Sister Maria Frassati Jakupcak, O.P. hen the young scholars J.R.R. Tolkien, Hugo Dyson, and C. S. Lewis "walked round and round the mile-long circuit of Addison's Walk beneath the avenues of beeches" on September 19, 1931, they talked of everything from "metaphor and myth," to "Christianity," to "love and friendship," and "back to poetry and books"(Wilson 126; Lewis, Letters, 421). As such topics might be addressed in any conversation between bookish men, this does not seem particularly noteworthy. However, nine days later, Lewis suddenly moved "from believing in God to definitely believing in Christ--in Christianity," and he claimed that "my long night talk with Dyson and Tolkien had a good deal to do with it" (Lewis, Letters, 425). Since Lewis went on to become what Tolkien called "Everyman's Theologian," to those who reverence the Inklings, this particular walk has become an iconic moment of Christian literary history in the twentieth century (Bio, 151). Although Lewis repeatedly mentions talking about story, the conversation on Addison's Walk is mostly read as the seminal moment when Lewis's tenuous theism was buried under the landslide of Tolkien's Christian worldview. If anyone remembers Dyson, who unfortunately left no written record of the evening,
Tolkien Studies – West Virginia University Press
Published: Nov 27, 2014
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