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Peter Bide, performed the ceremony at her bed in the Churchill Hospital on 21 March Gresham's cancer soon went into remission, and the couple lived together as a family with Warren Lewis until , when her cancer recurred and she died on 13 July. Earlier that year, the couple took a brief holiday in Greece and the Aegean ; Lewis was fond of walking but not of travel, and this marked his only crossing of the English Channel after Lewis's book A Grief Observed describes his experience of bereavement in such a raw and personal fashion that he originally released it under the pseudonym N.

Clerk to keep readers from associating the book with him. Ironically, many friends recommended the book to Lewis as a method for dealing with his own grief.

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After Lewis's death, his authorship was made public by Faber's, with the permission of the executors. Lewis continued to raise Gresham's two sons after her death. Douglas Gresham is a Christian like Lewis and his mother, [64] while David Gresham turned to his mother's ancestral faith, becoming Orthodox Jewish in his beliefs.

His mother's writings had featured the Jews in an unsympathetic manner, particularly one " shohet " ritual slaughterer. David informed Lewis that he was going to become a ritual slaughterer to present this type of Jewish religious functionary to the world in a more favourable light. In a interview, Douglas Gresham acknowledged that he and his brother were not close, but he did say that they are in email contact. In early June , Lewis began suffering from nephritis , which resulted in blood poisoning. His illness caused him to miss the autumn term at Cambridge, though his health gradually began improving in and he returned that April.

His health continued to improve and, according to his friend George Sayer, Lewis was fully himself by early After he was discharged from the hospital, Lewis returned to the Kilns, though he was too ill to return to work. As a result, he resigned from his post at Cambridge in August. Lewis's condition continued to decline, and he was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure in mid-November.

Media coverage of Lewis's death was almost completely overshadowed by news of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy , which occurred on the same day approximately 55 minutes following Lewis's collapse , as did the death of English writer Aldous Huxley , author of Brave New World.

Kennedy, C. Lewis began his academic career as an undergraduate student at Oxford University , where he won a triple first, the highest honours in three areas of study. His The Allegory of Love helped reinvigorate the serious study of late medieval narratives such as the Roman de la Rose. Lewis was commissioned to write the volume English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama for the Oxford History of English Literature, [74] as well as several prefaces to works of literature and poetry, such as Layamon's Brut.

The World According To Narnia

His last academic work , The Discarded Image : An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature , is a summary of the medieval world view, a reference to the "discarded image" of the cosmos. Lewis was a prolific writer, and his circle of literary friends became an informal discussion society known as the " Inklings ", including J. Glyer points to December as the Inklings' beginning date. Curiously, the religious and conservative Betjeman detested Lewis, whereas the anti-establishment Tynan retained a lifelong admiration for him. Of Tolkien, Lewis writes in Surprised by Joy :.

When I began teaching for the English Faculty, I made two other friends, both Christians these queer people seemed now to pop up on every side who were later to give me much help in getting over the last stile. They were HVV Dyson Friendship with the latter marked the breakdown of two old prejudices. At my first coming into the world I had been implicitly warned never to trust a Papist, and at my first coming into the English Faculty explicitly never to trust a philologist.

Tolkien was both. In addition to his scholarly work, Lewis wrote several popular novels, including the science fiction Space Trilogy for adults and the Narnia fantasies for children. Most deal implicitly with Christian themes such as sin, humanity's fall from grace , and redemption. The book was poorly received by critics at the time, [23] although David Martyn Lloyd-Jones , one of Lewis's contemporaries at Oxford, gave him much-valued encouragement. Asked by Lloyd-Jones when he would write another book, Lewis replied, "When I understand the meaning of prayer.

The Space Trilogy also called the Cosmic Trilogy or Ransom Trilogy dealt with what Lewis saw as the dehumanising trends in contemporary science fiction. The first book, Out of the Silent Planet , was apparently written following a conversation with his friend J. Tolkien about these trends. Lewis agreed to write a "space travel" story and Tolkien a "time travel" one, but Tolkien never completed " The Lost Road ", linking his Middle-earth to the modern world.

The World According to Narnia: Christian Meaning in C. S. Lewis's Beloved Chronicles

Lewis's main character Elwin Ransom is based in part on Tolkien, a fact to which Tolkien alludes in his letters. The second novel, Perelandra , depicts a new Garden of Eden on the planet Venus, a new Adam and Eve , and a new "serpent figure" to tempt Eve. The story can be seen as an account of what might have happened if the terrestrial Adam had defeated the serpent and avoided the Fall of Man , with Ransom intervening in the novel to "ransom" the new Adam and Eve from the deceptions of the enemy.


