The Life & Legacy of C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, on November 29, 1898. The beloved author and scholar is honored for his contributions to literary criticism, Christian apologetics, and children’s fantasy literature. Lewis was deeply influenced by reading the works of George MacDonald, and his scholarly studies were steeped in chivalric literature and medieval legends. He was also fortunate to have had a decades-long friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

C.S. Lewis’ most well-known works are The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, and The Screwtape Letters. His writings have been translated into over thirty languages, and millions of copies have been sold worldwide. The majority of his 40 plus books have remained in print since his death on November 22, 1963 (the same day President John F. Kennedy died). Starting in 2013, the C.S. Lewis Foundation will be hosting a series of events in the United States and England celebrating 50 years of C.S. Lewis’s enduring legacy.

The C.S. Lewis Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to enabling a genuine renaissance of Christian scholarship and artistic expression within the mainstream of the contemporary university and the culture at large. College professor Dr. J. Stanley Matson was looking for a role model who could illustrate his vision of ministry to academia: “We need a role model of someone who can enter into the marketplace, as Jesus did, and really reach out to them in love and not in a patronizing way, but in a really nurturing way. For me Lewis became an example of that.”

According to the C.S. Lewis Foundation: “Students attending secular institutions of higher learning today are exposed to a wide array of alternative views within the classroom. What is painfully evident, however, is that, with but few notable exceptions, there are virtually no serious, professionally credible, and identifiably Christian intellectuals at the faculty level within the mainstream of American university life today. Most students understandably, if mistakenly, conclude that the Christian faith can’t hold its own among serious and intelligent people. The cumulative result, as each academic year passes, is a student body that is increasingly devoid of spiritual understanding, vision, and hope.”

In the words of C.S. Lewis, “The sources of unbelief among young people today do not lie in those young people. … This very obvious fact – that each generation is taught by an earlier generation – must be kept very firmly in mind. …Nothing which was not in the teachers can flow from them into the pupils.” (From “On the Transmission of Christianity” from God In The Dock) Bearing this in mind, it is imperative that we ask, “What can we do to more truly nurture the young and restore the vital Christian thought and expression to the mainstream of the university world and society at large?”

As a key objective of its mission, the Foundation has long envisioned establishing C.S. Lewis College, a fully accredited, four-year “Great Books” college with a School of the Visual and Performing Arts. For more information, visit www.cslewis.org or www.cslewiscollege.org.

Read a biography of C.S. Lewis, and find additional resources at: FamousHomeschoolers.net.

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