ROSLYN rosgross at
Fri Dec 17 08:23:21 EST 2004

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles Butler" <hannibal at>
To: <dwj at>
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2004 11:03 PM
Subject: Re: Huh

> Ros:
>> I have absolutely no idea why my post on C.S. Lewis just appeared in my
>> Inbox 3 times! I apologise--except that I don't know what, if anything, I
>> did anything wrong!
> I think we can take it that it was an allegorical reference to the 
> doctrine
> of the Trinity.

Of course. I knew that. :-)

 (Actually it only showed up once in mine, thus revealing my
> latent unitarianism.)

Obviously it reveals that I am in three minds about everything.

> I've always liked C.S. Lewis, and my liking doesn't seem to be 
> particularly
> correlated to the degree of religiosity. The Narnias are favourite, but 
> I've
> also re-read most of his theological books several times, and The 
> Pilgrim's
> Regress is a book I frequently return (or perhaps regress) to. Less keen 
> on
> his SF trilogy, and of the three I'm least keen on the first - just too
> slow, is my memory of it. The attitudes that grate on me, at various
> isolated points, are those to do with women and royalism and his 
> instinctive
> mistrust of change in general, rather than the religion. Although I'm not 
> a
> believer his religious beliefs are ones I feel I could 'discuss' with him
> (except that in the flesh I think he was a rather frightening debater), 
> and
> besides I like to see what it's like to hold them, which he lets me do as
> few other writers do.

Yes, I think it's his unease about women and his distrust of change that 
irritate me most about him as well, and the way he mocks certain ideas as if 
they were inherently stupid, unable to see that this was merely his 
subjective reaction rather than anything objective. The way he is scathing 
about vegetarianism and coeducation in _Voyage of the Dawntreader_  is a 
good example. He seems unable to be tolerant of anything he personally 
doesn't embrace.  But it doesn't really interfere with my love of the 
Narnian books (in fact, tVotDT is one of my very favourites).

And I agree totally with the people who have pointed out the underlying 
attitude behind the image in _The Last Battle_ of Aslan loving the Calormene 
despite the fact that he has worshipped Tash all his life--that's one of the 
things I really like about Lewis as a thinker, and it probably makes up for 
his inherently and reactionary attitudes to so much else.


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