Collected Letters

Happy 114!

  • Nov 29, 2012
  • Zach Kincaid

C.S. Lewis turns 114 today. He had some things to say about growing old. On one occasion in his letters, he cites Dante and his description of the lost souls as looking entirely to their past, what they did and didn’t do, while the redeemed weren’t concerned about what went …

Read More

Smuggling Theology: Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy

  • Apr 04, 2012
  • Bruce L. Edwards

Sister Penelope, a winsome, lifelong correspondent of C. S. Lewis, had written to him about the provenance of his first space travel adventure, Out of the Silent Planet, a volume remarkably full of theological insight. He replied whimsically: “Any amount of theology can now be smuggled into people’s minds under …

Read More

Mighty Ones, Who Do His Bidding

  • Jun 18, 2011
  • Janice B. Brown

Angels and devils are creatures of myth in the broadest sense, but they are also part of the true myth that is Christianity. Of devils, Lewis said that there are two equally serious errors: disbelief in them and an “excessive and unhealthy interest in them” (Preface to The Screwtape Letters). …

Read More

Why Read Old Books: History and Its Relevance

  • Jul 02, 2010
  • Dan Hamilton

An Introduction is a signpost – pointing not to itself but to the pages that follow. While “On the Reading of Old Books” is usually reprinted (and presented) as a stand-alone essay by Lewis, it is actually the introduction to a book written by someone else: “The Incarnation of the …

Read More

Duty with a Stamp: “Half My Life is Spent Answering Letters”

  • Jun 11, 2010
  • Andrew Cuneo

When the third volume of C.S. Lewis’s Collected Letters came out in 2006, it did not receive nearly the attention it deserved. Its publication, however, marked the summit of assembling and editing which Walter Hooper almost single-handedly accomplished in the space of eight years. But where were the mainstream reviews …

Read More

Heaven and Hell as Idea and Image in C. S. Lewis

  • May 07, 2010
  • Peter J. Schakel

C. S. Lewis was deeply interested in heaven. In his nonfiction prose he frequently discussed the nature of heaven (and, less frequently, the nature of hell) and explained how to take part in it. In his works of fiction he created several striking descriptions of what heaven (and, in less …

Read More

A Mentor by Mail

  • Jan 27, 2010
  • David C. Downing
  • 1 Comment

In 1941 a former student of C. S. Lewis, then in her thirties, asked Lewis if he would become her confessor and spiritual director. Lewis politely declined, feeling that he didn’t have the proper credentials for the job (Letters, 2, 481). Yet he continued to write her letters of candid …

Read More

C.S. Lewis Sat Here

  • Aug 20, 2009
  • Will Vaus

The first time I visited Oxford, in 1982, the porter at Magdalen College didn’t even recognize the name— C. S. Lewis. I had asked him if he could give me directions to Lewis’s former home in Headington Quarry. Obviously he could not and did not. Things have changed a lot …

Read More

Letter to My Goddaughter

  • Apr 02, 2009
  • Sarah Arthur

Dear Grace, I wish your godfather and I could be there for your confirmation next Sunday, but it looks like this letter will have to do instead (not that I could be any more eloquent in person). I feel rather like C. S. Lewis when he was writing to his …

Read More

Jack the Counselor

  • Jan 27, 2009
  • Bruce L. Edwards

Ask any ten avid readers of C. S. Lewis to describe his vocation and I suspect 9 out of 10 will use one of the following terms: Christian apologist, fantasy/sf writer, children’s author, literary critic, Oxford don—a handful, maybe even “poet.” Few, I reckon, would think to refer to Jack, …

Read More