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Durham e-Theses
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Christology in the writings of C. S. Lewis: a Lutheran’s evaluation

Mueller, Steven Paul (1997) Christology in the writings of C. S. Lewis: a Lutheran’s evaluation. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis seeks to ascertain and evaluate the Christological content and method of C. S. Lewis as seen throughout his writings. The continuing popularity and sales of his works demonstrate his effectiveness. Lewis referred to his Christian writings as "translations" that expressed Christian doctrine in a manner that was accessible and understandable to the laity. This is reflected as Lewis writes in diverse genres. His apologetic works explain Christian theology directly through modified vocabulary, description, and illustrations. They are characterised by a focused use of logic and by simple distinctions. His fictional works utilise the tools of his academic field (literature), translating theology in a deeper manner, and employing multiple levels of meaning. His devotional works, written later in his life, directly present theology, but with a gentler tone, explaining but not defending his theology. Lewis’s writings are evaluated first in comparison to the basic Christology of the Ecumenical Creeds. In various contexts, he explicitly affirms all of the credal doctrines except for Christ’s burial, which is implied. While Lewis's writings have been accused of heresy, most of the charges do not stand up under scrutiny. However, imprecision leaves his writings open to charges of eutychianism and modalism. Secondly, his writings are evaluated from a Lutheran perspective. While substantial agreement is found, there are significant differences in presentation of the virginal conception of Christ, the communication of attributes between His divine and human natures, and the meaning of the descent into Hell. Overall, Lewis presents classic orthodox Christology. His writings are characterised by accessibility and integrity, as the Christ they present is the Christ of his own faith. Weaknesses in his writings include imprecision which is a result of his lack of theological training, and failure to connect Christology to other Christian teachings, such as the Eucharist.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1997
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:53

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