My goal for this bibliography is to list every book-length study of C.S. Lewis, giving readers a brief description of the content and also a sense of the quality and importance of this book.
This list started as a section of my 1998 article “A Reader’s Guide to Books about C. S. Lewis,” published in The Pilgrim's Guide: C. S. Lewis and the Art of Witness. An updated version of this article (co-authored with David Bratman) has been published in volume four of C. S. Lewis [Four Volumes]: Life, Works, and Legacy, edited by Bruce L. Edwards.
HIGHLYRECOMMENDED: Como, James T., ed. Remembering C. S. Lewis; Goffar, Janine. C. S. Lewis Index; Hooper, Walter. C. S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide. Lewis, Warren Hamilton. Brothers and Friends.
RECOMMENDED: Downing, David C. The Most Reluctant Convert; Edwards, Bruce L., ed. C. S. Lewis: Life, Works, Legacy; Ford, Paul F. Companion to Narnia;Ward, Michael. Planet Narnia.
TOBEAVOIDED: White, Michael. C. S. Lewis: A Life;Wilson, A. N. C. S. Lewis: A Biography.
Aeschliman, Michael. The Restitution of Man: C. S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983.
Elaborates the debate between those in the metaphysical tradition (Plato, Augustine, Aquinas) and those who hold to materialistic scientism (Bacon, Huxley, Nietzsche, Skinner), placing Lewis firmly in the metaphysical camp.
Anderton, Charles H. Screwtape's Master Plan: A Satirical Take on Christianity and Culture. Eugene: Cascade, 2012. Print.
Baggett, David, Gary R. Habermas, and Jerry L. Walls. C.S. Lewis as Philosopher: Truth, Goodness and Beauty. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2008. Print.
Barfield, Owen. Owen Barfield on C. S. Lewis. Edited by G. B. Tennyson. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan U P, 1989.
Owen Barfield was a close friend of C. S. Lewis, and his exact contemporary. This collection includes poems, addresses, essays, and interviews, as well as fictionalized portraits of Lewis as he appears in Barfield’s fiction.
Benge, Geoff and Janet. C. S. Lewis: Master Storyteller. Seattle: YWAM, 2007.
Bingham, Derick. C.S. Lewis: A Shiver of Wonder. Greenville, SC: Ambassador International, 2004.
Bleakley, David. C. S. Lewis at Home in Ireland: A Centenary Biography. Bangor, N.I.: Strandtown, 1998.
A rhapsodic account of Lewis’s relationship with Ireland, incorporating short reminiscences by people he knew or influenced.
Bramlett, Perry C. C. S. Lewis: Life at the Center. Macon, GA: Peak Road, 1996.
A biographical essay describing Lewis’s spiritual practice.
Bramlett, Perry C. and Robert W. Higdon. Touring C. S. Lewis’ Ireland and England. Macon GA: Smyth and Helwys, 1998.
Though it is designed to be used as a travel guide for those who would like to visit Lewis-oriented sites in Great Britain, this little book also supplies an appealing array of information and insight into Lewis’s life.
Brazier, Paul H. C. S. Lewis: An Annotated Bibliography and Resource. Eugene: Pickwick, 2012.
Brazier, Paul H. C. S. Lewis: Revelation, Conversion, and Apologetics. Eugene: Pickwick, 2012.
Brazier, Paul H. C. S. Lewis: On the Christ of a Religious Economy. Eugene: Pickwick, 2013.
Bresland, Ronald. The Backward Glance: C. S. Lewis and Ireland. Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University of Belfast, 1999.
A specialty biography of Lewis that discusses Irish influences on his fiction and summarizes his unfinished Ulster novel.
Bremer, John. C. S. Lewis, Poetry, and the Great War 1914-1918. Plymouth: Lexington, 2014.
A bit of a hodgepodge. Argues that Lewis is not a war poet, but rather a poet whose work is inspired by war. Some good insight into Lewis's early poetry. See also Don King C. S. Lewis: Poet.
Brown, Devin. A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2013.
Brown, Devin. Bringing Narnia Home: Lessons from the Other Side of the Wardrobe. Nasheville: Abingdon Press, 2015.
Brown, Devin. Inside Narnia: A Guide to Exploring The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Grand Rapids MI: Baker Books, 2005.
Brown, Devin. Inside Prince Caspian: A Guide to Exploring the Return to Narnia. Grand Rapids MI: Baker Books, 2008.
Burson, Scott R., and Jerry L. Walls. C. S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer. Lesson For a New Century From the Most Influential Apologists of Our Time.Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998.
Contrasts Lewis and Schaeffer on topics including salvation, God’s sovereignty, biblical authority, and strategic apologetics. Serious and substantial.
Carnell, Corbin Scott. Bright Shadow of Reality: C. S. Lewis and the Feeling Intellect. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974.
One of the most insightful studies of Lewis, this classic explores Lewis’s concept of “Sehnsucht” or longing.
Carpenter, Humphrey. The Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Their Friends. Boston: Houghton, 1979.
A collective biography, brisk and engaging.
Caughey, Shanna, ed. Revisiting Narnia: Fantasy, Myth and Religion in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles. Dallas: Benbella, 2005.
Informal (sometimes chatty) essays mostly on moral questions in the Narnian books. Runs the gamut: Christians who criticize Narnia are jostled next to non- and even anti-Christians who love it. Some very good essays, some not so much.
Christopher, Joe R. C. S. Lewis. Boston: Twayne, 1987.
A general overview of Lewis’s writings in autobiography, literary criticism, moral philosophy, apologetics, and romance. Full of precise and accurate detail, especially on allusions and references in Lewis’s work. Also has a good annotated bibliography of secondary sources. Recommended.
Christopher, Joe R. and Joan K. Ostling, compilers. C. S. Lewis: An Annotated Checklist of Writings About Him and His Works. Kent, OH: Kent State U P, 1974.
A key reference for those who are interested in locating and evaluating secondary sources on Lewis, covering material published through 1972.
Clark, David G. C.S. Lewis Goes to Heaven: A Reader's Guide to The Great Divorce. N. P.: Winged Lion Press, 2012.
**Como, James T., ed. Remembering C. S. Lewis: Recollections of Those Who Knew Him. San Francisco: Ignatius, 2005.
Formerly published as C. S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminiscences (1979). Twenty-four essays, mostly by people who knew Lewis well, including Leo Baker, John Wain, Adam Fox, George Sayer, Austin Farrer and R.E. Havard. One of the most vivid, important, and readable books about Lewis. Highly recommended.
Cording, Ruth James. C.S. Lewis: A Celebration of His Early Life. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000.
Coren, Michael. The Man Who Created Narnia: The Story of C.S. Lewis. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1996.
Derrick, Christopher. C. S. Lewis and the Church of Rome: A Study in Proto-Ecumenism. San Francisco: Ignatius, 1981.
Explores Lewis’s perspective on the Catholic church.
Dorsett, Lyle W., ed. The Essential C. S. Lewis. New York: Macmillan, 1988.
An anthology of Lewis's work grouped in seven categories: autobiography, children’s fiction, adult fiction, Christian nonfiction, poetry, philosophy, letters, and literary theory and criticism. Contains the full texts of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Perelandra, and The Abolition of Man.
Dorsett, Lyle W. A Love Observed: Joy Davidman’s Life and Marriage to C. S. Lewis. Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw, 1998.
Formerly published as Joy and C. S. Lewis (1988), and also as And God Came In (1983). A biography of Joy Davidman, rich in specific information about this amazing woman.
Dorsett, Lyle W. Seeking the Secret Place: The Spiritual Formation of C. S. Lewis. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2004.
Highly detailed study, based largely on primary sources, of Lewis’s personal spiritual practice: prayer habits, spiritual guidance he gave and received, sectarian views, and doctrinal beliefs and practices.
