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C. S. Lewis: Revelation and the Christ . . .
is an in-depth study of the theology and philosophy of C.S. Lewis. This is written
for professional theologians/students, but also inquiring Christians who have read
As a series it consists of five books :
Book Three will be published in two parts
An in-depth bibliography, plus an introductory essay on Christology as the study of Christ, and a glossary, completes the series :
Click on the book titles above to find out more.
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All five books will be published by Wipf and Stock,
in the Pickwick Publications imprint.
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print edition was published on July 18, 2012.
Kindle/e-Book edition was published on September 7, 2012.
print edition was published on August 15, 2012.
Kindle/e-Book edition was published on September 26, 2012
print edition was published on May 7, 2013.
Kindle/e-Book edition was published May 24, 2013
print edition was published on September 20, 2012.
Kindle/e-Book edition was published on October 30, 2012.
print edition to be published Winter 2013/14.
Click on the above link, or on the books to the right, to find out more about the structure of the series, the contents generally of the five books, and comments and endorsements on the books already published
Jesus Christ is central to the Life and work of C. S. Lewis.
As a young atheist, Lewis gradually became ‘religious’, eventually being brought face-to-face with the reality of who and what Christ was, and is, by his friends J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson in a momentous night-time conversation along the riverside Addison’s Walk, Magdalen College, Oxford (click on the thumbnail above). This acceptance and encounter with Christ dictated, defined, and effected the rest of his life.
This was revelation; God’s self revelation. Primarily this is revelation to all of humanity in the form of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ; secondarily it is God revealing of God’s self to the person that was C.S. Lewis, to convert and actualise his redemption.
But why The Christ? The answer lies in Hebrew history: the expectation of the anointed one, messiah, who would save. There were many false messiahs, and many misplaced ideas about who and what The Christ would be...
C.S. Lewis held a deep respect for the beliefs and theology of the Early Church, and the Patristic Church (the Church of the Fathers, up to c. 650AD).
The key to Lewis’s Christology is in the authority of Christ in majesty, in the Last Judgement. This was represented in Patristic art by the Pantocrator, the risen and ascended Christ enthroned in majesty, surveying, sustaining and judging creation. This was Christ, the second person of the Trinity, as the ruler of the universe.
This was seen especially in Patristic and Byzantine art. For example, The Christ Pantocrator, a mosaic in the apse of Monreale Cathedral in Sicily (click on the thumbnail, above): the Lord of creation, and judge of all - the Word of God, with the word of God (usually one of the “I am” sayings) in his hand.
The image of Christ the Pantocrator was often painted within a semi-dome, therefore whatever part of the church the figure was viewed from, the person of Christ could be seen from all angles, and Christ’s eyes always appeared focused on the individual, the viewer: all-knowing, all-seeing, always there.
Christ was usually depicted in paintings and mosaics of the Pantocrator in the form of a Jewish man, God descended to be the humble servant, to die for our salvation, then to re-ascend drawing us up with Him. This descent-reascent was a motif and principle Lewis used often, drawn essentially from Patristic theologians. For example Athanasius (but also to a degree, from Irenaeus of Lyon): Christ is then represented reigning in judgement on high.
Lewis’s understanding of Christ is grounded, in many ways ,in the future, the pure transcendent action of the loving God, the God of love, yet manifested in and with humanity that comes to us, incarnated, Immanuel.
Why The Christ?
Lewis's conversion happened outside of church buildings, in the countryside, the natural world (Addison’s Walk Oxford), he was converted through an all-night conversation in this riverside walk to acceptance and belief in Jesus, the Christ, by the 'church' in the form of J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson; then his theology was written alone in the Bodleian library or in his study at home, then shared with the 'church' – fellow Christians – in the backroom of a smoke-laden, beer swilling, public house (The Eagle and Child). What does this tell us about Church and the Kingdom of God?
Publication . . .