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The third novel, That Hideous Strength , develops the theme of nihilistic science threatening traditional human values, embodied in Arthurian legend. Many ideas in the trilogy, particularly opposition to dehumanization as portrayed in the third book, are presented more formally in The Abolition of Man , based on a series of lectures by Lewis at Durham University in Lewis stayed in Durham, where he says he was overwhelmed by the magnificence of the cathedral.

That Hideous Strength is in fact set in the environs of "Edgestow" university, a small English university like Durham, though Lewis disclaims any other resemblance between the two. Walter Hooper , Lewis's literary executor, discovered a fragment of another science-fiction novel apparently written by Lewis called The Dark Tower. Ransom appears in the story but it is not clear whether the book was intended as part of the same series of novels. The manuscript was eventually published in , though Lewis scholar Kathryn Lindskoog doubts its authenticity.

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels for children and is considered a classic of children's literature. Written between and and illustrated by Pauline Baynes , the series is Lewis's most popular work, having sold over million copies in 41 languages Kelly Guthmann It has been adapted several times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage and cinema. The books contain Christian ideas intended to be easily accessible to young readers. In addition to Christian themes, Lewis also borrows characters from Greek and Roman mythology , as well as traditional British and Irish fairy tales.

Lewis wrote several works on Heaven and Hell. One of these, The Great Divorce , is a short novella in which a few residents of Hell take a bus ride to Heaven, where they are met by people who dwell there.

The World According to Narnia

The proposition is that they can stay if they choose, in which case they can call the place where they had come from " Purgatory ", instead of "Hell", but many find it not to their taste. This work deliberately echoes two other more famous works with a similar theme: the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri , and Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Another short work, The Screwtape Letters , consists of letters of advice from senior demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood on the best ways to tempt a particular human and secure his damnation.

Lewis's last novel was Till We Have Faces , which he thought of as his most mature and masterly work of fiction but which 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 Clive Hamilton. He also wrote The Four Loves , which rhetorically explains four categories of love: friendship , eros , affection , and charity. In , a partial draft was discovered of Language and Human Nature , which Lewis had begun co-writing with J.

Tolkien, but which was never completed. Lewis is also regarded by many as one of the most influential Christian apologists of his time, in addition to his career as an English professor and an author of fiction. Mere Christianity was voted best book of the 20th century by Christianity Today in Lewis was very interested in presenting an argument from reason against metaphysical naturalism and for the existence of God.

Mere Christianity , The Problem of Pain , and Miracles were all concerned, to one degree or another, with refuting popular objections to Christianity, such as the question, "How could a good God allow pain to exist in the world? According to George Sayer, losing a debate with Elizabeth Anscombe , also a Christian, led Lewis to re-evaluate his role as an apologist, and his future works concentrated on devotional literature and children's books.

'The Narnia Code: C.S. Lewis and the Secret of the Seven Heavens' by Michael Ward

Lewis also wrote an autobiography titled Surprised by Joy , which places special emphasis on his own conversion. It was written before he met his wife, Joy Gresham; the title of the book came from the first line of a poem by William Wordsworth. 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 and are often considered allegory. Lewis, an expert on the subject of allegory, maintained that the books were not allegory, and preferred to call the Christian aspects of them " suppositional ". As Lewis wrote in a letter to a Mrs.

Hook in December If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair [a character in The Pilgrim's Progress ] represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality, he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, 'What might Christ become like, if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?

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In a much-cited passage from Mere Christianity , Lewis challenged the view that Jesus was a great moral teacher but not God. He argued that Jesus made several implicit claims to divinity, which would logically exclude that claim:. 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. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.

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 or 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. Although this argument is sometimes called "Lewis's trilemma", Lewis did not invent it but rather developed and popularized it. Lewis's Christian apologetics, and this argument in particular, have been criticised.

Philosopher John Beversluis described Lewis's arguments as "textually careless and theologically unreliable", [] and this particular argument as logically unsound and an example of false dilemma. Lewis used a similar argument in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , when the old Professor advises the young heroes that their sister's claims of a magical world must logically be taken as either lies, madness, or truth. One of the main theses in Lewis's apologia is that there is a common morality known throughout humanity, which he calls " natural law ".

In the first five chapters of Mere Christianity , Lewis discusses the idea that people have a standard of behaviour to which they expect people to adhere. Lewis claims that people all over the earth know what this law is and when they break it. He goes on to claim that there must be someone or something behind such a universal set of principles. These then are the two points that I wanted to make.

First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in. Lewis also portrays Universal Morality in his works of fiction. In the second chapter of Mere Christianity , Lewis recognises that "many people find it difficult to understand what this Law of Human Nature In responding to the second idea Lewis notes that people often complain that one set of moral ideas is better than another, but that this actually argues for there existing some "Real Morality" to which they are comparing other moralities.