December 14, 2005

C.S. Lewis and imagination

My article on C.S. Lewis and the theological value of imagination went up yesterday on BreakPoint. Fans of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe may enjoy it.

One of my favorite memories from Oxford was the chance to see C.S. Lewis's home, The Kilns. Since most of us at Wycliffe were Lewis devotees, we had been to The Eagle and Child, the pub where the Inklings met, and been to Magdalene College where Lewis taught for many years. We walked around Addison's Walk, a trail on the college grounds where Lewis and Tolkein and Dyson talked about Christianity as 'true myth' one September evening shortly before Lewis's conversion, and saw where his rooms were in the 'New Building' (which I think dates back to 1730-something).

But at the end of the week I had arranged for a tour of Lewis's home, and two of my friends were able to go with me. The Kilns is not intended to be a musuem or a place where people come to pay homage. It's actually used to house graduate students during the year and then they run various summer school programs during the break. We caught them as one summer school group was leaving and another coming in.

I expected a little tour of the usual "Here is where Lewis wrote, here is the kitchen" variety. Instead, we were welcomed in, made ourselves at home in the study where Lewis did most of his writing, had tea and cookies and sat around and talked about Lewis for a good half hour or so before seeing the house. It was one of those pinch-yourself moments. Amazing.

Here are some pics:


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