Is C.S. Lewis a Literary Influence


Is C.S. Lewis a Literary Influence? Is having a legacy the same as having a Literary Influence?

Lewis does indeed have a legacy. He is best known for his writings both in the area of fantasy, especially his sci-fi trilogy, and religion.

In the more than 50 years since his death his works of fantasy still have power. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, for example, resonates with many and still endures. Lewis’s writings of his conversion to Christianity and thought about Christianity are prolific and have had a strong influence.

According to Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury , Lewis is not considered to be an academic theologian  but "in what you might call pastoral theology: as an interpreter of people's moral and spiritual crises; as somebody who is a brilliant diagnostician of self-deception."

Whether the Archbishop is correct in his opinion, much of Lewis’s writing does have broad appeal. “The Screwtape Letters” may be the best example of this, where his perceptive inquiry into temptation is cast as a series of witty letters between a demon and his apprentice.

“Mere Christianity” is a book that might confirm the Archbishops view, but then it was based on a series of BBC radio talks Lewis gave during the second world war and it may not be fair to judge his writings on Christianity based on it.

Lewis didn’t have a lot of good things to say about poets and some say that this is because he had not succeeded as a poet.

Other areas of focus were as a children's writer, novelist, memoirist, essayist, critic, broadcaster and apologist. So yes, C.S. Lewis had an enormous literary influence . He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University and Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University. He wrote more than thirty books: just the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures, so far.

Click on Covers below to see Reviews

In 1962 The Christian Century magazine published C.S. Lewis’s answer to the question, “What books did most to shape your vocational latitude and your philosophy of life?” Here is is list.

  1. Phantastes by George MacDonald 2. The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton. 3. The aeneid by Virgil 4. The Temple by George Herbert 5 The Prelude by William Wordsworth, 6. The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto 7. The onsolation of Philosophy by Boethius, 8. Life of Samuel JoHnson by James Boswell 9 Descent into Hell by Charles Williams 10 Theism and Humanism by Arthur Jamers Balfour