Dorsett, Lyle W. and C. S. Lewis. The Essential C. S. Lewis. New York: Touchstone, 2015. Print.
Downing, David C. Into the Region of Awe: Mysticism in C. S. Lewis. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2005.
A study of mystical elements in Lewis’s life, spiritual practice, fiction, and apologetics.
Downing, David C. Into the Wardrobe: C. S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.
A literary study of the Chronicles, giving full details on their writing, literary voice and style, and symbolism.
*Downing, David C. The Most Reluctant Convert: C. S. Lewis’s Journey to Faith. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002.
A history of the intellectual influences on Lewis that led to his conversion. Compares Lewis’s pre- and post-conversion writing. Recommended.
Downing, David C. Planets in Peril: A Critical Study of C. S. Lewis’s Ransom Trilogy. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992.
An in-depth study of the Ransom Trilogy, well-written and insightful.
Duncan, John Ryan. The Magic Never Ends: An Oral History of the Life and Work of C.S. Lewis. Nashville, TN: W Pub. Group, 2001.
Duriez, Colin. The C. S. Lewis Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to His Life, Thought, and Writings. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990.
An enjoyable collection of brief informative articles. See also Hooper’s C. S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide and Jeffrey Schultz and John West’s The C.S. Lewis Reader's Encyclopedia.
Duriez, Colin. C.S. Lewis: A Biography of Friendship. Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2013. Print.
Duriez, Colin. The A-Z of C S Lewis: A Complete Guide to His Life, Thoughts and Writings. Oxford: Lion, 2013.
Duriez, Colin. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship. Mahwah: HiddenSpring, 2003.
*Edwards, Bruce L., ed. C. S. Lewis: Life, Works, Legacy.
A valuable four-volume reference series. Lengthy analytic essays cover Lewis and his writings. Recommended.
Edwards, Bruce L. Not a Tame Lion: Unveil Narnia Through the Eyes of Lucy, Peter, and Other Characters Created by C. S. Lewis. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 2005.
Primarily character studies, moral in nature rather than religious or literary.
Edwards, Bruce L. A Rhetoric of Reading: C. S. Lewis’s Defense of Western Literacy. Provo, UT: Brigham Young U, 1986.
An in-depth look at Lewis as literary critic.
Edwards, Bruce L., ed. The Taste of the Pineapple: Essays on C. S. Lewis as Reader, Critic, and Imaginative Writer. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1988.
Fourteen essays of outstanding quality on Lewis as reader & critic. Contributors include Kath Filmer, Joe McClatchey, Alzina Stone Dale, Margaret Hannay, and Kathryn Lindskoog.
*Ford, Paul F. Companion to Narnia. San Francisco: Harper, 1980.
An alphabetical encyclopedia of brief articles that describe and clarify all aspects of the realm of Narnia. Recommended.
Gibb, Jocelyn, ed. Light on C. S. Lewis. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1965.
A collection of biographical essays, commissioned and assembled immediately after his death, by Owen Barfield, Austin Farrar, J. A. W. Bennett, Nevill Coghill, John Lawlor, Stella Gibbons, Kathleen Raine, Chad Walsh, and Walter Hooper.
Gibson, Evan K. C. S. Lewis: Spinner of Tales: A Guide to His Fiction. Washington, D. C.: Christian U P, 1980.
A good starting place for those interested in a general overview of characters, ideas, and Christian themes in Lewis’s fiction.
Gilbert, Douglas and Clyde S. Kilby. C. S. Lewis: Images of His World. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973.
A picture book of people and places important to Lewis.
Gilchrist, K. J.A Morning After War: C. S. Lewis and WWI. New York: Peter Lang, 2005.
A diligently researched history of Lewis’s military service and his life during World War I.
*Glaspey, Terry. Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C. S. Lewis. Elkton, MD: Highland Books, 1996.
Called “lively, concise, and lucid” for good reason. An excellent introduction to Lewis’s spiritual life and thought, in a devotional format. Recommended.
Glover, Donald F. C. S. Lewis: The Art of Enchantment. Athens, OH: Ohio U P, 1981.
Glover uses Lewis’s own critical method as described in An Experiment in Criticism to discuss Lewis’s fiction.
*Glyer, Diana Pavlac. The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community. Kent, OH: Kent State U P, 2006.
An inside look at the Inklings, showing how the participants influenced each other through encouragement, criticism, and collaboration. Offers significant insight into the creative process. Recommended.
Glyer, Diana Pavlac. Bandersnatch: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings. Kent, OH: Kent State U P, 2015.
Available for purchase here.
**Goffar, Janine. C. S. Lewis Index: Rumours from the Sculptor’s Shop. Riverside, CA: La Sierra U P, 1995.
Also published as Rumors from a Sculptor's Shop. A comprehensive index to the concepts in Lewis’s theological works. Highly recommended.
*Gormley, Beatrice. C. S. Lewis: Christian and Storyteller. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.
Discusses Lewis as the creator of Narnia. Written for young adults, but appropriately readable by adults as well. Recommended.
Gormley, Beatrice. C.S. Lewis: The Man behind Narnia. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans for Young Readers, 2005.
Graham, David, ed. We Remember C. S. Lewis: Essays & Memoirs. Nashville: Broadman, 2001.
Personal reflections by Lewis’s tutorial students and others who knew him. See also Como C. S. Lewis Remembered.
*Green, Roger Lancelyn, and Walter Hooper. C. S. Lewis: A Biography. New York: Harcourt, 1974.
Revised and expanded edition, London: HarperCollins, 2002. (Note: previous editions listed as revised or updated are not.) This authorized biography includes personal stories by these two important friends of Lewis. Especially good: Green’s accounts of the creation of Narnia and his insight into the relationship of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis. Predates the layers of interpretations and reinterpretations found in subsequent biographical writing on Lewis. Recommended.
Gresham, Douglas H. Jack’s Life: The Life Story of C. S. Lewis. Nashville: Broadman, 2005.
A domestic biography of Lewis, full of details about his various homes and his daily life.
Gresham, Douglas H. Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis. New York: Macmillan, 1988.
An autobiography by Lewis’s step-son, Douglas Gresham. Tells of Gresham's life, not Lewis’s, though Lewis features prominently in it.
Griffin, William. Clive Staples Lewis: A Dramatic Life. San Francisco: Harper, 1986.
Griffin takes you year by year through Lewis’s life in a series of dramatic vignettes. Inventive.
Griffin, William. C. S. Lewis: Spirituality for Mere Christians. New York: Crossroad, 2005.
Using the same kind of dramatic vignettes as his biography (mentioned above), Griffin discusses Lewis’s spiritual practice and draws moral lessons from Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters.
Hannay, Margaret Patterson. C. S. Lewis. New York: Frederick Unger, 1981.
Combines biography and criticism, brief and very good.
Hart, Dabney Adams. Through the Open Door: A New Look at C. S. Lewis. University, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1984.
Hart describes Lewis’s skill as a teacher and offers helpful insight into Lewis’s use of myth and language.
Hilder, Monika B. Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of C. S. Lewis and Gender. Edited by Karen Marguerite Randall. New York: Peter Lang, 2013.
Hilder, Monika B. The Feminine Ethos in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. New York: Peter Lang, 2012.
Hilder, Monika B. The Gender Dance: Ironic Subversion in C. S. Lewis's Cosmic Trilogy. New York: Peter Lang, 2013.
Hinten, Marvin D. The Keys to the Chronicles: Unlocking the Symbols of C. S. Lewis’s Narnia. Nashville: Broadman, 2005.
A detailed run-through of allusions and references—theological, literary, and historical allusions—in the Chronicles.
**Hooper, Walter. C. S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
What a book! Hooper offers summaries of Lewis’s books and encyclopedic articles about important people, places, and ideas. Packed with facts. Highly recommended.
Hooper, Walter. Past Watchful Dragons: The Narnian Chronicles of C. S. Lewis. New York: Collier, 1979.
