Reflections on the Psalms
Reflections on the Psalms E-mail

          Reflections on the Psalms was published on 1958, shortly after Till We Have Faces (1957).  Lewis had actually stopped writing religious books for a number of years following the mediocre reception to Miracles (1947).  In the interim, he wrote the Narnia series.  His wife, Joy, and close friend Austin Farrer encouraged Lewis to write more religious works.  Reflections on the Psalms was in response to their urging.  However, from here on out, Lewis's religious works would be more devotional or theological in nature, rather than apologetics. 

          Lewis dedicated Reflections on the Psalms to Austin Farrer and his wife Katherine.  Besides being a close friend of Lewis, Farrer was a renowned Anglican theologian, philosopher and author of several hundred articles, books and sermons.  They became friends during the 1940s; Farrer was active in the Oxford Socratic Club, of which Lewis was president until 1954.  The club provided a forum where Christians and non-Christians could debate the intellectual claims of Christianity.   

           Austin and Katherine Farrer were among the few of Lewis's Oxford set who befriended Joy.  Both were present at Lewis's private civil marriage to Joy.  Farrer also officiated at Joy's memorial service and Jack's funeral.  

          This is the only book Lewis wrote that concerns a specific book of the Bible.  Is it any wonder he would choose the biblical book of poetry?  Lewis's first published works were poems (e.g. Dymer, Spirits in Bondage).  Until his early 30s, he aspired to be a poet. 

          Many thanks to Patricia Poret, a long-time member of the Chapel Hill C. S. Lewis Book Club, for her assistance in researching the notes and drafting questions for some of the chapters in this study guide.


Note: When Lewis gives a scripture reference in Reflections on the Psalms, the chapter number is in regular type followed by a comma.  The verse number is in italics.  If no book is included in the parentheses, Lewis is referencing the Psalms.  However, these study guides shall utilize the more familiar American style of citation:  Psalm 23:1 - meaning chapter 23 and verse 1.  Similarly, this material will use American spelling, except in direct quotations.

          You may notice deviations in the verse numbering between your Bible and the translation C. S. Lewis was using when he wrote Reflections on the Psalms.  If the verses don't match up, look to the verse before or after the one referenced.