The C. S. Lewis Society Newsletter
C.S. Lewis Society Book and Film Club of the Bay Area: Meetings are held bi-weekly at 7:30 p.m. to read and discuss books by C. S. Lewis and others. To attend or inquire with questions, please phone 510-635-6892 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, April 8 and 22: That Hideous Strength, by C.S. Lewis; leader/moderator, Suzanne P. Cartmell, Esq.
Written during the dark hours immediately before and during the Second World War, C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, of which That Hideous Strength is the third volume, stands alongside such works as Albert Camus's The Plague and George Orwell's 1984 as a timely parable that has become timeless, beloved by succeeding generations as much for the sheer wonder of its storytelling as for the significance of its Christian moral concerns. For the trilogy's central figure, C.S. Lewis created perhaps the most memorable character of his career, the brilliant, clear-eyed, and fiercely brave philologist Dr. Elwin Ransom. Appropriately, Lewis modeled Dr. Ransom on his dear friend J.R.R. Tolkien, for in the scope of its imaginative achievement and the totality of its vision of not one but two imaginary worlds, the Space Trilogy is rivaled in this century only by Tolkien's trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Readers who fall in love with Lewis's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia as children unfailingly cherish his Space Trilogy as adults; it, too, brings to life strange and magical realms in which epic battles are fought between the forces of light and those of darkness. But in the many layers of its allegory, and the sophistication and piercing brilliance of its insights into the human condition, it occupies a place among the English language's most extraordinary works for any age, and for all time. In That Hideous Strength, the final installment of the Space Trilogy, the dark forces that have been repulsed in Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra are massed for an assault on planet Earth itself. Word is on the wind that the mighty wizard Merlin has come back to the land of the living after many centuries, holding the key to ultimate power for the force that can find him and bend him to its will. A sinister technocratic organization that is gaining totalitarian power throughout England, N.I.C.E. (the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments), secretly controlled by humanity's mortal enemies, plans to use Merlin in their plot to "recondition" society. Dr. Ransom forms a countervailing group, Logres, in opposition, and the two groups struggle to a climactic resolution that brings the Space Trilogy to a magnificent, crashing close.
"Well-written, fast-paced satirical fantasy." —Time
"In his usual polished prose, the author creates an elaborate satiral picture of a war between moralitty and devilry."—The New Yorker
"Lewis, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century writer, forced those who listened to him and read his works to come to terms with their own philosophical presuppositions."—Los Angeles Times
Your Gift Now Will Help Share the Joy!
For 2014, we invite you to join with us as a Member of the C.S. Lewis Society with a tax-deductible contribution and participate in the Society while supporting our unique, very timely and far-reaching Christian educational program. And with your gift now of $100 or more, you can receive a FREE book or DVD!
About C. S. Lewis:
In its November 7, 2005 issue, Time magazine noted the following about the world-renowned Oxford/Cambridge scholar and best-selling author C.S. Lewis:
“In 1947, a Time cover story hailed Lewis as ‘one of the most influential spokesmen for Christianity in the English-speaking world.’ Now, 58 years later (and 42 years after his death, in 1963), he could arguably be called the hottest theologian.”
Indeed, C. S. Lewis’s books sell at an astounding rate worldwide, and in his extensive and immensely popular work, he very effectively champions objective truth, goodness, natural law, literary excellence, reason, science, individual liberty, personal responsibility, and Christian faith. In his professional writings, Lewis was a literary critic, novelist, poet, essayist, and man of letters. His work captures a grandeur, precision, wit, imagination and insight seldom matched by others, and in the process, he articulately critiques the materialism, reductionism, scientism, collectivism, nihilism, statism, and de-humanization of the modern era.
C. S. Lewis Graphics
For background information on the images to the left, please click here.
Books, Films, CDs and More:
Of his many works, Lewis is probably best known for his book series, The Chronicles of Narnia, which have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and are now the subject of a major new series of films. With the enormous success of the first three Narnia films, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair is scheduled for release in 2015. In addition, other novels by Lewis are being made into films, including The Screwtape Letters which is underway, and efforts are being pursued for a film based on The Great Divorce.
