Preface by Elizabeth Baird Hardy
Afterword. Seeing in Part, Through Different Eyes 159
Afterword Seeing in Part, Through Different Eyes No one holds the truth, or can hold it, in one and the same thought, but God. Our human life is often, at best, but an oscillation between the extremes which together make the truth…. (George MacDonald, The Seaboard Parish Ch. 2) t is a good idea to see with eyes other than our own. As C.S. Lewis has said in “On the Reading of Old Books,” every era has its unique insights and therefore its typical kinds of blindness. That is why earlier writers informed by paradigms other than our own may help to remedy the particularity of our impaired vision (202). We know what typically makes us cringe today; we might be surprised to know what in our time will make future generations cringe. The idea that gender discourse is the most controversial topic in Lewis studies today tells us perhaps more about our time than about C.S. Lewis. Certainly Lewis’s use of gender metaphor has evoked discomfort, even in otherwise favourably inclined critics, including Alan Jacobs, Diana Pavlac Glyer, and perhaps also Kathryn Lindskoog.1 But our response to the “problematic” use of gender metaphor probably tells us a lot about ourselves, less about older paradigms. The purpose of this study has been to consider what Lewis’s celebration of gender metaphor illustrates about spirituality that we more easily miss. In our time we tend to see with the modern lens of democracy, as if we were only political beings, and any...
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