Essay / Literature

Silent No More: CS Lewis’ Cosmological Theory of the Atonement

According to C.S. Lewis’ Ransom Trilogy, our home is “Thulcandra—the silent planet,” for “it alone is outside the heaven, and no message comes from it.” That is to say, no message came from our planet, until Ransom was kidnapped, and brought to Malacandra (or Mars). At a certain point in the story, Ransom learns that Oyarsa, the “angel” of Mars, knows that God (or Maleldil) “would not give [the earth] up utterly to the Bent One, and there are stories among us that He has taken strange counsel and dared terrible things, wrestling with the Bent One in Thulcandra. But of this we know less than you; it is a thing we desire to look into.” Shortly after this, Oyarsa asks Ransom: “Now tell me of Thulcandra. Tell me all…. Tell me what Maleldil has done in Thulcandra.” But Ransom’s answer is interrupted before it begins, and we are left to wonder: what would he have said? The problem is exacerbated when we learn that Ransom spent that afternoon answering Oyarsa’s questions—a conversation to which we are not privy. What was Ransom’s answer? And why are we kept from overhearing it?

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