September 28, 2018 at 7:00 PM EDT
Why, exactly, has C. S. Lewis remained so popular? And why do American Christians adore him so much, especially compared to their counterparts in the UK? Dr. Derrick says her new book, The Fame of C. S. Lewis: A Controversialist’s Reception in Britain and America (Oxford University Press), began not with a question about Lewis himself but with wonderings about us, his readers. It was beginning with a different question, she says, that enabled her to shed new light on Lewis himself. Far from a re-hashing of a familiar story, The Fame of C. S. Lewis helps readers understand the social and intellectual contexts that led a busy, respected scholar to write books for the “Everyman,” as well as the myriad factors that have contributed to our still knowing the name of “C. S. Lewis” today.
Dr. Stephanie L. Derrick is a historian of religion in the modern era, with a special interest in the intellectual and print cultures of British and American Christianity. She also investigates the ways in which technology and globalization are shaping religious experience in the twenty-first century. She did graduate work at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, then her PhD in History at the University of Stirling (Scotland). She lives in Los Angeles, California and is a reader at The Huntington Library.