Here is the latest of many, many firmly Catholic websites highly recommending C. S. Lewis books more than Catholic classics! I saw this today under the heading "Spiritual Classics"(specific website to be anonymous).

Confessions of St. Augustine by St. Augustine, Little Talks with God (modernized version of “The Dialogues”) by St. Catherine, City of God by St. Augustine, The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis, Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton, The Greatest Story Ever Told by Fulton Oursler, Meditations from a Simple Path by Mother Teresa, Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila, The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila, Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux, My Way of Life/Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas.

Lewis received 3 recommendations when he is NOT Catholic! More recommendations than Augustine and Aquinas. Why would devout, educated Catholics subtly lead people away from Catholicism into Protestantism. Why?

  • 2
    "Ask not who said it. Ask if it's true" While it's true that the best explanations of Catholic theology are often by Catholics, that doesn't mean that no non-Catholic author explains anything accurately enough that it's worth any potential downsides. Also, G.K. Chesterton is on that list as well and a lot of his writing was before he became Catholic
    – eques
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 18:40
  • Were any of the OT writers devout Catholics ? How about Plato or Aristotel ? Yet, all Catholic bibles contain the non-Christian Jewish scriptures, John's Gospel is based upon the platonic concept of a Logos, and Thomas Aquinas shamelessly employs good, old fashioned Aristotelian logic.
    – user46876
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 19:19
  • Remember that Lewis was Anglican. Strictly speaking, Anglicans aren't Protestants, as they weren't part of the doctrinal reformation that spawned many of the other churches. They have drifted apart, but the original Anglican church was basically the same as the Roman church, the split happening over who got to lead the church (Pope or King), not over doctrinal differences. Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 21:06
  • "original Anglican church was basically the same as the Roman church" that tends to be overstated. There were doctrinal differences even fairly early on in the original split.
    – eques
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


Lewis was so close to being Catholic, and he was heavily influenced by the devoutly Catholic Tolkien. He's also just about the most Catholic protestant who ever lived. He embraced the validity of tons of Catholic teachings that protestants generally reject outright.

As for why he gets more recommendations, perhaps he was more prolific in the kinds of writings that the compiler is looking for. Augustine wrote a ton, but I don't think City of God counts as a spiritual classic. It's a work of theology.

  • I cannot argue with anything others have posted. It just seems to me that Lewis was a proverbializer/proverbalist/storyteller rather than a theologian or a moralist… 37 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from C. S. Lewis • Everything changes, nothing ever stays the same. ... • There are far, far better things ahead than the ones you leave behind. ... • Nothing in life ours to keep. ... • Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. ... • Don't doubt your value. Good thoughts from him, it just isn’t strictly Catholic. Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 16:54
  • CS Lewis was an ecumenical broad-church Anglican, both catholic and evangelical with small c and e and a long way from Catholics or Evangelicals of the time with capital letters.
    – Henry
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 22:04

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