Letters

2001This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

The Wonders of Myth


Mythical tales are too often denounced and rejected by the Christian establishment ["Myth Matters," April 23]. Our culture walks a sharp line between the twin chasms of empirical science and spiritual nihilism, with individuals looking for personal truths in both voids. C. S. Lewis knew that mythology is an arrow piercing to the heart of the human need for truth.

Our culture has a deep hunger for mythology. In the midst of mythical films like Star Wars, mythically inspired card games like Magic: The Gathering, and mythically based video games like Diablo 2, we as Christians have a responsibility to respond to this cultural desire on a mythic level. Lewis knew this. Particularly, he and J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, recognized the deep impact of myth. It was the shared love of Norse mythology that sparked a friendship between Tolkien and Lewis and was perhaps one of the most important steps on Lewis's path to Christianity.

I hope that Christians no longer shun the myriad mythologies throughout history and current culture, but embrace them as the human search for the ultimate factual historical mythology—Christ's life, death, resurrection.

But let's enjoy the stories, the heroic journeys, the "subcreation" (as Tolkien put it), without making them Christian allegories.
Jonathan A. Watson
Arcadia, California

In "Myth Matters," Louis Markos claims that the central goal of New Age thought is to restore "a spiritual focus to a society that generally resists any serious consideration of the supernatural."

Basing an analysis of Lewis's mythos on this assumption leaves out another very spiritual dimension of his program—that is, what he called "macrobes," or demons, whose program is to transform the ...

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

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

Tags:
From Issue:
July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
More from this IssueRead This Issue
Read These Next
close