Many Times & Many Places: C.S. Lewis & the Value of History
by Alan Snyder and Jamin Metcalf
What is the value of knowing history, especially at a time when universities are cutting back on history courses and degree programs? C. S. Lewis’s education gave him a strong foundation in history. He knew its value, not only for the general public, but also for Christians who want to understand history from a Scriptural point of view. Many Times and Many Places: C. S. Lewis and the Value of History draws upon this influential Christian author to help determine not only why history has value, but also to aid readers in grasping how one should divide historical periods, how to develop a historical imagination, and how to avoid key errors in interpreting history.
About the Authors
Dr. K. Alan Snyder has been a professor of history at four Christian universities and is the author of five previous books, his latest being America Discovers C. S. Lewis: His Profound Impact (2016). Dr. Snyder continues to teach at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, as an adjunct professor of history and is on the staff of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Lakeland where he has taught The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Ransom Trilogy. Dr. Snyder was the 2022 recipient of the Clyde S. Kilby Research Grant awarded by the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College
Jamin Metcalf is a pastor, educator, and the Dean of Students at Chandler Preparatory Academy. Jamin holds a master’s degree in Humanities from the University of Dallas, as well as degrees in History and Theology from Southeastern University. As an educator, he has taught courses on Ancient History, American History, and American Literature, and Rhetoric. He is also the author of several creative and academic works including C.S. Lewis and the Historical Imagination, Why Christian Pedagogy Matters, and the original musical, The Brightest Star.
"Although C. S. Lewis is well known as a literary scholar, Christian apologist, and philosopher, Alan Snyder and Jamin Metcalf demonstrate that he was also a historian of considerable sophistication. Their extensive exploration of Lewis’s own works and the works that Lewis read with critical care show how thoroughly, yet also discerningly, Lewis considered questions about the past and its interpretation. Of the book’s many contributions, one of the most telling explains why “historicism,” as Lewis understood the term, undercut clarity about past events and their contemporary significance."
Mark Noll, Author of C. S. Lewis in America: Readings and Reception, 1935-1947
"As C. S. Lewis once challenged the conventional understanding of the Renaissance, Snyder and Metcalf now challenge established views on Lewis. Their careful work reveals Lewis to be a historian of the first rank. He was an expert in medieval history who spoke out against the dangers of both historical provincialism and the modern tendency to interpret historical outcomes as moral judgments. For anyone curious about the recurring themes of history and legends based on history which are found throughout the Lewis corpus, this is a must-read volume."
Bruce R. Johnson, Editor of The Undiscovered C. S. Lewis and General Editor of Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal
"There is a lop-sidedness in Lewis studies, too many Narnia guides and not enough scholarly work on Lewis as a philosopher or historian. K. Alan Snyder and Jamin Metcalf have done an admirable job in addressing this imbalance, offering a well-researched and readable guide to Lewis’s views on history and historians. They persuasively argue that Lewis the Christian cultural historian is present in everything he wrote—literary criticism, lay theology, cultural analysis, and even fiction."
David Downing, Author of The Most Reluctant Convert and Co-Director of The Marion E. Wade Center