One of the first published introductions to the Narnia series, containing some early drafts that shed light on Lewis’s creative process.
Howard, Thomas. Narnia and Beyond: A Guide to the Fiction of C. S. Lewis. San Francisco: Ignatius, 2006.
Formerly published at C. S. Lewis: Man of Letters (1987) and also as The Achievement of C. S. Lewis: A Reading of His Fiction (1980). A beautifully written, spiritually rich discussion of Lewis as a fiction writer.
Hurd, Crystal. Thirty Days with C.S. Lewis: A Women's Devotional. ITRD Publishing House, 2014.
*Huttar, Charles A. and Peter J. Schakel, eds., Word and Story in C. S. Lewis. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1991.
One of the best collections of scholarly essays about Lewis, clearly organized and carefully edited. Includes essays by Verlyn Flieger, Gilbert Meilaender, Donald Glover, Jared Lobdell, Colin Manlove, and others. Recommended.
*Jacobs, Alan. The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.
A well-written, lively biography of Lewis, integrating his personal and intellectual lives deftly, and treating the subject with freshness and vigor. Recommended.
Joeckel, Samuel. The C. S. Lewis Phenomenon: Christianity and the Public Sphere. Macon: Mercer U P, 2013.
Kawano, Roland M. C. S. Lewis: Always a Poet. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2004. See also King's C. S. Lewis: Poet.
Keefe, Carolyn, ed. C. S. Lewis: Speaker and Teacher. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971.
Seven essays that fill an important gap, exploring Lewis as an oral communicator—teacher, lecturer, debater, and radio broadcaster. Contributors include Clyde S. Kilby, Walter Hooper, and Owen Barfield.
Khoddam, Salwa, Mark R. Hall and Jason Fisher. C. S. Lewis and the Inklings: Reflections on Faith, Imagination, and Modern Technology. New York: Cambridge, 2015. Print.
Kilby, Clyde S. The Christian World of C.S. Lewis. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 1964. It is hard to overstate Kilby's importance to Lewis studies. An early (if thin) look at Lewis's faith. See also Vaus' Mere Theology.
*King, Don W. C. S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse. Kent, OH: Kent State U P, 2001.
Detailed textual study of Lewis’s poetry and his history as a poet. Recommended.
King, Don W. Plain to the Inward Eye: Selected Essays on C. S. Lewis. Abilene: Abilene Christian University, 2013.
A collection of essays and book reviews by one of our most important C. S. Lewis scholars.
King, Don W. The Collected Poems of C. S. Lewis: A Critical Edition. Kent, OH: Kent State U P, 2015. Print.
Kort, Wesley A. C. S. Lewis Then and Now. New York: Oxford U P, 2001.
Thoughtful, imaginative discussion of Lewis’s sense of a Christian’s relationship with general culture and the world. Scholarly rather than pastoral or apologetic.
Kreeft, Peter. C. S. Lewis: A Critical Essay. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969.
Perhaps the ideal basic introduction to Lewis for those unfamiliar with his work: it avoids unnecessary summaries, uses many direct quotations, and is only 68 pages long.
Kreeft, Peter. C. S. Lewis for the Third Millennium: Six Essays on The Abolition of Man. San Francisco: Ignatius, 1994.
Kreeft uses The Abolition of Man as his starting point for a philosophical discussion of what ails the “third millennium,” and what will cure it.
Lawlor, John. C. S. Lewis: Memories and Reflections. Dallas: Spence, 1998.
A highly personal book, it includes memories of Lewis and his circle and literary discussion of his works.
Lazo, Andrew and Mary Anne Phemister, eds. Mere Christians: Inspiring Stories of Encounters with C. S. Lewis. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009.
Lewis, C. S. and Paul McCaster. C. S. Lewis at War: The Dramatic Story Behind Mere Christianity. N.P.: Tyndale, 2013. CD-ROM.
Lewis, C. S.The C. S. Lewis Bible. New York: HarperOne, 2010.
***Lewis, Warren Hamilton. Brothers and Friends: The Diaries of Major Warren Hamilton Lewis. Edited by Clyde S. Kilby and Marjorie Lamp Mead. San Francisco: Harper, 1982.
Lewis was extremely close to his brother, and Warren Lewis’s diaries remain an essential source of information about him. The entire manuscript is available at the Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. These published selections are well chosen and helpfully annotated. Highly recommended.
Lindskoog, Kathryn. Finding the Landlord: A Guidebook to C. S. Lewis’s Pilgrim’s Regress. Chicago: Cornerstone, 1995.
A well-written and helpful guide to The Pilgrim’s Regress.
Lindskoog, Kathryn. Journey Into Narnia. Pasadena, CA: Hope Publishing House, 1997.
This contains an updated version of Lindskoog’s pioneering Narnia study The Lion of Judah in Never-Never Land and adds seven chapters reflecting on each of the Chronicles. The original book, a study of Christian themes in Narnia, was read in draft by Lewis who praised it.
Lindsley, Art. C. S. Lewis’s Case for Christ: Insights from Reason, Imagination, and Faith. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2005.
Lewis’s apologetics paraphrased and framed as the sessions of a book discussion group.
Lindvall, Terry. Surprised by Laughter. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996.
Short chapters and copious examples: this functions as a catalogue of funny moments in Lewis’s writing.
Lobdell, Jared. The Scientifiction Novels of C. S. Lewis: Space and Time in the Ransom Stories. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004.
Argues that these novels have their roots in 18th century pastoral and satire. A narrow but instructive perspective of their source and inspiration.
Loconte, Joseph. A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918. Nashville: Nelson, 2015. Print.
Lowenberg, Susan. C. S. Lewis: A Reference Guide 1972-1988. New York: Maxwell Macmillan, 1993.
A secondary bibliography that picks up where Christopher and Ostling leave off.
Macdonald, Michael H. and Andrew A. Tadie, eds. The Riddle of Joy: G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989.
Seventeen papers on C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton.
MacSwain, Robert, ed. The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis.Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 2010.
Markos, Louis. From A to Z to Narnia with C. S. Lewis. Silverton: Lampion, 2015. Print.
Markos, Louis and David Diener. C. S. Lewis: An Apologist for Education. Camp Hill, PA: Classical, 2015. Print.
Manlove, Colin. C. S. Lewis: His Literary Achievement. New York: St. Martin’s, 1987.
A thorough analysis of Lewis’s fiction in terms of its literary technique, rather than its mythic structure, moral values, or Christian symbolism.
Manlove, Colin. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Patterning of a Fantastic World. New York: Twayne, 1993.
In just over one hundred pages, Manlove offers historical context, critical reception, a careful reading, and notes on teaching the seven books of the Chronicles of Narnia, and does so with remarkable accuracy and grace. Impressive.
Markos, Louis. Lewis Agonistes: How C. S. Lewis can Train us to Wrestle with the Modern and Post-Modern World. Nashville: Broadman, 2003.
Uses Lewis’s “method and language” to critique the assumptions of modern and postmodern worldviews. Ambitious and thought-provoking.
Markos, Louis. On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis. Chicago: Moody, 2012.
Martin, Thomas L., ed. Reading the Classics with C. S. Lewis. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000.
A collection of essays covering Lewis’s opinions of all manner of literature, from the Greek and Roman classics to science fiction and children’s literature.
Martindale, Wayne. Beyond the Shadowlands: C. S. Lewis on Heaven and Hell. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2005.
An in-depth exploration of Lewis’s views on heaven, hell, and purgatory, drawing examples primarily from his fiction.
*Martindale, Wayne and Jerry Root, eds. The Quotable Lewis: An Encyclopedic Selection of Quotes from the Complete Published Works. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1989.
An alphabetically arranged collection of quotations of moderate length, on a wide variety of subjects. Interesting for browsing: indispensable for research. Recommended.
