A comprehensive examination of the major Lewis texts
C. S. Lewis was a gifted writer in all manner of forms - science fiction, apologetics, autobiography, and literary criticism. Wesley Kort, like a seasoned docent, takes us to the heart of a dozen of Lewis's major works, poignantly commenting on core themes.
From the unbending belief in invisible powers that animates Till We Have Faces to the depiction of Aslan's sacrifice and resurrection in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis's writing has sparked intense debate about the presence and function of religion in his works. Today, a reader's opinion of Lewis is more often than not based on his or her perspectives on religion. In Reading C. S. Lewis, Wesley A. Kort examines Lewis's work as a whole, investigating why and at what points Lewis turns to religion-and particularly to Christianity-in order to advance his arguments.
Kort moves through more than a dozen of Lewis's major books, providing a useful guide to their various elements while connecting readers to the literary contexts that influenced the works and Lewis himself. Reading C. S. Lewis examines the standing of Lewis's work, how best to approach the books, and the misunderstandings that lead to mistaken readings. The commentaries also function as free-standing essays that can be read individually and in any order.
Reading C. S. Lewis: A Commentary sets a new standard for C. S. Lewis studies. A comprehensive examination of the major Lewis texts, this volume is a captivating look into the author's work from a refreshingly undogmatic point of view.
Wesley A. Kort is Professor Emeritus of Religion at Duke University and author of C. S. Lewis Then and Now (OUP 2004).
A rich presentation of C.S. Lewis' place in the literary and academic culture of Oxford and Cambridge, with fresh, exciting views on his space trilogy, Narnia, apologetics, and his standing as a moral philosopher. A must for serious students of this writer, whose importance increases with every decade.
co-author of The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield
Reading C.S. Lewis should be read by Lewis devotees and detractors alike. In this remarkably wise and balanced account of Lewis' imaginative and apologetic works, readers of every persuasion will discover an intellect more capacious, a sensibility more congenial, and a world-view more inclusive and edifying than those of the sectarian Lewis created and somewhat distorted by our own cultural wars.
author of C.S. Lewis on the Final Frontier: Science and the Supernatural in the Space Trilogy
Wesley Kort's achievement is to have written a treatment of C. S. Lewis that is, first, synoptic, in that it covers generously yet concisely the broad ambit of Lewis's writing. Kort is at once a sensitive and a sensible reader of Lewis, who takes seriously Lewis' thought while refusing to play the 'are you for him or are you against him?' game. Kort has given us an 'experiment in criticism' of an order that Lewis himself would surely have appreciated.
-Richard A. Rosengarten,
The University of Chicago Divinity School
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