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Irish-born academic, writer and Christian apologist Clive Staples Lewis (1898 - 1963). As a Fellow and Tutor of Magdalen College he taught at Oxford from 1925 to 1954. Original Publication: Picture Post - 5159 - Eternal Oxford - pub. 1950 (Photo by John Chillingworth/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
John Chillingworth/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Politics of C.S. Lewis

England’s greatest Christian apologist was also among its most insightful political thinkers.

By  Spencer Klavan

C.S. Lewis is primarily known for his fictional works (most popularly the Chronicles of Narnia) and his faith-focused writing, including Mere Christianity. But Lewis believed that claims upon the soul are claims upon the whole of life. In other words, everything Lewis said and wrote about his faith had real-world implications — including political implications. Reading Lewis’s work with this in mind reveals profound political insights. The following, the first of a series, looks at the politics of C.S. Lewis as revealed in multiple works.

In December 1918, a young man of 20 returned to Oxford University after a year of service among the British forces on the Western Front of the First World War. Heartsick and demoralized, C.S. Lewis completed the degree he had put on hold to fight in the army. His academic performance — in Philosophy, Ancient History and Literature, and English — was dazzling. But he was an embittered, broken man. The carnage of the war had snuffed out whatever diffident faith remained from his Anglican upbringing: he would later describe himself in Surprised by Joy (1955) as having been both “very angry with God for not existing” and “equally angry with him for creating a world.”

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