McCusker, Paul. C. S. Lewis & Mere Christianity: The Crisis That Created a Classic. Carol Stream: Tyndale, 2014.
McGrath, Alister E. C.S. Lewis: A Life : Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2013.
McGrath, Alister. Deep Magic, Dragons and Talking Mice: How Reading C.S. Lewis Can Change Your Life. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2014.
McGrath, Alister. If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life. Colorado Springs: Tyndale, 2014.
McGrath, Alister E.The Intellectual World of C.S. Lewis. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
Meilander, Gilbert. The Taste for the Other: The Social and Ethical Thought of C. S. Lewis. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978.
Thoughtful discussion of Lewis’s view of the Christian’s place in society. Wise and often moving.
Menuge, Angus J. L., ed. C. S. Lewis, Lightbearer in the Shadowlands: The Evangelistic Vision of C. S. Lewis. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1997.
Contains sixteen essays by Wayne Martindale, Corbin Scott Carnell, Michael Ward, George Musacchio, Christopher W. Mitchell, Jerry Root, Gene Edward Veith and others.
Miller, Rod, ed. C.S. Lewis and the Arts: Creativity in the Shadowlands. Baltimore: Square Halo, 2013.
Mills, David, ed. The Pilgrim’s Guide: C. S. Lewis and the Art of Witness. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
Scholarly essays on Lewis’s theology and philosophy, mostly as expressed in his fiction. Includes essays by Christopher W. Mitchell, Harry Blamires, Diana Pavlac Glyer, Bruce L. Edwards, Thomas Howard, Jerry Root, and others.
Myers, Doris T. Bareface: A Guide to C. S. Lewis’s Last Novel. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2004.
“Bareface” was Lewis's working title for Till We Have Faces. Myers offers insight into Lewis’s finest but most difficult work of fiction.
Myers, Doris. C. S. Lewis in Context. Kent, OH: Kent State U P, 1994.
Considers Lewis in the context of his literary milieu, particularly as one writing in direct response to the debate (exemplified by Ogden and Richards) about the nature of language. Substantial.
Nicoli, Armand M., Jr. The Question of God: C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life. New York: Free Press, 2002.
A fair presentation of Lewis’s theology, contrasted with Freud’s. Lays out the two philosophers’ thinking on a number of issues both doctrinal and pastoral, emphasizing their irreconcilability but also their common need to explain human experience.
Peters, Thomas C. Simply C.S. Lewis: A Beginner's Guide to the Life and Works of C.S. Lewis. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1997.
Pearce, Joseph. C. S. Lewis and the Catholic Church. San Francisco: Ignatius, 2003.
Phillips, Justin. C. S. Lewis in a Time of War. New York: HarperCollins, 2006.
Formerly published as C. S. Lewis at the BBC (2002). Primarily a history of Lewis’s work as a religious broadcaster, drawn largely from the BBC’s archives.
Piper, John and David Mathis, eds. The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and Imagination in the Work of C.S. Lewis". Wheaton: Crossway, 2014.
Poe, Harry Lee, and Jim Veneman. The Inklings of Oxford: C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Their Friends. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009.
Poe, Harry Lee, and Rebecca Whitten Poe, eds. C. S. Lewis Remembered: Collected Reflections of Students, Friends, and Colleagues. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.
Prothero, James and Donald T. Williams. Gaining a Face: The Romanticism of C.S. Lewis. Newcastle: Cambridge, 2013.
Rigney, Joe. Live Like A Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis's Chronicles. Minneanapolis: Eyes & Pen, 2013.
Rogers, Jonathan. The World According to Narnia: Christian Meaning in C. S. Lewis’s Beloved Chronicles. New York: Time Warner, 2005.
A walk through the plots of the books, clearly and straightforwardly pointing out moral lessons. Draws illustrations as much from Lewis’s theology as from scripture.
Root, Jeremy and Mark Neal. The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis: An Introduction. Nashville: Abingdon, 2015. Print.
Ryken, Leland, and Marjorie Lamp Mead. A Reader’s Guide Through the Wardrobe: Exploring C. S. Lewis’s Classic Story. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2005.
Sammons, Martha C. A Far-off Country: Journeying to Narnia and Other Worlds. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2000.
A useful guide to the mythological and literary background and allusions in all Lewis’s fiction. Incorporates her earlier books A Guide Through Narnia (1979) and A Guide Through C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy (1980).
**Sayer, George. Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994.
Formerly published as Jack: C. S. Lewis and His Times (1988). Considered by most to be the very best biography of Lewis. The 1994 edition has an interesting introduction that corrects common errors found in other biographies. Highly recommended.
Schakel, Peter J., ed. The Longing For a Form: Essays on the Fiction of C. S. Lewis. Kent, OH: Kent State U P, 1977.
One of the first and best literary studies of Lewis. Fourteen essays by a who’s who of Lewis scholars.
*Schakel, Peter J. Reading with the Heart: The Way into Narnia. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979.
A literary study of symbols and patterning in the structure of the Chronicles, with special attention to their sacramental meaning. Schakel’s writing style is a pleasure. Recommended.
*Schakel, Peter J. Reason and Imagination in C. S. Lewis: A Study in Till We Have Faces. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984.
A brilliant study of Till We Have Faces. Recommended.
Schakel, Peter J. The Way into Narnia: A Reader’s Guide. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.
Not a revision of Schakel’s earlier Reading with the Heart: The Way into Narnia, despite the overlap in titles. Half the book analyzes Narnia as a series of fairy tales, intended for experienced readers. The other half annotates obscure and dated references, hard words, and textual variations, more useful for beginning readers.
Schofield, Stephen, ed. In Search of C. S. Lewis. South Plainfield, NJ: Bridge, 1983.
Contains 25 essays, interviews, and letters, most of them reprinted from The Canadian C. S. Lewis Journal. An interesting assortment.
*Schultz, Jeffrey D., and John G. West, Jr. eds. The C. S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.
Offers interpretive essays on every book and article published by Lewis, plus short entries on important people, places, and concepts. Includes a useful lists of publications and organizations devoted to Lewis studies. Marred by careless copyediting. Recommended.
Sibley, Brian. C. S. Lewis Through the Shadowlands. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.
Sibley tells the story of Lewis’s marriage to Joy Davidman.
Sims, John A. Missionaries to the Skeptics: Christian Apologists for the Twentieth Century. Macon, GA: Mercer U P, 1995.
Discusses the apologetics of Edward John Carnell, Reinhold Niebuhr, and C. S. Lewis.
Smith, Alexander. C.S. Lewis and the Island of His Birth. Londonderry: Lagan, 2013.
Tadie, Andrew A., and Michael H. Macdonald, eds. Permanent Things: Toward the Recovery of a More Human Scale at the End of the Twentieth Century. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.
Nineteen essays, four on Lewis. Others give a Lewisian perspective on Chesterton, Sayers, Waugh, and Eliot.
Tandy, Gary L. C. S. The Rhetoric of Certitude: C. S. Lewis's Nonfiction Prose. Kent, OH: Kent State U P, 2009.
Tandy, George L. The Rhetoric of Certitude: C. S. Lewis’ Nonfiction Prose. Kent, OH: Kent State University, 2009. Print.
*Vaus, Will. Mere Theology: A Guide to the Thought of C. S. Lewis. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004.
Vaus describes Lewis’s beliefs on a number of key theological questions, skillfully drawing from a wide selection of his theology, letters, and fiction. Supersedes a number of books attempting a similar task, including Clyde S. Kilby’s The Christian World of C. S. Lewis and Kathryn Lindskoog’s C. S. Lewis: Mere Christian. Recommended.
Vaus, Will. The Professor of Narnia: [the C.S. Lewis Story]. Washington, DC: Believe, 2008.
Vaus, Will. C.S. Lewis' Top Ten: Influential Books and Authors, Volume One. Winged Lion Press, LLC, 2014.
