In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

unique theological ideas (e.g., his belief that pagan myths were good dreams preparing the way for Christianity), both Tolkien and Lewis adopted largely orthodox positions relative to their respective faiths. Influenced by his reading of Barth and Kierkegaard, Williams’s theology could be not only unique but even dark. For example, his radio play The Three Temptations presents Judas as everyman and shows little faith in either established institutions or the impulses of most human beings. Williams struggled frequently with doubt; he once described his feelings as ‘‘a mixture of profound faith with the sense that life is almost unbearable’’ (350). Finally, unlike Lewis and Tolkien, who were conservative politically, Lindop describes Williams as the ‘‘only left-wing Inkling’’ (viii). These differences explain why a contemporary blog devoted to Williams is named ‘‘The Oddest Inkling.’’ It may be that contemporary readers who are more progressive in their theological and political views will find in Williams an Inkling more to their taste. Lindop has performed his biographical task well and has given us for the first time in one place the information we need to assess Williams’s legacy as a Christian writer. Of course, even a solid researcher like Lindop cannot tell us all we would like to know about Williams and his relationships, such as how much Lewis and Tolkien knew about Williams’s occult and magical practices and about his mentor– disciple relationships with young women. I suspect questions like these, and Lindop’s biography, will be the subjects of vigorous discussions among lovers of Charles Williams and the Inklings for years to come. Gary L. Tandy George Fox University Kyoko Yuasa, C. S. Lewis and Christian Postmodernism: Word, Image, and Beyond. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-4982-1938-9. Pp. 197. $20.80 In C. S. Lewis and Christian Postmodernism: Word, Image, and Beyond, Kyoko Yuasa argues that Lewis uses ‘‘literary approaches that fit the mind in a postmodern world’’ (6). Primarily, Yuasa interprets Lewis’s privileging of the supernatural, of multiple points of view, and of contextualized knowledge as the approaches postmoderns use in reaction to modernist dethroning of imagination and elevation of human reason. Yuasa’s analysis of That Hideous Strength (chapter 3), The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (chapter 4), and Till We Have Faces (chapter 5) provides insightful contributions to readers both unfamiliar and long familiar with those works. Yuasa’s work certainly addresses an important, though difficult task, and seeks to do so through a variety of Lewis’s texts. In addressing what she calls a ‘‘postmodern sensibility’’ in the writing of C. S. Lewis, she has challenged contemporary readers to reconsider the approaches we use in interpreting both postmodern works and those of Lewis. Unfortunately, in seeking to combine postmodernism with 556 Christianity & Literature 66(3) Christianity, Yuasa offers a truncated version of both. What is not clear is whether Yuasa is arguing that Lewis was ‘‘postmodern’’ before postmodernism was ‘‘cool’’ or whether she is herself applying a postmodern theoretical lens to his works. The book appears to be offering both. The former is a significant conceptual problem; the latter is not. In her introduction, Yuasa argues that ‘‘discussion of Lewis in the context of postmodernism is not necessarily welcome by many Lewis scholars’’ because some see him as ‘‘neither modernist nor postmodernist’’ (5). Subsequently, Yuasa dismisses these scholars by claiming their ‘‘antipathy is a fear of both thoughts’’; the labeling as ‘‘fear’’ is a rhetorical move that means an author will not address the claims of dissenting authors, but instead use an ad hominem. When she could carefully reread these scholars, of whom she mentions Louis Markos (19), she chooses to write them off without discussion of their main points. In telling readers how Markos situates Lewis as anti-modernist and anti-postmodernist (based on an antipathy to objective Truth, which she does not discuss), Yuasa simply moves on to another writer instead of dealing with Markos’s significant criticisms. She creates a version of postmodernism that includes only the above-mentioned literary techniques of multiple narratives, reader participation in interpretation, and use of emotional and imaginative (or even intuitive...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 556-559
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.