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Was C.S. Lewis an Oxford Don?

Was C.S. Lewis an Oxford Don? July 9, 2021

When I talked to the other professor about why C.S. Lewis wouldn’t be considered among the Oxford Dons, he was kind of sad about the idea. He explained that C.S. Lewis almost blatantly refused to write to the academie, refused to write to a higher level.


the great C.S. Lewis debate

C.S. LEWIS WORKS MENTIONED

  • Mere Christianity
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • Space Trilogy
  • Screwtape Letters

EVANGELICAL COLUMN

JCIngle PODCAST

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Video lead-in

I just want to share something real quick as an illustration, you know. I was talking to a couple professors at different times in seminary about the great debate over C.S. Lewis.

One of them contended that C.S. Lewis wrote one of the best philosophical books of all time for Christians.

The other one claimed that Lewis wasn’t really among the “Dons,” so to speak, of Oxford. He did attend Oxford, and so he knew exactly.

The other one contended that Lewis wrote the best Christian philosophical book, and that was Mere Christianity.

I’ve read it. I believe it is a tremendous work, if you look at it from a philosophical standpoint. I know people look at it and look for more Scripture because that’s what we’re used to looking for. However, C.S. Lewis didn’t write Mere Christianity in that way. He wrote it for the greater academie, so to speak.

When I talked to the other professor about why C.S. Lewis wouldn’t be considered among the Oxford Dons, he was kind of sad about the idea. He explained that C.S. Lewis almost blatantly refused to write to the academie, refused to write to a higher level. Because of that, he fell into an arena where he really wasn’t as respected as he could have been.

He wrote really well for us. Many of us grew up reading a lot of his wonderful works like the Chronicles of Narnia, Space Trilogy, and Screwtape Letters. However, he wrote in the common tongue, and he spoke in the common tongue. He spoke to crowds in ways that they could understand him quite well.

(Video lead-in | transcription of first 1:45 minutes of 8:29)

Magdalen-College-Oxford-University
Velvet | Lodgings du Magdalen College a Oxford | 11.18.12 | creative commons

This is the college where J.R.R. Tolkien an C.S. Lewis taught at Oxford University, but not all professors became Dons.


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