This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 22 -- Feast of Venerable Clive Staples Lewis

In 1947, two years before C. S. Lewis wrote the Narnia series, Time Magazine wrote this about him:
That [large and appreciative] audience is the result of Lewis’ special gift for dramatizing Christian dogma. He would be the last to claim that what he says is new; but, like another eloquent and witty popularizer of Christianity, the late G. K. Chesterton, he has a talent for putting old-fashioned truths into a modern idiom.
 C. S. Lewis is not formally canonized or venerated by any Christian congregation, as far as I am aware.  He is, however, highly respected for his popular tracts on Christianity, which Time noted had sold more than a million copies before The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe pushed him into a higher orbit of authors.  The Narnia series, his bestselling works, have sold more than 100 million copies, but he published over sixty books.  Moreover, The Screwtape Letters, a series of commentaries on Christian ideas packaged as correspondence between two demons, has been adapted for the stage and of course three of the Narnia stories were released as feature films. 

Mr. Lewis is not without his detractors.  Mr. David J. Stewart, for example, posted a lengthy denunciation of the author, in which he concludes: "The writings of C.S. Lewis are of the Devil."  It's probably obvious, but let me be perfectly clear that I disagree. 

Clive Staples Lewis was a brilliant scholar and gifted writer whose honest atheism gave way to honest faith in Christianity.  It was not the virulent, schismatic faith of the born-again Pharisees who are quick to make themselves judges of orthodoxy, but the simple, pure faith in what Mr. Lewis called Mere Christianity.  I would not recommend that the Anglican Church consider canonization of him; they seem to have enough on their plates.  But since I have granted myself license to recognize the saints, beati, and venerables that other canons have omitted, I am pleased to welcome Venerable Clive Staples Lewis to the Canon.

Sidenote:  Mr. Lewis died of kidney failure one week before his sixty-fifth birthday. The very day of his death -- November 22, 1963 -- is more widely known as the date of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.  As an American, I can hardly post a calendar or almanac which failed to acknowledge such a traumatic day for the USA. 

No comments:

Post a Comment