‘Jack’ Lewis was an unlikely global influencer, but it is undeniable that as far as global Christianity is concerned, this is exactly what he was, and is still. Most of his adult was centred on Oxford University where he was a long-standing scholar within the English Literature faculty.
Despite his lifelong ease within ivory towers, he was a remarkable writer of popular, readable but never simplistic Christian apologetics. His impact, particularly on western Protestantism, is incalculable. In particular, the standout titles include Mere Christianity (based on BBC radio talks given during the Second World War), The Screwtape Letters (originally a series of columns in the Guardian newspaper) and A Grief Observed. However, perhaps the majority of people first encounter Lewis’ writing through his fiction, in particular the seven Narnia Chronicles for children of all ages.
He died in Oxford on the same day in 1963 as President John F. Kennedy and the novelist, Aldous Huxley (a fact that was brilliantly exploited by Peter Kreeft in his book Between Heaven and Hell.