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The Lanier Theological Library’s C. S. Lewis collection was put on display on March 22, 2013, right before Alister McGrath’s lecture on Lewis.
C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963) was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland. He held academic positions at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He is best known both for his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain. Lewis made the journey from atheism to theism and then to Christian faith in his early 30’s. His faith had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.
Our C. S. Lewis collection is said to be one of the best in the USA, second only to the Marion E. Wade Center collection at Wheaton College. Included are 60 first edition books, starting with Lewis’s first book, Spirits in Bondage: A Cycle of Lyrics. The collection features a 9-page autographed manuscript of Lewis’ famous address in 1939 after the outbreak of World War II, now known as Learning in War-Time. There are four original illustrations from Prince Caspian by Pauline Baynes, illustrator for The Chronicles of Narnia stories, as well as several original handwritten notes and letters from C. S. Lewis. Lewis was in a group known as the “Inklings” and we have an original watercolor painting of the Oxford pub where they met weekly. There is also a copy of Time magazine, September 8, 1947, which features Lewis on the cover.