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C. S. Lewis’s published writings comprise some forty-odd books in multiple genres, hundreds of essays, and thousands of letters. The theme that arguably rises above other themes is love, and within the family of different kinds of love, the love of friendship holds prominence. Although Lewis is often credited for accessible writing, there exists a number of popular misunderstandings about his ideas of friendship in particular. Several writers—theologians, philosophers, and literary scholars—have leveled serious charges against Lewis’s understanding of friendship. This article will evaluate three of these charges in more detail, those of sexism, secrecy, and snobbery. The article shows that these are based on incomplete readings or complete misreadings of Lewis’s life and writings. This is not to say that Lewis had no blind spots (he certainly did), but that they are not always where his critics see them.


Originally published in Theology Today. 2023. Volume 80, Issue 1. Pages 88-97.

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