Walker, Andrew and James Patrick, eds. A Christian for All Christians: Essays in Honor of C. S. Lewis. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway, 1992.
Formerly published as Rumours of Heaven: Essays in Celebration of C. S. Lewis (1998). Thirteen (fairly short) essays on Lewis by Richard Purtill, Aidan Mackey, Peter Schakel, Lyle W. Dorsett, Joe R. Christopher, and others.
Walsh, Chad. C. S. Lewis: Apostle to the Skeptics. New York: Macmillan, 1949.
Walsh was one of the earliest Lewis scholars and still one of the most insightful and reliable. This is the very first full-length study written about Lewis’s life and work, focused primarily on his Christian faith.
Walsh, Chad. The Literary Legacy of C. S. Lewis. New York: Harcourt, 1979.
Ward, Michael. The Narnia Code: C.S. Lewis and the Secret of the Seven Heavens. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2010.
A popular adaptation of Planet Narnia.
*Ward, Michael. Planet Narnia. Oxford U P, 2010.
Explores the possibility that Lewis based each of the Chronicles on a different medieval planet. In addition to its other virtues, I find it indispensable for its insight into Lewis's medieval worldview. Recommended.
Watson, George, ed. Critical Essays on C. S. Lewis. Aldershot, Eng.: Scolar Press, 1992.
Collects obituaries, essays, and reviews of many of Lewis’s books of literary criticism and reproduces them in facsimile.
Werther, David and Susan Werther. C.S. Lewis's List: The Ten Books That Influenced Him Most. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.
Werther, David and Susan Werther. C.S. Lewis's List: The Ten Books That Influenced Him Most. London: Bloomsbury, 2015. Print.
West, John G. The Magician's Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society. Seattle: Discovery Institute.
White, Michael. C. S. Lewis: A Life. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004.
A presumptuous and error-filled biography. To be avoided.
White, Roger M, Judith Wolfe, and Brendan Wolfe. C. S. Lewis and His Circle: Essays and Memoirs from the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society. New York: Oxford, 2015. Print.
Williams, Donald T. Mere Humanity: G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien on the Human Condition. Nashville: Broadman, 2006.
Williams succeeds at weaving together images, quotations, and insights to shed considerable light on the human condition. A very rewarding personal essay.
Williams, Peter S. C.S. Lewis vs the New Atheists
Willis, John Randolph. Pleasures Forevermore: The Theology of C. S. Lewis. Chicago: Loyola U P, 1983.
An assessment of Lewis as theologian from a Roman Catholic vantage point.
Wilson, A. N.C. S. Lewis: A Biography. New York: Norton, 1990.
Wilson writes engagingly, but commits serious gaffes in fact, interpretation, and tone that overshadow any value in his book. To be avoided.
Wolfe, Judith, and Brendan Wolfe. C. S. Lewis's Perelandra: Reshaping the Image of the Cosmos. Kent: Kent State University, 2013. Print.
Zaleski, Philip and Carol Zaleski. The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams. New York, NY: Farrar, 2015. Print.
Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898- 22 November 1963), commonly referred to as C.S. Lewis was an Irish author and scholar, born into a Protestant family in Belfast, though mostly resident in England.
Lewis is known for his work on medieval literature, for his Christian apologetics and for his fiction, especially the children’s series entitled The Chronicles of Narnia and his science fiction Space Trilogy. He was also the leading figure in an Oxford literary group called the Inklings.
Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland (now Northern Ireland), to Albert James Lewis and Flora Augusta Hamilton Lewis. At the age of 4, shortly after his dog 'Jacksie' was run over by a car, Lewis announced that his name was now Jacksie. At first he would answer to no other name, but later accepted Jacks which became Jack, the name by which he was known to friends and family for the rest of his life. When he was six his family moved into a new house called Leeborough or Little Lea in Strandtown.
He had a brother named Warren Hamilton Lewis (Warnie), three years his elder. Lewis' mother died in 1908, and he was schooled by occasional tutors. He was sent to a school in England at age nine following his brother. This school, Wynyard School in Watford, Hertfordshire was soon closed and the headmaster committed as insane soon afterwards. Lewis next attended Campbell College in the east of the city about a mile from his house but only for a few months. Next, Lewis was sent to Cherbourg and then Malvern College in Malvern, Worcestershire. Around 1913, he abandoned his childhood Christian faith. Leaving Malvern after a year, Lewis moved on to study privately with William T. Kirkpatrick, his father's old tutor.
Lewis had a passion for "dressed animals" as a boy, falling in love with Beatrix Potter's stories and often writing and illustrating his own animal stories. He and his brother, Warnie, together created the world of Boxen, which was inhabited and run by animals. Lewis loved to read, and as his father's house was filled with books, he felt that finding a book he had not read was as easy as finding a blade of grass. He also had a mortal fear of spiders and insects as a child, so they often haunted his dreams.
As a teenager, he was wonderstruck by Richard Wagner and the songs and legends of the North. They intensified a longing he had within him, a deep desire he would later call "joy." He also grew to love nature, the beautiful scenes in nature reminded him of the stories of the North, and the stories of the North reminded him of the beauties of nature. In his teenage years, his writing moved away from the tales of Boxen, and he began to use different art forms (epic poetry and opera) to try and capture his newfound interest in Norse mythology and in the natural world. Studying with Kirkpatrick ("The Great Knock", as Lewis afterwards called him) instilled in him a love of Greek literature and mythology, and sharpened his skills in debate and the penetration of claptrap.
In 1916 Lewis won a scholarship to University College, Oxford while World War I was raging. Because he was Irish, Lewis was exempted from conscription, but against his father's wishes he enlisted in the British Army in 1917. He was commissioned as an officer in the third Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Lewis arrived at the front line in the Somme Valley in France on his nineteenth birthday.
While being trained for the army he shared a room with another cadet, 'Paddy' Moore, who was killed in action in 1918. Paddy had introduced Lewis to his mother, Jane King Moore, and a friendship very quickly sprang up between Lewis, who was eighteen when they met, and Jane, who was forty-five. The friendship was particularly important to Lewis when he was recovering from his wounds in hospital and his father refused to visit him.
There has been much disagreement among Lewis scholars as to the nature of the relationship between Lewis and Jane Moore. Lewis was exceptionally reticent on the matter in his autobiography, writing only "All I can or need to say is that my earlier hostility to the emotions was very fully and variously avenged". Many, including Lewis biographers Hooper, Wilson and Sayer, think that they were probably lovers in the early years of their relationship. At any rate, their friendship was certainly a very close one. In December 1917 Lewis wrote, in a letter to his childhood friend, Arthur Greeves, that Jane and Greeves were "the two people who matter most to me in the world."
After the war Lewis and Moore began to live together, and in 1930, they and Lewis' brother, Warren Lewis, moved into The Kilns, a house near Oxford. They all three contributed financially to the purchase of the house, which passed to Lady Dunbar of Hempriggs, Moore's daughter, when Warren died in 1973.
Moore has been much criticised for being possessive and controlling and making Lewis do a lot of housework. However, she was also a warmhearted, affectionate and hospitable woman who was well liked by her neighbours at The Kilns. "She was generous and taught me to be generous, too" Lewis said to his friend George Sayer.
In later years Moore suffered from dementia and was eventually moved into a nursing home where she died in 1951. Lewis visited her every day while she was in the home.
Lewis was wounded during the Battle of Arras, and suffered some depression, due in part to missing his Irish home. On his recovery, he was assigned duty in England. He was discharged in December 1918, and returned to his studies. He received a First in Honour Moderations (Greek and Latin Literature) in 1920, a First in Greats (Philosophy and Ancient History) in 1922, and a First in English in 1923.
"My Irish Life"
Lewis experienced a certain cultural shock when living in England. "No Englishman will be able to understand my first impressions of England," Lewis wrote in Surprised by Joy. "The strange English accents with which I was surrounded seemed like the voices of demons. But what was worst was the English landscape... I have made up the quarrel since; but at that moment I conceived a hatred for England which took many years to heal."
