Tag: That Hideous Strength

The Lure of the Inner Ring

How does one rank C. S. Lewis’s essays? Which ones are the best and why? Just as with his books, answers will differ depending on one’s personal history, the baggage one must deal with, and the bent of one’s intellectual curiosity. Those all come together for me in appreciation for “The Inner Ring,” which was a lecture Lewis gave to King’s College, in the University of London, in 1944. What is an Inner Ring? It’s a group that one perceives… Read more »

Lewis & the Omnicompetent State (Part 3)

Last month, I presented a paper to the C. S. Lewis Foundation’s Academic Roundtable at its fall retreat. This is the third installment of that paper, which focuses on Lewis’s concerns that an elite would create a totalitarian state. This installment shows how Lewis portrayed that in his novel That Hideous Strength. Enter That Hideous Strength, first published in 1945, one year after the appearance of The Abolition of Man. The centerpiece in the novel of the unholy alliance between… Read more »

The Smiley Face of Totalitarian Experts: A Hideous Strength

My C. S. Lewis course is now concentrating on Lewis’s deep concern over the direction he saw society going during WWII and what he feared would happen in the future: a totalitarian government ruled by scientists, psychologists, sociologists, educationalists, and other “experts” who would tell everyone what to do. This concern revealed itself in his essay, “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” was more fully explicated in The Abolition of Man, and then put in story form through That Hideous Strength…. Read more »