In this podcast we cover “The Screwtape Letters“, one of the most popular books that C S Lewis ever wrote. It is a set of letters from one senior devil (Screwtape) to a junior devil (Wormwood). Wormwood has just graduated from Hell’s Tempters College, and is on his first post. He is assigned to tempt a man on earth, and Screwtape, being an experienced senior devil, advises him on how to proceed. Since it’s written from a devil’s point of view, it is a work of inversion or reversal in that what is black to us is white to them, and what is bad is good. A reference to “Our Father’s house below” is a reference to Hell, and “the Enemy” refers to God. This reversal helps you see things in a new and different way, and is one of the attractions of the book.
This book was written during WW II. There are 31 letters in all, and they were originally published one a week in an Anglican magazine. They were so popular that they were re-published as a book in 1942, and have remained popular ever since. The letters are short, direct, and written in the same informal style as “Mere Christianity” . Jack covers the man’s conversion, the temptations that Wormwood uses, why Hell wants humans, the devil’s view of war and suffering, and the man’s falling in love (among other things). No matter how often you re-read the letters, you’ll learn something new.
Currently there is a play based on “The Screwtape Letters” touring the country after a successfu l off-Broadway run. It’s a one-an play, basically, starring Max MacClean, and has r eceived excellent reviews wherever it has run. You can find out more informati on by following the link below.
Here’s the link to this show’s podcast.