Bedeviled: Lewis, Tolkien and the Shadow of Evil

Bedeviled: Lewis, Tolkien and the Shadow of Evil

by Colin Duriez


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The battle between good and evil—in both the seen and unseen worlds—was as clearly at play in the era of C. S. Lewis and his friends in the Oxford literary group, the Inklings, as in our own era. Some of the members of the Inklings carried physical and psychological scars from World War I which led them to deeply consider the problem of evil during the dark era of World War II. Were they alive today, their view of a spiritual conflict behind physical battles would undoubtedly be reinforced.
Among the Inklings, Lewis was at the forefront of writing on human pain, suffering, devilry, miracles and the supernatural, with books like The Screwtape Letters and more. It is no surprise, then, that he provides the main focus of this book by expert Inklings writer Colin Duriez. J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy offers another rich resource with much to say to the World War II era and beyond. Other Inklings writings and conversations come into play as well as Duriez explores the writers' considerations of evil and spiritual warfare, particularly focused in the context of wartime.
Delving into the interplay between good and evil, these pages enlighten us to the way of goodness and the promise of a far country as we explore the way out of the shadow of evil.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830834174
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 03/16/2015
Pages: 235
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Colin Duriez is a professional writer and editor. Duriez won the Clyde S. Kilby Award for his research on the Inklings. He has appeared as a commentator on the extended-version film DVDs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and PBS's The Question of God, which compared C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud. His books include The C. S. Lewis Encyclopedia, The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter), J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship and Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings.

Table of Contents

Part I: Understanding Evil During a Time of War

1.The Cosmic Battle: C. S. Lewis in Wartime

2. Devilry and the Problem of Hell: The Screwtape Letters

3. Spiritual Conflict: Inklings in Wartime

4. Images of the Dark Side: The Lord of the Rings

5. Right and Wrong as a Clue to Meaning: The Problem of Pain and Mere Christianity

6. Exploring What Is Wrong with the World: The Cosmic Trilogy

Part II: The Intersection of Good and Evil

7. Progress and Regress in the Journey of Life: The Pilgrim's Regress

8. The Divide Between Good and Bad: Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle and Lewis's The Great Divorce

9. The Power of Change: The Chronicles of Narnia

10. Pain and Love: The Four Loves, Till We Have Faces and A Grief Observed

11. Release from Hell's Snares: Lewis and the Road out of the Self to Gain the Self

12. The Way of Goodness and the Far Country: Narnia and Middle Earth

Appendix 1. War in heaven: The Roots of Lewis's Concern with Devilry

Appendix 2. The Spirit of the Age: Subjectivism


Subject Index

What People are Saying About This

Bruce L. Edwards

"Nobody knows more about the respective canons of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien or their collaborative friendship than Colin Duriez, and he puts his erudition to work in this new volume that explores and elucidates the shadow of evil in their respective literary works. Those looking for contemporary insights into the source and problem of evil need look no further than Bedeviled."

Monika B. Hilder

"With his characteristic breadth of knowledge and depth of insight, Colin Duriez boldly explores what C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien have told us about the great cosmic battle between good and evil—in their own war-time experiences and especially in everyday life. Duriez captures how Lewis and Tolkien meet darkness head-on and show blow-by-blow how technocracy, egotism, disillusionment and loss of faith (the world, the flesh and the devil) are overcome by the love of God. This important book celebrates strong hope over and against the dire forces of darkness that beset us. Together, Lewis, Tolkien and Duriez raise the victory flag with high courage, wisdom and joy."

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