In his long career, C.S. Lewis penned dozens of works across myriad genres—everything from fiction and literary criticism to apologetics and theology. This collection is a guiding hand through the life and work of a man whose staggering output and immeasurable influence shape the Christian faith to this day. Whether you’re delving into Lewis’ apologetic and theological work, exploring his take on scientific materialism and literary criticism, or planning a return trip to Narnia, these books by top Lewis scholars will deepen your appreciation of one of the most important figures in Christian history.
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The writings of C.S. Lewis stir a profound sense of spiritual longing—a desire for joy lying beyond the offerings of this world. Known to the Romantic tradition by the German word sehnsucht, this concept has been a recurrent theme in some of humanity’s most powerful works of literature. Bright Shadow of Reality has been lauded as the best study of this idea since its publication in 1974. Corbin Scott Carnell presents sehnsucht as a key to understanding the writings of C.S. Lewis’ life, theology, and literary legacy. Paying special attention to Lewis’ space trilogy and Till We Have Faces, Carnell evaluates Lewis’ portrayal and reflection on the concept of sehnsucht and its relationship to the human quest for joy
Carnell’s book attacks with the help of Lewis an invidious academic prejudice concerning the rift between feelings, emotions, and passions on one side and intellect, reason, and thought on the other. . . Intrinsically important.
—Paul L. Holmer, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale Divinity School
Important reading for any serious student of Lewis.
—Christian Scholar’s Review
The most penetrating and absorbing book on Lewis yet to have appeared.
—Nathan A. Scott Jr., professor of theology, University of Chicago
Corbin Scott Carnell is the author of numerous articles and essays on C.S. Lewis and his work. He is professor of English at the University of Florida.
A compulsive writer from childhood, C.S. Lewis saw the world primarily through the medium of books. He read voraciously, and his own writing covers a broad range of genres. This study casts light on this beloved figure by tracing his development as a reader and a writer of books.
Lionel Adey shows how the two sides of Lewis’ personality, for which Adey adopts the motifs of “the Dreamer” and “the Mentor,” are key to understanding Lewis’ writing. Adey describes Lewis’ early development and then devotes a chapter to each genre Lewis worked in: literary history, practical and theoretical criticism, novels for adults and for children, poetry, apologetics, essays and addresses, and letters. Throughout, Adey discusses formative biographical events in Lewis’ life, such as the death of his mother when he was nine years old. Adey concludes with an estimate of Lewis’ achievement and enduring legacy as a writer.
An impressive achievement.
—G.B. Tennyson, professor of English, University of California
Not afraid to criticize (when appropriate) C.S. Lewis or his critics, Adey’s well-written new work is the fruit of many years of study. He has found what many miss—that through books Lewis ‘tapped the memory of Western civilization.’
—Michael H. MacDonald, professor of philosophy, Seattle Pacific University
Adey shows that understanding the two sides of Lewis’ personality—reason and imagination—is the key to understanding his writings. . . . Engaging and accessible.
Lionel Adey (1925–2009) was professor emeritus of English and visiting scholar at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. His studies of C.S. Lewis included numerous articles and the book C.S. Lewis’ ‘Great War’ with Owen Barfield.
C.S. Lewis was one of the twentieth century’s foremost Christian authors—at once a scholar, a teacher, a social critic, an amateur yet profound theologian, and an apologist. Clyde Kilby examines Lewis’ Christian works one by one, compares them with each other and with books by other authors, and elucidates the themes that recur throughout the main body of Lewis’ writings.
This book . . . will provide the groundwork for any future study of the theology and fiction of C.S. Lewis.
—The New York Times
Summarizes admirably not only Lewis’ Christian writings but also the shaping influences in his life.
Clyde Kilby (1902–1986) was an author and expert on the Inklings—the close-knit group of friends including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein. He is the author of Minority of One: The Biography of Jonathan Blanchard, Tolkein and the Silmarillion, and Brothers and Friends: The Diaries of Major Warren Hamilton Lewis.
The Pilgrim’s Guide: C.S. Lewis and the Art of Witness
Though he died in 1963, C.S. Lewis’ popularity and influence have shown no sign of decreasing. No other twentieth-century author has used so many diverse genres to communicate the reality of Christian belief and values. The Pilgrim’s Guide examines C.S. Lewis as a witness to the truth of Christianity through his fiction and popular apologetics. Nineteen leading Lewis scholars explore his engagement with challenges to the Christian mind, visions, imagination, and understanding in the twentieth century.
