Below is one of the most moving moments from the third of the Ransom/Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis. From Chapter 15, “The Descent of the Gods,” of That Hideous Strenth, one of the best and most underrated novels of the 20th century:
They danced. What they dance no one could remember. It was some round dance, no modern shuffling: it involved beating the floor, clapping of hands, leaping high. And no one while it lasted thought himself or his fellows ridiculous. It may, in fact, have been some village measure, not ill–suited to the tiled kitchen: the spirit in which they danced it was not so. It seemed to each that the room was filled with kings and queens, that the wildness of their dance expressed heroic energy and its quieter movements had seized the very spirit behind all noble ceremonies.
In re-reading the novel, I’m struck by how profoundly Platonic it is. And, of course, it is deeply Christian—but not in any soft, effete, mushy, evangelical way. No, C.S. Lewis presents a pure and moral Christianity, manly and confronting, threatening and severe. It’s the Christianity of Jesus on the Mount, not the “name it and claim it” Jesus of TBN.
Astounding to my eyes and ears.
If the “dance” of Heaven is anything like the dance in Ransom’s kitchen (above), I’m eagerly awaiting eternity.
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