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While C. S. Lewis has been called by many names (scholar, teacher, speaker, philosopher, literary critic, and theologian, to name only a few), rhetorician is the name he often used to describe himself, and, based upon his life and body of work, it is perhaps one of the most appropriate titles for him. As James Como asserts, "[Lewis'] rhetorical temper provided a compulsiveness and a posture that could be resolved only in argument. Training, taste, and talent equipped him for an academic and apologetic career, to the exclusion of nearly all others ... Lewis was the quintessential Homo rhetoricus, knew it, acquitted himself superbly at being just that, and yet remained deeply troubled by his own efficacy."


Originally published in The Bulletin of the New York C. S. Lewis Society, March/April 2018 Vol. 49, No. 2 Whole No. 484.