Original Research - Special Collection: HTS 75th Anniversary Maake Masango Dedication

‘A Barricade across the High Road’: C.S. Lewis on the theology of his time

Marcel Sarot
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5542 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5542 | © 2019 Marcel Sarot | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2019 | Published: 10 October 2019

About the author(s)

Marcel Sarot, Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands; and, Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

In this article, I analyse C.S. Lewis’s attitude towards the theology and the theologians of his time. Lewis often emphasised that he was not a theologian. Sometimes he does so out of modesty, to excuse minor errors that a specialist in the field would not have made. More often than not, however, something else plays a role: Lewis’s dislike of the theology and the theologians of his time. Although he intended not to become a party in theological controversies, Lewis occasionally took sides. He expressed himself in extremely negative terms about the liberal ... movement, which in his experience... dominated the theology of his time. By assuming them to be in error, and showing how they had arrived there, he participates in the practice he elsewhere rejected as ‘Bulverism’. Moreover, he employed pejorative, sexually tinged metaphors. Only on one occasion did Lewis provide arguments for his rejection of liberal theology, and on that occasion he limited himself to New Testament exegesis. On another occasion, Lewis states that he allows only marginal, religiously irrelevant revisions of Christian doctrine. Ironically, his own revisions sometimes went beyond this – for example, in the case of the traditional doctrine of hell. In this article I suggested that for Lewis, the practice of faith implicitly is the ultimate criterion.

Keywords

C.S. Lewis; Theology; Liberal theology; Bulverism; Hell; Doctrinal development

Metrics

Total abstract views: 33
Total article views: 24


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.