Guest / Limited Access /
Q+A: Why Rowan Williams Loves C.S. Lewis
Williams: Andrew Winning / Reuters

To many American readers, it probably doesn't seem strange that a British Christian leader would write a book about C.S. Lewis's Narnia. But as former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams himself notes, Lewis's children's stories have always been more popular in America than in Britain, especially among intellectual elites. Williams has published several significant volumes of theology and poetry, but earlier this year he released a relatively slim volume on how the Narnia books can reinvigorate readers' understanding of the Christian message. While working as CT's editorial resident, Melissa Steffan interviewed Williams as she reported a separate story on new interest in Lewis in the UK. (Meanwhile, the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College is today hosting a conference on why Lewis has had more influence in the U.S. than in his own country. Audio will be available shortly.)

Why write one more book on Lewis and Narnia?

The book began with three lectures in Canterbury while I was archbishop, trying to explain what I thought was going on in the Narnia books and what the main themes were. I wanted to emphasize two things.

First, the Narnia books were mostly designed to give you a feeling for what it's like to be a Christian—not to make an argument or create an allegory, but to give a sense of what it's like to respond in faith to Christ, what it's like to be in a world where all your understanding is decisively shaped by that faith. Second, I take up a theme that comes up many times in the books, which is that we learn from our relationship with God to identify much more accurately how dishonest we are with ourselves about ourselves. Quite often you come back to the theme of stripping away the comforting story we ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueI Went From Fighting in a Cage to Living in a Hut
I Went From Fighting in a Cage to Living in a Hut
How an MMA fighter found Jesus—and discovered his calling in the Congo.
Recommended
Subscriber Access Only
Why You Won't Like Turkish Delight As Much As Edmund Did
Though sales are up in the U.K., no one thinks the exotic, rose-flavored candy will catch on in the U.S.
TrendingCompassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships
Compassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships
About 145,000 children have already lost its assistance with food, education, and health care.
Editor's PickThe Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
The Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
It begins by recognizing the name above every name.
%%var.bookTitle%%
The Lion's World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia
Oxford University Press
2013-03-08
168 pp., $12.47
Buy %%var.bookTitle%% from Amazon
Christianity Today
Q+A: Why Rowan Williams Loves C.S. Lewis
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.