George Marsden. C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity: A Biography. Princeton University Press, 2016.
Reviewed by Gilbert Meilaender
A biography of a book may seem like a rather strange beast, but something like that is what Princeton University Press provides in its “Lives of Great Religious Books” series. With this offering written by the well known historian of religion, George Marsden, Mere Christianity takes its place in the series alongside books as different as Calvin’s Institutes, the book of Job, and the I Ching. Given the relatively brief “life” of Mere Christianity–compared, for instance, with the three examples I offered of other volumes in the Princeton series–Marsden prescinds from labeling the book a classic. But when one considers that it has been translated into at least thirty-six languages, and that in the last fifteen years alone it has sold over 3.5 million copies just in English, it is hard to deny that Mere Christianity merits inclusion in the series.