And with the significant increase in sales for Lewis’s books (many of which are also available on CD)which were already selling 6 millions copies annuallymany people are discovering Lewis for the first time while others are rediscovering the unique magic and relevance of his work.
The scope of Lewis’s work is quite remarkable, including philosophy and theologyThe Abolition of Man, Christian Reflections, Mere Christianity, The Four Loves, The Problem of Pain, Miracles; literary history and criticismThe Discarded Image, The Allegory of Love, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century; fictionThe Screwtape Letters, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength, The Great Divorce, Till We Have Faces; autobiographySurprised by Joy, A Grief Observed; current affairsGod in the Dock, Present Concerns; poetryNarrative Poems, Poems; and much more.
Your Invitation to Join the C. S. Lewis Society of California:
As a result, we welcome those who may be interested in C.S. Lewis to become a Member and participate in the program of the C. S. Lewis Society of California. The Society is interested in events, articles, interviews, publications, and other developments that advance deeper understanding of the life, works, and ideas of C. S. Lewis and others who are addressing the enduring philosophical, cultural, historical, literary, theological, social, and economic issues of mankind.
“For the last thirty years of his life no other Christian writer in this century had such an influence on the general reading public as C.S. Lewis.”The Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Lewis gives us permission to admit our own doubts, our own angers and anguishes, and to know that they are part of the soul’s growth.”Madeleine L’Engle, author, A Wrinkle in Time and other books
“I read Lewis for comfort and pleasure many years ago, and a glance into the books revives my old admiration.”John Updike, novelist and poet
"C.S. Lewis, the greatest Christian apologist of the twentieth century . . . The Screwtape Letters. I love it."Harper Lee, author, To Kill a Mockingbird
“Rarely is so much learning displayed with so much grace and charm.” “Lewis combines a novelist’s insights into motives with a profound religious understanding.”The New York Times Book Review
“Lewis, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century writer, forced those who listened to him and read his works to come to terms with their own philosophical presuppositions.”Los Angeles Times
"C. S. Lewis was a genius."Thomas S. Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, State University of New York Upstate Health Science Center
“Lewis’s words appear often in my Mitford storieswhere would the Christian thinker be without Lewis? He is pivotal.”Jan Karon, author of The Mitford books
“Lucid, urbane, modest, and humorous. . . Lewis writing on the aspect of fiction called Story has to be listened to, since he was himself a superb story-teller.”Anthony Burgess, author, playwright, and composer
“If wit and wisdom, style and scholarship are requisites to passage through the pearly gates, Mr. Lewis will be among the angels.”The New Yorker
“A powerful, discriminating and poetic mind, great learning, startling wit, and overwhelming imagination. ”Saturday Review
“Somebody pointed me towards C.S. Lewis's little book called Mere Christianity, which took all of my arguments that I thought were so airtight about the fact that faith is just irrational, and proved them totally full of holes. And in fact, turned them around the other way, and convinced me that the choice to believe is actually the most rational conclusion when you look at the evidence around you. That was a shocking sort of revelation, and one that I fought bitterly for about a year and then finally decided to accept.”Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Human Genome Research Institute; author, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
“Learned, brilliant and lively, Lewis was always an artist with words, whether as a professional academic writing for colleagues in his own field; as an author of novels, fantasies and tales for children; or as a composer of didactic expositions, apologetic discussions, and journal and newspaper articles by the bushel, all seeking to commend and consolidate Christian faith. He was fastidious and fair-minded (while sometimes satirical), probing and thoughtful, logical and magisterial, orthodox and arresting, and clear and compelling. . . . In short, he was never less than a first-class read. . . . The two lobes of our brain, left for the logical and linear and right for the romantic and imaginative, were both thoroughly developed in Lewis, so that he was as strong in fantasy and fiction as he was in analysis and argument. There is always a didactic dimension to his spiritual-life writing, just as there is always a visionary dimension to his apologetics. The combination made him in his day, and makes him still, a powerful and haunting communicator in both departments.”J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College