C.S. Lewis as a ‘Man of Letters’ rather than Scholar

downloadAs many are quite aware, this year marks the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis’ death and there have been various functions in Cambridge to commemorate his life and work since moving here in October. In whatever time has alloted this term, I have been trying to read more Lewis and books about him.

Recently I read Jacqueline Glenny’s short booklet, “C.S. Lewis’s Cambridge” and I came across a quote from John Stevens, one of Lewis’ Magdalene College colleagues at Cambridge. Stevens’ description of Lewis is a healthy reminder to those of us engaged in biblical research.

“…if talk was his play, books were his love. The enthusiasm and relish which C.S.L. brought to his reading, and that not only in the fields where he was acknowledged master, were infectious. He did not regard himself as a scholar, but as a man of letters. The backgrounds of academic controversy, research and criticism were kept rigorously in their place. He spent his time reading texts rather than reading about them.”


Jacqueline Glenny, “C.S. Lewis’s Camridge”, Cambridge: Christian Heritage Press, 2003.

John E. Stevens, ‘In Memoriam: Professor C.S. Lewis’, Magdalene College Magazine and Record, 8, (1963-1964), p.13.

One thought on “C.S. Lewis as a ‘Man of Letters’ rather than Scholar

  1. As the featured photograph shows Lewis was also a self-destructive drug (tobacco) addict who slowly and surely undermined his health every time he inhaled a lung full of toxic tobacco smoke.
    Would anyone who had any kind of feeling-sensitivity to the Divine Presence and simultaneously to the condition of his own body indulge in such a self-destructive habit?

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