C. S. Lewis and Myth

I’ve just been reading about C. S. Lewis, who is famous of course for his Narnia stories. He was also a leading writer on religion, an “apologist” for Christianity if you like, around the second word war period.

I found particularly interesting what scholars have said about his use of myth. His interest in this was spurred on by his fellow “Inkling” J. R. Tolkien (author as you all know of the Lord of the Rings series). Lewis came to see that the great Greek and Roman myths were compatible with Christianity. He had previously thought that they were incompatible. Now he argued that the old myths of the Norse and classical Graeco-Roman worlds were anticipations of the full truth, the grand narrative or “big picture” that was offered by Christian faith. As Lewis wrote in an essay, we should expect to find “in the imagination of the great Pagan teachers and myth-makers some glimpse of that theme which we believe to be the very plot of the whole cosmic story – the theme of incarnation, death and rebirth”. 

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