From his youth, Lewis had immersed himself in Irish mythology and literature and expressed an interest in the Irish language. He later developed a particular fondness for W. B. Yeats, in part because of Yeats's use of Ireland's Celtic heritage in poetry. In a letter to a friend Lewis wrote, "I have here discovered an author exactly after my own heart, whom I am sure you would delight in, W. B. Yeats. He writes plays and Poems of rare spirit and beauty about our old Irish mythology."
He was surprised to find his English peers indifferent to Yeats and the Celtic Revival movement. In describing his time at Oxford he wrote, "I am often surprised to find how utterly ignored Yeats is among the men I have met: perhaps his appeal is purely Irish- if so, then thank the gods that I am Irish."
Perhaps to help cope with his environment, Lewis even expressed a somewhat tongue-in-cheek chauvinism toward the English. Describing an encounter with a fellow Irishman he wrote, "Like all Irish people who meet in England we ended by criticisms of the inevitable flippancy and dullness of the Anglo-Saxon race. After all, ami, there is no doubt that the Irish are the only people... I would not gladly live or die among another folk."
Lewis did indeed live and die among another folk, due to his Oxford career and often expressed a certain regret at having to leave Ireland. Throughout his life, he sought out the company of his fellow Irish living in England and visited Ireland regularly. He called this "my Irish life".
Early in his career, Lewis considered sending his work to the major Dublin publishers. In a letter to a friend he wrote, "If I do ever send my stuff to a publisher, I think I shall try Maunsel, those Dublin people, and so tack myself definitely onto the Irish school." After his conversion to Christianity, his interests gravitated towards Christian spirituality and away from Celtic mysticism.
Conversion to Christianity
Although raised as a Christian, Lewis was an atheist for much of his youth. When he later wrote an account of his adult reconversion to Christianity, under the title Surprised By Joy, he said that he had been "very angry with God for not existing." Some interpret this to mean that he did not so much reject the existence of God as harbour anger at God for the unfairnesses in life. This interpretation appears to be contradicted by a letter to a friend, in which he said, "all religions, no, mythologies to give them their proper name, have no proof whatsoever!" The indifferent God is just as easily tested as the personal God of childhood, however, and in Lewis' considerations of an inadequate God within his own suffering, he began to believe in a deeper experience of some fundamentals of Western thought.
Influenced by arguments with his Oxford colleague and Roman Catholic friend J.R.R. Tolkien, and by G.K. Chesterton's book, The Everlasting Man, he slowly rediscovered Christianity. In 1929, he came to believe in the existence of God, later writing, "In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed," describing himself as "the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England."
In 1931, after a lengthy discussion with Tolkien and another close friend, Hugo Dyson, he reconverted to Christianity and (to the regret of Tolkien) joined the Church of England. He noted, "I came into Christianity kicking and screaming."
Career as a scholar
Lewis taught as a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, for nearly thirty years, from 1925 to 1954, and later was the first Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Using this position, he argued that there was no such thing as an English Renaissance. Much of his scholarly work concentrated on the later Middle Ages, especially its use of allegory. His The Allegory Of Love (1936) helped reinvigorate the serious study of late medieval narratives like the Roman de la Rose. Lewis wrote several prefaces to old works of literature and poetry, like Layamon's Brut. His preface to John Milton's poem Paradise Lost is still one of the most important criticisms of that work. His last academic work, The Discarded Image, an Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1964), is a summary of the medieval world view, the "discarded image" of the cosmos in his title.
Lewis was a prolific writer and a member of the literary discussion society The Inklings with his friends J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield.
Career as a writer of fiction
In addition to his scholarly work, Lewis wrote a number of popular novels, including his science-fiction Space Trilogy, his fantasy Narnia books, and various other novels, most containing allegories on Christian themes such as sin, the Fall, and redemption.
His first novel after becoming a Christian was The Pilgrim's Regress, his take on John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress which depicted his own experience with Christianity. The book was panned at the time.
Space Trilogy. His Space Trilogy or "Ransom Trilogy" novels dealt with what Lewis saw as the then-current dehumanizing trends in modern science fiction. The first book, Out Of the Silent Planet, was apparently written following a conversation with his friend J. R. R. Tolkien about these trends. Lewis agreed to write a "space travel" story and Tolkien a "time travel" one. Tolkien's story, The Lost Road, a tale connecting his Middle-earth mythology and the modern world, was never completed. Lewis's character of Ransom is generally agreed to be based, in part, on Tolkien. The minor character Jules, from That Hideous Strength, is an obvious caricature of H. G. Wells. Many of the ideas presented in the books, particularly in That Hideous Strength, are dramatizations of arguments made more formally in Lewis's The Abolition Of Man.
Works on heaven and hell. The Great Divorce is a short novel about imagined conversations in the foothills of Heaven between the saved and the potentially damned. The title is a reference to William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. This work deliberately echoes two other more famous works with a similar theme: the Divine Comedy of Dante Aligheri, and John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Another short novel, The Screwtape Letters, consists of letters of advice from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew Wormwood, on the best ways to tempt a particular human and secure his damnation.
The Chronicles Of Narnia. This is a series of seven fantasy novels for children that is by far the most popular of Lewis's works. The books have Christian themes and describe the adventures of a group of children who visit a magical land called Narnia. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was the first published and the most popular book of the series, has been adapted for both stage and screen. Written by Lewis between 1950-1956, The Chronicles of Narnia borrow from Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology as well as traditional English and Irish fairy tales. Lewis reportedly based his depiction of Narnia in the novels on the geography and scenery of the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Northern Ireland. Lewis cited MacDonald as an influence in writing the series.
Other works. Lewis's last novel was Till We Have Faces. Many believe (as he did) that it is his most mature and masterful work of fiction, but it was never a popular success. It is a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche from the unusual perspective of Psyche's sister. It is deeply concerned with religious ideas, but the setting is entirely pagan, and the connections with specific Christian beliefs are left implicit.
Before Lewis's conversion to Christianity, he published two books: Spirits In Bondage, a collection of poems, and Dymer, a single narrative poem. Both were published under the pen name of "Clive Hamilton".
Career as a writer on Christianity
In addition to his career as an English professor and an author of fiction, Lewis also wrote a number of books about Christianity- perhaps most famously, Mere Christianity, which is considered a classic of Christian apologetics. In 2000, Mere Christianity was named the best book of the twentieth century by Christianity Today magazine, after the magazine asked 100 of its contributors and Church leaders to vote for best book. He was very much interested in presenting a reasonable case for the truth of Christianity. Mere Christianity, The Problem Of Pain, and Miracles were all concerned, to one degree or another, with refuting popular objections to Christianity.
He has become popularly known as The Apostle to the Sceptics because he says he originally approached religious belief as a sceptic but was converted by the evidence. Consequently, his books on Christianity examine common difficulties in accepting Christianity, such as "How could a good God allow pain to exist in the world?", which he examined in detail in The Problem of Pain.
Lewis also wrote an autobiography entitled Surprised by Joy, which describes his conversion. (It was written before he met his wife, Joy Gresham.) His essays and public speeches on Christian belief, many of which were collected in God In the Dock and The Weight Of Glory and Other Addresses, remain popular today.
His most famous works, the Chronicles of Narnia, contain many strong Christian messages. These are often mistaken for allegory, but, as Lewis himself said, are certainly not allegory. Lewis is said to have stated that he wrote the novels when he wondered what it would be like if Jesus Christ was incarnated on another world or planet to save the souls of those inhabitants.
