While researching for her PhD thesis, Stephanie L. Derrick uncovered a forgotten C.S. Lewis article—forgotten in the sense that it that had not appeared in scholarly bibliographies of his work. Entitled “A Christmas Sermon for Pagans,” it reads in part:
“A universe of colourless electrons (which is presently going to run down and annihilate all organic life everywhere and forever) is, perhaps, a little dreary compared with the earth-mother and the sky-father, the wood nymphs and the water nymphs, chaste Diana riding the night sky and homely Vesta flickering on the hearth. But one can’t have everything, and there are always the flicks and the radio: if the new view is correct, it has very solid advantages.”
And then later:
“It looks to me, neighbours, as though we shall have to set about becoming true Pagans if only as a preliminary to becoming Christians. … For (in a sense) all that Christianity adds to Paganism is the cure. It confirms the old belief that in this universe we are up against Living Power: that there is a real Right and that we have failed to obey it: that existence is beautiful and terrifying. It adds a wonder of which Paganism had not distinctly heard—that the Mighty One has come down to help us, to remove our guilt, to reconcile us.”
Read Derrick’s article about unearthing this C.S. Lewis sermon along with an unlikely article he apparently wrote about cricket (under his pseudonym).
By the way, Derrick is turning her thesis into an upcoming book: The Fame of C. S. Lewis: A Controversialist’s Reception in Britain and America, to be published by Oxford University Press in July 2018 (that release date according to Amazon.com).
And while we’re talking Christmas, see what C.S. Lewis had to say about ritual, which included some thoughts about the holiday season.
Posted in C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Christmas
Tagged articles by C.S. Lewis, books, C.S. Lewis, Christmas, holidays, paganism, pagans, rediscovered writings, research, ritual, scholarship, Stephanie L. Derrick
“[I]f the New Testament is right, Christ did not come to pluck souls from an evil and worthless creation and transport them to an angelic existence; instead he came to announce the beginning of the world’s renewal.”
– from The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of University Education by Norman Klassen of St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario, and Jens Zimmerman of Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia
LiturgicalCredo.com has posted an interview with Don W. King, author of Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter (Kent State University Press). The book is due in May.
In 1955, English poet Ruth Pitter became the first woman to receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. She had previously won two other major poetry awards.
Pitter was admired by W.B. Yeats and C.S. Lewis, as well as other members of the Inklings.
Don W. King discovered references to letters between Lewis and Pitter while he was doing research for his 2001 book, C.S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse (Kent State University Press). After that, he continued to research Pitter, and the result was Hunting the Unicorn.
You’ll find the interview prominently displayed on our home page.
(Mac users, if you happen to notice any strange breaks in the text of the interview, please let us know by leaving a comment on this post.)
Colin Foote Burch
Posted in academics, books, c.s.lewis, Christianity, education, feminism, Inklings, literature, news, poetry, scholarship
Tagged academia, academics, books, c.s.lewis, Christianity, criticism, education, faith, feminism, Inklings, literature, news, poetry, RuthPitter, scholarship, WBYeats