According to Michael Nelson, “It is Lewis the spiritual pilgrim, the lifelong seeker of truth who rejected Christianity as a youth because it seemed ‘one mythology among many,’ embraced Christianity as a young man in part because it was mythic, then proclaimed Christianity to others for the rest of his life, most effectively through writings that are laden with mythology. ” In his early education C. S. Lewis was affected by his teachers dismissal of stories in mythology lessons as not true, but reluctant to dismiss stories from Christianity and the Bible as such.
In his later education Lewis was tutored by W. T. Kirkpatrick who trained him in the text of The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazier a survey of religion and mythology. It describes both mythology and religion as humanity’s way of explaining the unexplainable. Kirkpatrick instilled in Lewis the virtue to take no idea for granted. This is why he kept the open mind that eventually led to his acceptance of Christianity. Lewis preferred Greek, Irish, and Norse mythology better than Bible stories.
The combination of preference for mythology, acceptance of Christianity, combined with his love for writing stories led to his literary style and subject matter. His literary pursuits were driven by the belief that people wanted and needed to read books written by Christians on a variety of subjects as opposed to reading more books about Christianity. Lewis’s most notable works, Chronicles of Narnia, tells the story and lessons of Christianity through mythology including the birth and death of Christ in the character of Aslan, the Lion.
It also addresses the Anti-christ, judgement, creation, and end of world prophecy in a fantasy world with colorful characters. C. S. Lewis, along with J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the fathers of modern mythology.
Nelson, Michael. “`One mythology among many’: The spiritual odyssey of C. S. Lewis. ” Virginia Quarterly Review 72. 4 (Sep. 1996): 619. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO.. 11 Mar. 2009.