big voice, was coming to the end of his talk.” That was the opening sentence of the Time magazine cover story for September 8, 1947. The subject of the story, who swiftly exited the classroom for the nearest pub, was the Oxford University don and best-selling author Clive Staples Lewis. How did a scholar of medieval literature, with no formal theological training — a strident atheist in his youth — become, in the words of Time , “one of the most influential spokesmen for Christianity in the English-speaking world”?

Well I welcome this man and in the last few decades constantly hear him invoked. Yet there would be so many, and better, evangelical writers. The difference is LEWIS found a large audience and amongst the upper classes and not really a christian one or not the point.
I doubt he has the best stuff but dies great stuff to get audiences then and now.

Lewis is a mystery to me. How can anyone be taken in by his theological arguments? And Narnia was nothing like a coherent reality; there were much better Inklings to read.


Bah. I love Tolkien and at least a couple of Charles Williams’s novels (Descent into Hell and All Hallows’ Eve), but I’m not going to go along with saying they are much better than Lewis. Lewis pales in comparison to Tolkien in world-building, but so does Spenser – doesn’t make either a bad writer. Lewis is better at characterization and portraying the internal life of something like an actual person. (And Tolkien’s women – he’s clearly heard of women, but has ever actually met one?)


Understatement. He hardly bothers with worlds at all. I mean, Santa Claus?

We’ll have to disagree. I think Lewis hardly considers people as anything more than figures to move around in his allegory.

Not clear on what you mean. He never uses a woman as a viewpoint character, and the closest any of them has to an active role would be Galadriel or “Dernhelm”, both in minor roles. But the little we see of them doesn’t seem all that weird.

How about a little love for Eowin? :smile:

Eowyn = “Dernhelm”.

Tolkien has some more female characters in the Silmarillion, though it’s been so long since I read it that I don’t really remember if they were well written. The whole thing was kinda an epic, spanning thousands of years, so I doubt most of the characters were terribly fleshed out.

Of course, that book was published posthumously, so it’s hard to say if the results were what he would have intended if he published it during his lifetime.

1 Like

Oh yeah, I forgot! :smiley:

The Silmarillion is more of a sketch of Middle Earth history than a story. It describes characters and what happened to them, but there is little or no 8n-character perspective.

But then it has been a long time for me too.

1 Like

I think it’s Netflix that’s developing a Middle Earth series set during the time of Sauron. Just thought I’d share.

Nope, it’s Amazon Prime.