The Architectural Parables of C.S. Lewis: The World Between Tangible and Transcendent


Beloved and renown writer, C.S. Lewis, sees the world beyond its material construction and that its meaning is rooted in its spiritual significance. Beyond the curtain of physicality lies divine reality that transcends our world, yet is constantly invading it. The experiences of beauty, sublime awe, and the delights of the imagination within our corporeal realm awaken within us inconsolable longing that points to the reality that we were made for another world. For Lewis, stories and myths were the most powerful vehicles of transport to the other world, namely that of the spirit, illuminating transcendent reality in a language we can understand. The context of our sensual setting provides tangible expressions to the intangible realm, and provides a framework for understanding what is beyond our comprehension. As Lewis ventures into creating his own stories within imaginary other worlds, he opens up a portal for us to become a pilgrim in the story, to experience the spiritual dimension in a concrete way. Architecture, through its mythical form, can become revelatory, unveiling concealed truths that lurk behind the visible. Such artforms are able to awaken a powerful desire to move beyond the shadows and towards the substance of absolute reality in which we can encounter the Other.

The examining committee is as follows:

Supervisor: Robert Jan van Pelt
Committee member: David Fortin
Internal-external reader: Neil Randall
External: Michael Haykin

The defence examination will take place:
Friday, January 12, 2024, 11:00 a.m.
In person, room 2026.
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.