Book of the Month
Our book of the month for February is the classic Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. This book is one of the many titles specially selected for the shop by our Canon Theologian, due to its wonderful insights into the Christian faith.
C.S. Lewis is known as one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, best known for the classic ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series which has been subject to many TV and film adaptations. His writing earned him the honour of a memorial stone within Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner, laid on the 50th anniversary of his death in 2013. Aside from his fame as a novelist, he also became known for his many theology books which explored Christian values and theological questions. As a child he was raised in the Church of Ireland before deciding to become an atheist at the age of 15. He gradually came back to religion during his time spent at Oxford, which included theological discussions with friends like the great novelist J.R.R. Tolkien. He finally converted back to Christianity in 1931.
In this book C.S. Lewis has created a wonderful introduction to the Christian faith which he deliberately tried to keep as non-denominational as possible. He described the book as being like “a hall out of which doors open into several rooms”. He believed it was for people themselves to decide if and how they would like to follow the Christian path; he only wished to introduce people to it and help them begin their journey. The book is based on a series of lectures that Lewis gave for the BBC during the Second World War, which he then went back and refined to be presented in a written format. As Kathleen Norris stated in the foreword this “book begs to be seen in its historical context, as a bold act of storytelling and healing in a world gone mad”. Lewis fought in World War One and then saw the damage caused during the blitz first hand in his role as an air raid warden. Surrounded by the death and destruction being caused by the war it is not surprising that he wanted to provide comfort and hope to the nation with his message of faith.