The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis

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A distinguished academic, influential Christian apologist, and best-selling author of children's literature, C. S. Lewis is a controversial and enigmatic figure who continues to fascinate, fifty years after his death. This Companion is the first comprehensive single-volume study written by an international team of scholars to survey Lewis's career as a literary historian, popular theologian, and creative writer. Twenty-one expert voices from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, and Wheaton, among many other places of learning, analyze Lewis's work from theological, philosophical, and literary perspectives. Some chapters consider his professional contribution to fields such as critical theory and intellectual history, while others assess his views on issues including moral knowledge, gender, prayer, war, love, suffering, and Scripture. The final chapters investigate his work as a writer of fiction and poetry. Original in its approach and unique in its scope, this Companion shows that C. S. Lewis was much more than merely the man behind Narnia.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In his superb introduction, MacSwain explains that the goal of this collection is to offer a fair, in-depth examination of Lewis's body of work-perhaps fort he first time. (According to MacSwain US Evangelicals have a tendency to adore Lewis uncritically, whereas British literature professors and theologians tend to dismiss his work out of hand, in part because of its appeal) MacSwain and Ward (Univ of Oxford, UK) succeed in achieving this stated goal of critical evenhandedness. Readable both as individual essays and as part of a nuanced, book-length argument, the chapters offer an objective appraisal of Lewis's scholarship, this theological writings, and the literary merit of his novels and poetry. Among the best essays are Ann Loades's examination of Lewis's views of female clergy and his postmarriage reflections of romantic love in A Grief Observed; Jerry Walls's interepretation of The Great Divorce; and Judith Wolfe's exploration of why writer Philip Pullman believes that the Narnia novels promote violence and imperialism. A truly wonderful collection. Essential."

"The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis succeeds in its purpose, scope, and coverage as a winsome, informative, and informed volume to accompany novice and veteran readers of Lewis in their pursuit of his insight and its source. Essays that both instruct and delight in Lewis studies are few; we can be grateful that under one cover, MacSwain and Ward have gathered so many."
VII: An Anglo-American Literary Review

"… the volume succeeds in bringing fresh insight. Lewis is engaged as a serious writer who sought thoughtful response, rather than applause from uncritical fans. One major strength is a thoroughgoing tendency to see Lewis's work as a whole, noting ways different books in different genre inform each other."
William Frantz, Anglican Theological Review

"… succeeds in conveying the richness and complexity of Lewis' thought with an appropriately commendable depth, clarity, and imagination."
Jason Ward, The Expository Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521884136
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/27/2010
  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Religion Series
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert MacSwain is Assistant Professor in Theology and Christian Ethics, the School of Theology, University of the South, Tennessee. He is the co-editor, with Jeffrey Stout, of Grammar and Grace (2004), and, with Ann Loades, of The Truth-Seeking Heart (2006).

Michael Ward is Chaplain at St Peter's College, University of Oxford. He is the author of Planet Narnia (2008) and the co-editor, with Ben Quash, of Heresies and How to Avoid Them (2007).

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Table of Contents



Chronology C. S. Lewis Lewis, C. S.

1 Introduction Robert MacSwain MacSwain, Robert 1

Part I Scholar

2 Literary critic John V. Fleming Fleming, John V. 15

3 Literary theorist Stephen Logan Logan, Stephen 29

4 Intellectual historian Dennis Danielson Danielson, Dennis 43

5 Classicist Mark Edwards Edwards, Mark 58

Part II Thinker

6 On scripture Kevin J. Vanhoozer Vanhoozer, Kevin J. 75

7 On theology Paul S. Fiddes Fiddes, Paul S. 89

8 On naturalism Charles Taliaferro Taliaferro, Charles 105

9 On moral knowledge Gilbert Meilaender Meilaender, Gilbert 119

10 On discernment Joseph P. Cassidy Cassidy, Joseph P. 132

11 On love Caroline J. Simon Simon, Caroline J. 146

12 On gender Ann Loades Loades, Ann 160

13 On power Judith Wolfe Wolfe, Judith 174

14 On violence Stanley Hauerwas Hauerwas, Stanley 189

15 On suffering Michael Ward Ward, Michael 203

Part III Writer

16 The Pilgrim's Regress and Surprised by Joy David Jasper Jasper, David 223

17 The Ransom Trilogy T. A. Shippey Shippey, T. A. 237

18 The Great Divorce Jerry L. Walls Walls, Jerry L. 251

19 The Chronicles of Narnia Alan Jacobs Jacobs, Alan 265

20 Till We Have Faces Peter J. Schakel Schakel, Peter J. 281

21 Poet Malcolm Guite Guite, Malcolm 294

Bibliography 311

Index 319

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