“Teaching the Universal Truth: C.S. Lewis among the Intellectuals” by Harry Blamires
“A Thoroughly Converted Man: C.S. Lewis in the Public Square” by Bruce L. Edwards
“Saving Sinners and Reconciling Church: An Ecumenical Meditation on Mere Christianity” by Michael H. Macdonald and Mark P. Shea
“God of the Fathers: C.S. Lewis and Eastern Christianity” by Kallistos Ware
“The Heart’s Desire and the Landlord’s Rules: C.S. Lewis as a Moral Philosopher” by James Patrick
“Speaking the Truths Only the Imagination May Grasp: Myth and Myth and ‘Real Life’” by Straford Caldecott
“The Romantic Writer: C.S. Lewis’ Theology of Fantasy” by Colin Duriez
“To See through a Glass Darkly: C.S. Lewis, George Orwell, and the Corruption of Language” by David Mills
“The Triumphant Vindication of the Body: The End of Gnosticism in That Hideous Strength” by Thomas Howard
“Fragmentation and Hope: the Healing of the Modern Schisms in That Hideous Strength” by Leslie P. Fairfield
“The Abolition of God: Relativism and the Center of Faith” by Sheridan Gilley
“Awakening from the Enchantment of Worldliness: The Chronicles of Narnia as Pre-Apologetics” by Stephen M. Smith
“Growing in Grace: The Anglican Spiritual Style in the Narnian Chronicles” by Doris T. Myers
“The War of the Worldviews: H.G. Wells and Scientism versus C.S. Lewis and Christianity” by Thomas C. Peters
“Tools Inadequate and Incomplete: C.S. Lewis and the Great Religions” by Jerry Root
“Nothingness and Human Destiny: Hell in the Thought of C.S. Lewis” by Kendall Harmon
David P. Mills (b. 1957) is executive editor of First Things and was the editor of Touchstone Magazine from 2003 to 2008. He is the author of several books, including Knowing the Real Jesus, Discovering Mary, and Discovering the Church.
Reason and Imagination in C.S. Lewis: A Study of Till We Have Faces
The first study of C.S. Lewis to offer a detailed examination of Till We Have Faces, Peter J. Schakel’s book is also the first to explore the tension between reason and imagination that significantly shaped Lewis’ thinking and writing.
Schakel leads the reader through the plot of Till We Have Faces, clarifying its themes, structure, symbols, and allusions. He then surveys the rest of Lewis’ works, tracing the tension between reason and imagination. In the works of the 1930s and 40s, reason is in the ascendant. From the early 50s onward, there is an increased emphasis on imagination—as exemplified in the Chronicles of Narnia. This trajectory culminates in the “myth retold” that is Till We Have Faces. Imagination and reason are reconciled, finally, in works of the early 60s, such as A Grief Observed and Letters to Malcolm.
This book is what Lewis scholarship ought to be. It is the most thoughtful, careful Lewis study yet.
Reason and Imagination is a remarkable achievement, literary criticism that is both wise and moving.
—Margaret Hannay, professor of English literature, Sienna College
Peter Schakel brings to C.S. Lewis scholarship what has often been lacking—namely rigorous scholarly method and real critical detachment. His study of Till We Have Faces is a major contribution to Lewis studies.
—Thomas Howard, professor of history, Gordon College
Peter J. Schakel is Peter C. and Emajean Cook Professor of English at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. An internationally respected student of C.S. Lewis’ work, he is the author of The Way into Narnia: A Reader’s Guide and Is Your Lord Large Enough?: How C.S. Lewis Expands Our View of God.
The Restitution of Man: C.S. Lewis and the Case against Scientism
A trained philosopher and intellectual historian as well as a writer of genius, C.S. Lewis was one of the most lucid, profound, and eloquent critics of reductive scientific materialism. The Restitution of Man examines the conflict between scientific materialism and the classical Christian philosophical tradition as it has taken place since the seventeenth century. It examines Lewis’ role as inheritor of and spokesman for this tradition and as an articulate opponent of reductive naturalism and the “abolition of man” that materialistic ideologies always entail.
In probing the breadth of Lewis’ writings, Michael Aeschliman shows why Lewis’ apologetic for the classical Christian view of persons is a precious resource for the transmission of human sanity, ethics, and wisdom in an age that has frequently ignored or obliterated all three.
Michael D. Aeschliman is professor emeritus of education at Boston University. He is a regular contributor to National Review and First Things and is the editor of a critical edition of A Tale of Two Cities.
How did a middle-aged professor with no children write books that have become beloved classics of children’s literature? What is the best order for reading the Chronicles of Narnia? Whatever one’s question, The Way into Narnia offers valuable guidance for first-time visitors to Narnia and fresh insights for frequent travelers.
Peter Schakel shows that the best way to enter Narnia is to read the Chronicles as fairy tales. After walking readers through each of the books, he concludes the tour with annotations that clarify unfamiliar words and unusual passages.
A perceptive and thorough reader’s guide.
Peter J. Schakel is Peter C. and Emajean Cook Professor of English at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. An internationally respected student of C.S. Lewis’ work, he is the author of Reason and Imagination in C.S. Lewis and Is Your Lord Large Enough? How C.S. Lewis Expands Our View of God.