C.S. Lewis the Churchman: His Work on the Anglican Commission to Revise the Psalter


  • Joel D. Heck Concordia University Texas


In 1958, the Archbishop of Canterbury invited Lewis to serve on a six-person committee, chaired by Bishop Donald Coggan, tasked with revising the language of Coverdale’s Psalms. Lewis agreed, thus embarking upon what Joel Heck claims to be “the crowning achievement of his public church life.” This article draws on published and unpublished materials from the Archbishop’s Commission Report, including previously unpublished minutes of the Commission as well as notes and letters by Lewis, to examine Lewis’s contribution to the four-year project.  Some of the correspondence also shed light on the camaraderie and care within the commission, not least of which is the surprising friendship that developed between Lewis and T.S. Eliot.

Author Biography

Joel D. Heck, Concordia University Texas

Joel Heck serves Concordia University Texas, in Austin, as Professor of Theology after nine years at Concordia as Vice President of Academic Services. Previously he served as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Valley Park, Missouri, and Professor of Religion at Concordia University Wisconsin. He holds a Th.D. in Exegetical Theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and teaches various theology courses at Concordia University Texas, including Old and New Testament, Reformation, and C.S. Lewis, including the course “Narnia meets Middle-earth.” He is the author or editor of fourteen books, most recently From Atheism to Christianity: The Story of C.S. Lewis.