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The Ideal of Kingship in the Writings of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien, by Christopher Scarf

The Ideal of Kingship in the Writings of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien


Divine Kingship is Reflected in Middle-Earth


By Christopher Scarf


 
 


An inter-disciplinary examination of the role played by Christian ideal of Kingship in the works of the Oxford 'Inklings', enriching our understanding of how their beliefs shaped their literary endeavours.

ISBN: 9780227174012
Specifications: 234x156mm, 200pp, Paperback
Publication: June 2013
Stock: Available
Print Paperback Price: 25.00
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The Ideal of Kingship in the Writings of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. TolkienPDF eBook25.80Details »
The Ideal of Kingship in the Writings of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. TolkienePub eBook19.36Details »

About this Book

In his distinctive work, Christopher Scarf explores the writings of the three most prominent Oxford 'Inklings' Charles Williams (18861945), C.S. Lewis (18981963), and J.R.R. Tolkien (18921973) to reveal and contrast their conceptions of the ideal of 'Kingship': divine, human, and mythological.

As practising Christians, the faith of all three writers was central to their literary and personal visions of Kingship, society, love, beauty, justice and power. Scarf investigates their belief in God as Creator and Heavenly King, opinions on the nature of His very being, and the way in which all believed the Creator to be unique rather than one among many. The relation between the earthly and heavenly King is considered, as well as the extent to which the writers contend that earthly kings are God's vice-regents, act with His authority, and are duty-bound to establish and sustain just and joyous societies. Examining the writings of all three men in detail, Scarf also highlights the covert evidence of their lives and personalities which may be discovered in their texts.

An understanding of the authors' individual but overlapping views of the essential meaning of Kingship, and their personalities and early lives, will enrich the reader's appreciation of their created worlds. This volume provides a unique focus on Kingship and the Christian beliefs of three well-loved writers, and will be of interest to any reader seeking a fuller understanding of these individuals and their works.

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Prologue: The Inkling's Ideals of Kingship

Part One: Monarchy and Republic
1. Williams and the Historical Notion of Kingship
2. Williams and the Vicegerent
3. Williams and Life in the Kingdom
4. Williams and the Ideal of Kingship

Part Two: The Monarch and God's Vicegerent
5. Lewis and the Historical Notion of Kingship
6. Lewis and the Experience of Joy
7. Lewis and the Hierarchy
8. Lewis and the Ideal of Kingship

Part Three: Monarchy and Middle-Earth
9. Tolkien and the Historical Notion of Kingship
10. Tolkien and the Divine Court
11. Tolkien and the Ideal of Kingship

Part Four: Instituted Republic Constitutional Monarchy King in Council
12. The Inklings and the Place of Royalty

Epilogue: The Inklings and the Wider World of Fantasy
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Extracts

   Prologue: The Inkling's Ideals of Kingship » (PDF, 57 KB)
   Chapter 1: Williams and the Historical Notion of Kingship » (PDF, 57 KB)
   Chapter 5: Lewis and the Historical Notion of Kingship » (PDF, 63 KB)

About the Author

Dr Christopher Scarf studied Music at Oxford and has an MA in liturgical music, which he gained from Anglia Polytechnic University. He was, for some years, Head of Music at a church comprehensive school. Now a Doctor of Philosophy, the author lives in Devon where he is Master of the Music at St Marychurch Parish Church.

Reviews and Comments

"History, myth, Christian theology and the poetic imagination are all drawn together in this unusual study of three very different literary figures. By focusing on kingship the author opens up new perspectives on hitherto relatively neglected aspects of the thought and writings of the Inklings."
Dr Brian Horne, Chairman of the Charles Williams Society and former Senior Lecturer of Theology at King's College London

"This is a knowledgeable and sympathetic study which brings us closer to the outlook of three intriguing writers moulded by a world we have already left behind us. Dr Scarf is impressively familiar with the rich and varied cultural frame of reference within which the Inklings operated. Even more important, he is imaginatively responsive, as they were, to the traditions of kingship and Christianity and to the connections between them. He is a helpful and reliable guide through the countries of their minds."
Norman Vance, Professor of English Literature and Intellectual History (English), University of Sussex

"This exploration of this ideal in relation to biblical and contemporary political ideas will richly reward those readers looking to explore more deeply the fundamental convictions that give them such appeal. The book can be thoroughly recommended as a well-researched commentary on a major literary phenomenon."
Ronald E. Clements, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies, King's College London

"The author explores his subject matter quite thoroughly, with careful scholarship This is an excellent study of its subject We are able to recommend it heartily."
Minas Tirith Evening-Star, Vol 41, No 1

"A compelling study which looks at three of the world's most famous authors from a unique perspective, and offers novel insights into their much-loved works. The Ideal of Kingship will please literature scholars, theology students or fans of these great authors' work. This volume provides a unique focus on Kingship and the Christian beliefs of three well-loved writers, and be of interest to any reader seeking a fuller understanding of the individuals and their works."
Pieter Collier, on TolkienLibrary.com, 5th March 2014

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