Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday

to Clive Staples Lewis, born in Belfast, Ireland on November 22, 1898. You may know him better as CS Lewis.

He fought in World War I, then studied at Oxford. After his graduation Lewis taught English at Oxford and Cambridge. As a youth Lewis gave up on Christianity. In 1929 he had a reconversion to the Christian faith, though he continued to wrestle with doubt in some of his published works.

He was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist who published academic works, religious books, and science fiction before trying his hand at children's literature with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the other 6 books in The Chronicles of Narnia.  
Some of his more adult books included Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters and are are intellectual explorations into the meaning of faith. He became friends with JRR Tolkien (of Lord of the Rings fame) and once said of Tolkien, "When I began teaching for the English Faculty, I made two other friends, both Christians (these queer people seemed now to pop up on every side) who were later to give me much help in getting over the last stile. They were H.V.V. Dyson ... and J.R.R. Tolkien. Friendship with the latter marked the breakdown of two old prejudices. At my first coming into the world I had been (implicitly) warned never to trust a Papist, and at my first coming into the English Faculty (explicitly) never to trust a philologist. Tolkien was both."

Lewis married Joy Gresham in 1956. When she died from cancer in 1960, Lewis wrote a book about his own grief process, A Grief Observed. C.S. Lewis died on November 22, 1963.

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