Mere Christianity And The Screwtape Letters By C.S. Lewis

1246 words - 5 pages

C.S Lewis was like a rebellious teenager of the modern time period. He lived only during the modern era and very beginning of the postmodern era, but in his later years Lewis liked to describe himself as "old-fashioned", writing using ideas contrary to the time periods in which he lived. The modern and postmodern time periods began to view religion as a myth, and used reason to perceive the world instead. During his younger years Lewis embraced the ideas of the modern era, but his world-view changed upon his conversion to Christianity. Since he had dabbled in aspects of both modern and pre-modern eras, his later works intertwined the ideas of both literary periods.
During his early life, Clive Staples Lewis was raised in church (Stewart 1). However, as modernism continued to gain influence, Lewis started to create his own, new perspective. Individualized, unique perspectives were one of the major aspects of modernism. Modernists of that time also rejected religion and instead chose to see it as a myth. They appreciated religion, but as an interesting story instead of a belief system (Matterson 1). That is just what C.S. Lewis came to believe; that Jesus' life was no more than an embellished story of an ordinary man. He put aside his Christian roots and became enthralled with Pagan myth. Lewis' writings reflected his atheist beliefs, until the early 1930s when he- after many talks with devoted Catholic J.R.R. Tolkien- rededicated his life to Christ (Gopnik 13).
After his conversion, C.S. Lewis' writings became less modernistic. Many of his most famous writings, such as Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and The Chronicles of Narnia series contain his Christian worldview (Stewart 1), which was completely opposite of the modernist idea that everyone needs to have their own perspective on life and no one could outline the way another should live. (Bowen 5). Outlining is exactly what Mere Christianity did. C.S. Lewis provided explanations of common morals and values between all denominations of Christianity that should be followed. Lewis said "Ever since I became a Christian I have thought that the best, perhaps the only, service I could do for my unbelieving neighbors was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times. (Lewis VIII)" While modernists rejected the idea of religion, Lewis wrote books on the importance of it.
Lewis was then nearing the end of his writing career, and had experienced two world perspectives. His writings combined aspects of those perspectives. While he wrote books with underlying Christian messages, he also kept his passion for the idea of magic and supernatural happenings. A perfect example of such a combination was The Chronicles of Narnia series; especially in the second book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the story of the magic land of Narnia follows closely with Christian allegory. Adam Gopnik wrote a critical work on the obvious Christian allegory in The...

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