C.S. Lewis

The Power of Conversation: A Lesson from C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien

A major part of C.S. Lewis’s conversion came from a conversation he had with J.R.R. Tolkien. Brett and Kate McKay have written an interesting article on this event and the example it gives for the power of conversation.

It is the evening of September 19, 1931.

Three men stroll down Addison’s Walk, a picturesque footpath that runs along the River Cherwell on the grounds of Oxford’s Magdalen College. Two of the men — C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien — are particularly engaged with one another, deep inside an animated discussion on the nature of metaphor and myth.

While both men are 30-something war veterans, teach and lecture at Oxford colleges, and share a love of old literature, the two friends are in many ways a study in contrasts. Lewis has a ruddy complexion and thickly set build. His clothes are loose and shabby. His voice booms as he speaks. Tolkien is slender, dresses nattily, and speaks elusively. Lewis is more brash; Tolkien more reserved.

Besides differences in personality, the men are divided by something more fundamental: Tolkien has been a faithful Catholic since childhood, while Lewis has been a committed atheist since the age of 15.

You can read the full article here.

C.S. Lewis J.R.R. Tolkien

 

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