Describing the praise the Inklings sometimes gave each other, Glyer recounts Lewis’s comments on a lecture Charles Williams gave at Oxford. The topic was Comus, a masque (pageantry/play) written by Milton on the subject of chastity. I find this to be a marvelous image!
“On Monday, C.W. lectured nominally on Comus but really on Chastity. Simply as criticism it was superb – because here was a man who really started from the same point of view as Milton and really cared with every fibre of his being about ‘the sage and serious doctrine of virginity’ which it would never occur to the ordinary modern critic to take seriously. But it was more important still as a sermon.”
Lewis continues, describing the effect on the students: “It was a beautiful sight to se a whole room full of modern young men and women sitting in that absolute silence which can NOT be fakes, very puzzled, but spell-bound.”
“It was ‘borne in upon me’ that that beautiful carved room had probably not witnessed anything so mportant since some of the great medieval or Reformation lectures.”
“I have at last, if only for once, seen a university doing what it was founded to do: teaching Wisdom”
-The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, V.2, p.345
The modern critic never takes Christianity (or even theism) seriously. He is always baffled by how many of the greats of any discipline DID take it seriously. And still do.