Tuesday, November 19, 2013

JFK's death eclipsed passing of another icon that November day

Photo courtesy C.S. Lewis Foundation/Public Domain
The date was Nov. 22, 1963 -- the day that John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

It's worth noting, however, that not one but two highly influential lights went out that day; the novelist, poet, essayist and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis also died on Nov. 22, 1963.

An article by Sam Leith in The Guardian newspaper notes the date is the 50th anniversary of Lewis' death and quotes biographer A.N. Wilson as saying that Lewis is regarded in the United States as "almost a sort of summa theologica of the Protestant world."

The biographer goes on to mention that Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., appears to revere Lewis so much that the institution "bought his wardrobe and, even though it's a non-smoking campus, they bought his pipes, to be kept in a sort of reliquary."

The article also quoted former Bishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who noted that in the past five years, Lewis' work has received "serious academic attention -- and attention from people who are not just in the evangelical camp."

Those who want to read some of Lewis' works can find the beloved Chronicles of Narnia in the library's Juvenile section. Biographies and books about literature are in the PR section in the library's stacks because literature was his field of expertise.

Many of Lewis' famous works on Christian themes are in the BR's, BT's, BV's, and BX's, so readers will need to consult the library's catalog to locate a good book to read that was written by Lewis. Or, for some highlights, try The Joyful Christian: 127 Readings from C.S. Lewis or The Business of Heaven: Daily Readings from C.S. Lewis.

Next post: To commemorate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's death, several new books are coming out this week on the subject.

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