A plaque was unveiled in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey last Friday to commemorate the author and Christian apologist C S Lewis on the 50th anniversary of his death.
A service last Friday, the 50th anniversary of his death, was attended by hundreds of scholars, students and fans – and a good number of their children.
In his address, Lord Williams of Oystermouth paid tribute to CS Lewis’ ability to “de-mystify the myths we tell ourselves”. He said Lewis highlighted the subtle abuse of language – “language we use to hide from ourselves and language that prevents us from thinking about reality”.
At a symposium the day before, Lord Williams’ high regard for the author was noted as boosting Lewis’ profile in academic circles at both Oxford and Cambridge. The two speakers were Lewis biographer and apologist Alister McGrath, who is to become Oxford University’s Professor of Science and Religion from April, and Dr Malcolm Guite, chaplain to Girton College, Cambridge. They agreed that Lewis’ legacy as an apologist could be summed up as “reason and imagination” and that new apologists were needed to connect with today’s culture.
“Lewis has bequeathed us not only his works but also a method,” said McGrath. Dr Guite recited a sonnet he had written which ended: “Your wardrobe-mind has furnished us with worlds / Through which to travel, whence we learn to see / Along the beam, and hear at last the heralds, / Sounding their summons, through the stars that sing, / Whose call at sunrise brings us to our King.”
Read Professor McGrath’s talk here.
Read Dr Guite’s talk here.
The sonnet appears in Dr Guite’s new book of verse The Singing Bowl published by Canterbury Press.