Monday, January 6, 2014

Did You Know...C.S. Lewis

This week we take a look at an author known not only as a writer of fantastic children's books, but someone who was one of the greatest religious and philosophical thinkers of the 20th century. I'm talking of course about C.S. Lewis.

Let's see what little known facts I was able to dig up about him online.

Did you know...

  • His full name was Clive Staples Lewis, but his friends called him Jack? Jack was short for Jacksie, which was the name of his dog when he was a child.
  • When he was young, he loved the works of Beatrix Potter? When he was a child he was so fascinated by talking animals that he and his brother made up stories about a world called Boxen which was populated by talking animals.
  • When he was a teenager he became an atheist? His regained his faith in his early thirties.
  • In his teenage years, Lewis was interested in Norse, Greek and Irish mythology and literature?
  • He fought in World War I and was wounded by friendly fire?
  • Lewis taught at both Oxford and Cambridge?
  • He married Joy Davidman Gresham in 1956 when he was in his late 50's? She was an American who grew up Jewish, but became an atheist and a communist. She converted to Christianity before coming to England with her two sons after separating from her husband.
  • Lewis was part of a literary discussion group called the Inklings? It included J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord David Cecil and Nevill Coghill among others. They met every Tuesday morning to discuss literature and read from their works in progress.
  • Tolkien was a major influence in bringing Lewis back to Christianity, although Tolkien was Catholic while Lewis was Anglican?
  • Lewis took an "everyman" approach to his explanation of Christianity and God? His writings and lectures acknowledge the difficulty some have in believing and his arguments are focused on those who find it difficult to believe. This is most likely a direct result from having walked in those same shoes himself.
  • Lewis die the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated? Author Aldous Huxley died the same day as well.
Here's a trailer for the film Shadowlands, which chronicles the relationship between C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman Gresham. It's a really nice film, although a tad over-dramatized.

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