Into the Region of Awe | David C. Downing

The cover of Downing's Into the Region of AweC. S. Lewis was a complex person. On the one hand, he was an intellectual Christian apologist who published Mere ChristianityMiracles, and The Four Loves. On the other hand, he’s probably more famous now for his Chronicles of Narnia and Space Trilogy.

In Into the Region of Awe, Downing traces the mystical influences in Lewis’ writing. Drawing not only on his major published works, but also letters and marginalia from Lewis’ own library, he shows the influence that mystics like John of the Cross and Julian of Norwich had on his Christian life and thought.

Especially interesting for me was the chapter dedicated to Lewis’ Space Trilogy. I read these books in high school but much of the theological and mystical depth was lost on me. Downing’s survey of these books makes me want to return and read them again.

As you might expect from such a rigorous thinker, Lewis didn’t swallow all forms of Christian mysticism uncritically. Fortunately, he was able to avoid the stifling skepticism that so often plagues intellectuals.

If you read C. S. Lewis, you will likely enjoy Downing’s Into the Region of Awe.

—David C. Downing, Into the Region of Awe: Mysticism in C. S. Lewis (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005).

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