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The Fame of C. S. LewisA Controversialist's Reception in Britain and America$
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Stephanie L. Derrick

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198819448

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198819448.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 July 2021

Whose Lewis?

Whose Lewis?

Transatlantic Contestations

(p.146) 5 Whose Lewis?
The Fame of C. S. Lewis

Stephanie L. Derrick

Oxford University Press

Lewis’s posthumous reception has been marked by sparrings over his identity and legacy which illuminate differences between Britain and America. While Lewis’s fame in the States grew, its core attributes were essentially in continuity with what it was in his lifetime. He remained an influential figure for millions in large part because the theological lens through which many Americans viewed their world endured and because religiously tinctured perspectives came under increasing pressure. Indeed, Lewis has been most valued and utilized precisely where people with theological perspectives have engaged secularizing spaces. In Britain tensions within Lewis’s posthumous reputation reflected a society attempting to sort its relationship to the past and, particularly, to the Christianity Lewis represented. In the UK, Lewis’s self-assured Christianity was uncongenial to the zeitgeist of post-empire Britain. As more was published about Lewis, people began to react to the differences they saw in transatlantic portraits of Lewis.

Keywords:   fanship, evangelicals, post-war culture, Anglophilia, C. S. Lewis brand, fundamentalism, Shadowlands, university culture, biographies, Narnia criticism

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