Views & Reviews Between the Lines

God and suffering

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2544 (Published 04 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2544
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

Clive Staples (C S) Lewis (1898–1963) was a literary and philological scholar, a writer of children’s books that sold by the million, and of Christian apologetics that, in an age hardly noted for its religious enthusiasm, were also bestsellers. They continue to sell well nearly 50 years after his death.

In The Screwtape Letters, first published in 1941, a senior and experienced devil, Screwtape, writes to his nephew, a junior and inexperienced devil named Wormwood, suggesting how Wormwood might corrupt the soul that has been allocated to him for that purpose. Interestingly, Screwtape refers to the possessor of this soul as “the patient”: a commentary, no doubt, on …

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