Essay about The Abolition of Man: C.S. Lewis’ Response to Postmodernism

Essay about The Abolition of Man: C.S. Lewis’ Response to Postmodernism

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“There is a difference between a real moral advance and a mere innovation”, remarks C.S. Lewis in his collection of essays called The Abolition of Man (Lewis 46). As an atheist academic turned Christian apologist, Lewis weaves a passionate refutation of society’s purported improvements into every aspect of his writing, even his children’s novels. During the time when Lewis was busy transferring his theological thoughts and vivid imagination onto paper, the world was reeling from the dire devastation caused by the Second World War. Partially as a result of the desolation evidenced in bomb-ravaged Europe, people started to view commonplace beliefs with a more cynical eye. This skepticism marks the advent of the current postmodernist movement. Even though postmodernism was just beginning to rear its head during his writing career, Lewis’ starch denial of the idea of moral relativity and the codification of sin demonstrates an understanding of the serious threat postmodernism poses to Christianity. In all of Lewis’ works, the issue of sin is dealt with frankly and Christ’s redemption is presented as the only hope for escape from inevitable destruction. The Chronicles of Narnia series is no exception. From the start, the symbolic events and characters in Narnia serve to resist postmodernists bent on the complete denial of truth. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lewis uses the character of Edmund to contest postmodernist beliefs by emphasizing the existence of natural law, the gravity of violating this law, and the necessity of redemption.
In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first Narnia book published, Lewis leaves children spellbound at the thought of a frosty magical world occupied by talking animals and mythical b...


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Works Cited

Karkainen, Paul A. Narnia: Unlocking the Wardrobe. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 1979. (43-66). Print.
Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1952. Print.
Lewis, C.S. The Abolition of Man. New York: Harper Collins, 1944. Print.
Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1950. Print.
Lewis, C.S. The Screwtape Letters. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1942. Print.
Manlove, C. N. "The ‘Narnia’ Books". Bloom's Literature (1987). Facts on File, Inc. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.
Markos, Louis A. “Redeeming Postmodernism: At Play in the Fields of Narnia”. Revisiting Narnia: Fantasy, Myth, and Religion in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles. Ed. Caughey, Shanna. Dallas: BenBella Books, Inc., 2005.229-241. Print.
The Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1982. Print.

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