In the book Mere Christianity, Lewis famously proposed that Jesus' status as a great moral teacher cannot be divorced from his claims to divinity:
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon and you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
According to the argument, most people are willing to accept Jesus Christ as a great moral teacher, but the Gospels record that Jesus made many claims to divinity, either explicitly ("I and the father are one." - John 10:30) or implicitly, by assuming authority only God could have ("...the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." - Matthew 9:6). Assuming that the Gospels are accurate, Lewis said there are three options:
1. Jesus was telling falsehoods and knew it, and so he was a liar.
2. Jesus was telling falsehoods but believed he was telling the truth, and so he was insane.
3. Jesus was telling the truth, and so he was divine.
Lewis held that for Jesus to be a liar or insane would contradict his position as a "great moral teacher", and the remaining option would make Jesus both a "great moral teacher" and divine. This was aimed against a specific line of reasoning which accepts the Jesus portrayed in the gospels as a "great moral teacher", but not as a divine being. Lewis maintained that they are failing to deal with the logical consequences of their position.
His argument was later expanded by the Christian apologist Josh McDowell to serve as a logical proof to Jesus' Divinity. It is from this latter development that the term "trilemma" actually comes from. Outside of experts on the subject, trilemma is often taken to mean both arguments, assuming that in fact they are one and the same. Various versions of both Lewis's argument and McDowell's have been extensively debated and frequently attacked on the truth of their premises as well as the validity of their structure. (See the trilemma article for more.)
Portrayals of Lewis's life
Interest in Lewis has resulted in several biographies (including books written by close friends of Lewis, among them Roger Lancelyn Green and George Sayer), at least one play about his life, and a 1993 movie, titled Shadowlands, based on an original stage and television play. The movie fictionalizes his relationship with the American writer Joy Gresham, whom he met and married in London, only to watch her die slowly from bone cancer. Lewis's book A Grief Observed describes his experience of bereavement in such a raw and personal fashion that Lewis originally released it under the pseudonym N.W. Clerk to keep readers from associating the book with him (ultimately too many friends recommended the book to Lewis as a method for dealing with his own grief, and he made his authorship public).
Lewis's death and legacy
Lewis died on November 22, 1963, at the Oxford home he shared with his brother, Warren. He is buried in the Headington Quarry Churchyard, Oxford, England. Media coverage of his death was overshadowed by news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which occurred on the same day, as did the death of author Aldous Huxley. (This coincidence was the inspiration for Peter Kreeft's book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis & Aldous Huxley. In this philosophical work, the three men meet in a limbo before the afterlife, and debate the divinity of Jesus Christ, contrasting the differences in their personalities and world views- humanism, Christianity, and pantheism.)
A bronze statue of Lewis looking into a wardrobe stands in Belfast's Hollywood Arches.
Many books have been inspired by Lewis, including A Severe Mercy by his correspondent Sheldon Vanauken. The Chronicles Of Narnia has been particularly influential. Modern children's authors like Daniel Handler (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), and J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter) have been influenced more or less by Lewis's series. Authors of adult fantasy literature such as Tim Powers have also testified to being influenced by Lewis's work.
Most of Lewis's posthumous work has been edited by his literary executor, Walter Hooper. An independent Lewis scholar, the late Kathryn Lindskoog, argued in several books that Hooper's scholarship is not reliable and that he has made false statements and attributed forged works to Lewis. (See The Dark Tower.) Scholars in the field of Lewis studies are divided over whether these charges have been settled at all, and if so in whose favour.
Lewis was strongly opposed to the creation of live-action versions of his works due to the technology at the time. His major concern was that the anthropomorphic animal characters "when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare." This was said in the context of the 1950s, when technology would not allow the special effects required to make a coherent, robust film version of Narnia. Whether or not Lewis would be happy with the CGI creations of Disney, naturally, cannot be known.
C S Lewis books
- El Leon, La Bruja Y El Armario
- 7 Book Boxed Set
- A Book Of Narnians
- A Book Of Narnians- the Lion, the Witch and The Others
- A Grief Observed
- A Mind Awake
- A Narnia Chronology
- A Preface To Paradise Lost
- A Year With Aslan
- A Year With C S Lewis
- Abolition Of Man
- Abolition Of Man the Great Divorce
- All My Road Before Me
- All My Road Before Me, 1922-1927
- An Experiment In Criticism
- Aslan's Triumph
- At the Breakfast Table and Other Remniscences
- Beyond Personality
- Beyond Personality the Christian Idea Of God
- Beyond the Bright Blur
- Broadcast Talks
- C S Lewis At the Breakfast Table, and Other Reminiscences
- C S Lewis Essay Collection
- C S Lewis Letters To Children
- C S Lewis On Faith
- C S Lewis On Joy
- C S Lewis Signature Classics
- C S Lewis the Screwtape Letters
- C S Lewis's Lost Aeneid
- Cartas Del Diablo a Su Sobrino
- Cautivado Por La Alegria
- Christian Behavior
- Christian Behaviour
- Christian Behaviour a Further Series Of Broadcast Talks
- Christian Reflections
- Chronicles Of Narnia 7 Volumes
- Chronicles Of Narnia Box Set-Film-Tie - a Format
- Chronicles Of Narnia Movie Tie-In Box Set the Voyage Of the Dawn Treader
- Collected Letters
- Collected Letters Of Cs Lewis The
- Collected Letters Vol 1
- Collection Of Three Various Books By Cs Lewis In His Most-Famous Narnia Series
- Compelling Reason
- Complete Chronicles Of Narnia Boxset
- Cronicas De Narnia 1 El Sobrino Del Mago
- Cronicas De Narnia 4 El Principe Caspian
- Cronicas De Narnia 5 La Travesia Del Viajero Del Alba
- Cronicas De Narnia 6 La Silla De Plata
- Cronicas De Narnia 7 La Ultima Batalla
- Cs Lewis
- Cs Lewis Bible, The
- Cs Lewis On Grief
- Cs Lewis On Love
- Cs Lewis' Little Instruction Book
- Die Chroniken Von Narnia - Sonderausgabe
- Dymer Hardback In Jacket
- Edmund and The White Witch
- Edmund's Struggle
- El Caballo Y El Muchacho
- El Caballo Y El Muchacho the Horse and His Boy
- El Gran Divorcio
- El LeN, La Bruja, Y El Armario
- El Leon Bruja Y El Ropero
- El Leon, La Bruja Y El Armario the Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe
- El Leon, La Bruja Y El Armario Narnia 2
- El Leon, La Bruja Y El Ropero
- El Principe Caspian
- El Principe Caspian Prince Caspian
- El Problema Del Dolor
- El Sobrino Del Mago
- English Literature In the Sixteenth Century
- English Literature In the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama
- English Literature In the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama First Edition
- Esa Horrible Fortaleza
- Essay Collection
- Essays Presented To Charles Williams
- Essays Presented To Charles Williams With a Memoir By Cs Lewis
- Exploring Ethics
- Fern Seed and Elephants
- Fern-Seed and Elephants and Other Essays On Christianity
- First and Second Things
- George Macdonald
- George Macdonald an Anthology
- God In the Dock
- God In the Dock Essays On Theology
- God In the Dock, Essays On Theology and Ethics
- Grand Miracle
- Horse and His Boy
- Joyful Christian
- L' Armoire Magique
- La Silla De Plata
- La Silla De Plata the Silver Chair
- La Travesia Del Explorador Del Amanecer
- La Travesia Del Explorador Del Alba
- La Travesia Del Viajero Del Alba
- La Ultima Batalla
- La Ultima Batalla the Last Battle
- Las Cartas Del Diablo a Su Sobrino
- Las Cronicas De Narnia
- Le Monde De Narnia
- Le Neveu Du Magicien Chronicles Of Narnia
- Le Prince Caspian
