Monday, July 28, 2008

My list of top 5 Inklings books

Christopher Mitchell of the Marion Wade Collection at Wheaton College selects his five favorite books by the Inklings and those associated with them at Christianity Today. The Inklings was the group of Christian professors at Oxford in the 1940s and 50s and their friends who informally commiserated together in their writings and whose thinking focused on a classical Christian vision of literature and reality. Its most well-known members included writers such as C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams.

Here is Mitchell's list:
  • The Wise Woman, by George MacDonald
  • Orthodoxy, by G. K. Chesterton
  • The Descent of the Dove, by Charles Williams
  • The Tolkien Reader, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Till We have Faces, by C. S. Lewis
This seems to be a rather idiosyncratic list. How can you have a list of favorite Inklings books without the greatest Inkling book of them all: The Lord of the Rings? I have only read three of these five books, but of those three I have read, I would only include one of them on my list: that of a non-Inkling, G. K. Chesterton. Chesterton and MacDonald only make the list, by the way, by virtue of the fact that they are the two major influences on the Inklings.

Here is my list:
  • Orthodoxy, by G. K. Chesterton
  • Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis
  • The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald
  • Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry, by Owen Barfield

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