1. Julie D says:

    Lewis says it so well that there’s nothing else to say

    • Julie, I agree. Lewis was such a good thinker, but he had the knack of breaking down big ideas and making them accessible to ordinary people. It’s next to impossible to improve on what he had to say.


  2. notleia says:

    Aw, I love you, Lewis, but Imma quibble with you.
    I’m pretty sure he addressed this elsewhere, but it’s hard to call the corn/Fisher King gods copies when a good deal of them existed before Christianity had spread to the particular region. The Fisher King himself was Celtic in origin, and while we don’t have a good handle on the details of that mythos, it’s unlikely that it was heavily influenced by Christianity. We all know Baal and Ishtar and Osiris were pre-Jesus. Maybe you can say that they are copies in spirit, but that’s reaching a bit.

    • bainespal says:

      I don’t think Lewis intended to imply that they were literal copies. Rather, they’re generalized human expressions of the universal, divine truth that was wholly realized in the life of Christ.

      • notleia says:

        Oh, probably. But I don’t find it entirely easy to reconcile that cyclical motif and its idiosyncrasies in the individual myths with capital-T Truth. It feels a little too apples and oranges and baseballs sometimes.

        • notleia says:

          Can’t resist the urge to make the reference when the Fisher King is under discussion, here’s TS Eliot’s “The Waste Land”: http://www.bartleby.com/201/1.html

        • bainespal says:

          That’s probably because we amateur Christian myth fans go way overboard in simplistically labeling everything as redemption theme or a Christ-figure. We shouldn’t retroactively interpret myth to fit the historical facts of the Gospel. Many of those ancient myths probably contain elements that can’t and shouldn’t be mapped to the Christian version of the cyclical motif.

          Still, patterns mean something. It’s human nature to look for meaning in recurring patterns. And I think Christianity does set out to explain — if not necessarily to assimilate — the essence of the cyclical myth. The paradox of death being necessary for new life is part of the deepest core of Christianity, and the Gospel claims that Jesus embodied the ultimate representation of this all-important truth.

What do you think?