From a Christian perspective, war entails the death and killing of people who are all created in the image of God and therefore have inherent dignity and incalculable worth. And yet, even after experiencing war at firsthand, C. S. Lewis believed that war is sometimes justifiable and necessary.

Like others of his generation, Lewis was deeply affected by the experience of war. He lived through the First and Second World Wars, serving as an officer on the Western Front between November 1917 and April 1918. His brother Warren (“Warnie”) was a career officer serving in the British army in both wars, and both brothers witnessed the emergence of the Cold War and the “race for space.” Lewis used the experiences and images of war extensively in his writings, and thus to overlook the subject of war is to miss a pivotal point in his life, thought, and writings. Lewis’ experience of—and thoughts about—war, fall into two clear and distinct realms that correspond to his Christian conversion