- Les Chroniques De Narnia
- Letters Of C S Lewis
- Letters To an American Lady
- Letters To an American Lady Ed By Clyde S Kilby
- Letters To Children
- Letters To Malcolm
- Letters To Malcolm Chiefly On Prayer
- Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe Large Print, The
- Los Cuatro Amores
- Los Milagros
- Lucy Steps Through the Wardrobe
- Lucy's Adventure
- Made For Heaven
- Magician's Nephew Deluxe Edition, The
- Magician's Nephew, the - Chronicles Of Narnia Vol 1
- Mere Christianity
- Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters
- Mere Christianity By C S Lewis
- Mere Christianity Gift Edition
- Mere Christianity Journal
- Mere Christianity Lp
- Mere ChristianityScrewtape LettersGreat Divorce - Box Set
- Mere ChristianityThe Screwtape Letters
- Mero Cristianismo
- Miracles a Preliminary Study
- Narnia Film Tie In Adult 7 In 1 Indian
- Narrative Poems
- Narrative Poems Of Cs Lewis
- Of Other Worlds
- Of Other Worlds Essays Stories
- Of This and Other Worlds
- On Stories
- On Stories, and Other Essays On Literature
- Out Of the Silent Planet
- Out Of the Silent Planet 1
- Out Of the Silent PlanetPerelandraThat Hideous Strength
- Paved With Good Intentions
- Perelandra a Novel
- Peter's Destiny
- Pilgrim's Regress
- Poetry and Prose In the Sixteenth Century
- Present Concerns
- Prince Caspain
- Prince Caspian
- Prince Caspian 2
- Prince Caspian the Return To Narnia Book 4
- Prince Caspian 4
- Prince Caspian and The Voyage Of the Dawn Treader
- Prince Caspian Movie Tie-In Cd
- Prince Caspian Movie Tie-In Edition
- Prince Caspian Read-Aloud Edition
- Prince Caspian the Chronicles Of Narnia
- Prince Caspian the Chronicles Of Narnia, Book 4
- Prince Caspian the Return To Narnia
- Readings For Meditation and Reflection
- Reflections On the Psalms
- Rehabilitations and Other Essays
- Return To Narnia
- Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, Surprised By Joy
- Screwtape Proposes a Toast
- Screwtape Proposes a Toast and Other Pieces
- Screwtape Writes Again
- Seeing Eye and Other Selected Essays From Christian Reflections
- Selected Books
- Selected Literary Essays
- Selections From the Chronicles Of Narnia Audio Collection
- Six By Lewis
- Six By Lewis Box Set
- Space Trilogy
- Spenser's Images Of Life
- Spirits In Bondage
- Spirits In Bondage, a Cycle Of Lyrics
- Studies In Medieval and Renaissance Literature
- Studies In Words
- Suprised By Joy
- Surprised By Joy
- Surprised By Joy the Four Loves
- Surprised By Joy the Shape Of My Early Life
- Susan's Journey
- Tales Of Narnia
- Tales Of Narnia Prince Caspian, the Voyage Of the Dawn Treader
- That Hideous Strength
- That Hideous Strength a Modern Fairy-Tale For Grown-Ups
- The Abolition Of Man Reflections On Education With Special Reference To the Teaching Of English In the Upper Forms Of Schools
- The Abolition Of Man, or Reflections On Education With Special Reference To the Teaching Of English In the Upper Forms Of Schools
- The Allegory Of Love
- The Allegory Of Love a Study In Medieval Tradition
- The Beloved Works Of C S Lewis
- The Best Of Cs Lewis
- The Business Of Heaven
- The Case For Christianity
- The Chronicles Of Narnia
- The Chronicles Of Narnia 6
- The Chronicles Of Narnia 60th Anniversary Edition
- The Chronicles Of Narnia 7
- The Chronicles Of Narnia 7-Book and Audio Box Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Audio Collection
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Book Audio Box Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Box Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Box Set 1-7
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Boxed Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Complete 7 Volume Cd Box Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Complete Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Facsimile
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Full-Color Oversize Gift Edition Box Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Movie Tie-In Box Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Movie Tie-In Edition
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Movie Tie-In Edition the Voyage Of the Dawn Treader
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Pop-Up
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Scholastic Box Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Set
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Set Reprint Edition By C S Lewis Published By Macmillan Publishing Company
- The Chronicles Of Narnia the Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe Edmund's Struggle
- The Chronicles Of Narnia the Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe
- The Chronicles Of Narnia, Prince Caspian
- The Chronicles Of Narnia, the Magician's Nephew
- The Chronicles Of Narnia, the Voyage Of the Dawn Treader
- The Collected Letters Of Cs Lewis Volume 2
- The Collected Letters Of Cs Lewis, Volume 1
- The Collected Letters Of Cs Lewis, Volume 3
- The Collected Works Of Cs Lewis
- The Complete C S Lewis Signature Classics
- The Complete Chronicles Of Narnia
- The Cosmic Trilogy
- The Cs Lewis Journal
- The Dark Tower and Other Stories
- The Discarded Image
- The Discarded Image an Introduction To Medieval and Renaissance Literature
- The Efficacy Of Prayer
- The Essential Cs Lewis
- The Four Loves
- The Giant Surprise
- The Great Divorce
- The Great Divorce a Dream
- The Great Divorce By Lewis, C S
- The Great Divorce Cd
- The Horse and His Boy Book 3
- The Horse and His Boy, Full-Color Collector's Edition
- The Illustrated Screwtape Letters
- The Inspirational Writings Of C S Lewis
- The Joyful Christian, 127 Readings
- The Last Battle
- The Last Battle 7
- The Last Battle a Story For Children
- The Last Battle Audio Cd
- The Latin Letters Of Cs Lewis
- The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe Bk 1
- The Lion the Witch and The Wardroble
- The Lion the Witch the Wardrobe
- The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe
- The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe a Story For Children
- The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe Book and Cd
- The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe Color Gift Edition
- The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe Holiday Feature Edition
- The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe Movie Tie-In Edition
- The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe Picture Book
- The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe Read-Aloud Edition
- The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardro
- The Literary Impact Of the Authorised Version
- The Magician's Nephew
- The Magician's Nephew Book and Cd
- The Magician's Nephew By C S Lewis
- The Magician's Nephew Color Gift Edition
- The Magician's Nephew Graphic Novel
- The Magician's Nephew Read-Aloud Edition
- The Magician's Nephew, Collector's Edition
- The Magician's Nephew
- The MagicianS Nephew 6
- The Narnia Trivia Book
- The Pilgrim's Regress an Allegorical Apology For Christianity, Reason and Romanticism
- The Problem Of Pain
- The Quest For Aslan
- The Quotable Lewis
- The Screwtape Letters
- The Screwtape Letters Screwtape Proposes a Toast
- The Screwtape Letters Letters From a Senior To a Junior Devil
- The Screwtape Letters With Screwtape Proposes a Toast
- The Screwtape LettersBook Study Guide
- The Shadow-Lands Of Cs Lewis
- The Silver Chair
- The Silver Chair 4
- The Silver Chair Book Six
- The Timeless Writings Of C S Lewis
- The Timeless Writings Of Cs Lewis, the Pilgrim's Progress
- The Tortured Planet
- The Visionary Christian
- The Visionary Christian, 131 Readings
- The Voyage Of the Dawn Trader
- The Voyage Of the Dawn Treader
- The Voyage Of the Dawn Treader Movie Tie-In Edition
- The Voyage Of the Dawn Treader Read-Aloud Edition
- The Weight Of Glory
- The Weight Of Glory and Other Addresses
- The Wood Between the Worlds
- The World's Last Night
- The World's Last Night and Other Essays
- They Asked For a Paper - Papers and Addresses
- They Stand Together
- Till We Have Faces
- Till We Have Faces a Myth Retold
- Till We Have Faces a Novel Of Cupid and Psyche
- Transposition and Other Addresses
- Una Pena En Observacion
- Virtue and Vice
- Voyage To Venus
- Welcome To Narnia
- What Christians Believe
- Wisdom Of Narnia
- Wisdom Of Narnia Fcs
- Words To Live By
- Yours, Jack