Sabbatical Update: Lewis Edition

Many of my regular readers know I’m on a sabbatical this year, and I’ve been alert to provide periodic updates on the progress of my various endeavors. Recently, I posted photos of my time at the Reagan and Nixon libraries and the Reagan Ranch as I research on the topic of spiritual advisers to presidents. The hope is that will turn into a series of books with my Southeastern colleague, Dr. Robert Crosby.

C. S. Lewis 7I’m also deeply involved with a study of C. S. Lewis’s influence on Americans. I would like to author a book on that particular topic, since no one has ever done it. I have a literary agent who is working with me on the book proposal. A major blessing has been the e-mail communication I’ve had with Walter Hooper, who served as Lewis’s personal secretary during the author’s final months of life. Hooper then has gone on to be the primary representative for keeping Lewis’s writings in print for the last five decades. His help in providing personal information on his relationship with Lewis has been invaluable.

20140804_184024I’ve mentioned before how the Wade Center at Wheaton College has come alongside to aid in my research. Wade has the largest collection of Lewis papers and books by and about him in America. The Center featured on its website and Facebook page my appeal for testimonies from Americans on how Lewis has influenced their thinking and their lives. Again, as with Hooper’s assistance, the Wade Center’s willingness to work with me on my research has greatly encouraged me to continue this project.

I’m also reading through the 3-volume collection of Lewis’s personal correspondence, pulling out all letters he wrote to Americans and making extensive notes on them. One might think such a task would reek of drudgery, but it has been quite the opposite. Lewis’s lively words practically fly off the pages and into my heart and mind.

So I’m optimistic that my Lewis research is progressing well. I would like to thank those of you who participated in my survey on the Wade Center site.

As you can tell, I continue to be excited by the opportunities I have during this sabbatical year. Please pray for them to come to fruition.