“Christian Reunion” Now Available In The Bodleian

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 73, Summer 1997 The C. S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

On 3 April 1995, five months after release of Light in the Shadowlands, Walter Hooper deposited a “Christian Reunion” document in the Bodleian Library. That happened 31 years after Hooper claims that someone unnamed “discovered” the document — in which Lewis endorses Roman Catholicism. Hooper joined the Roman Catholic Church 20 years after that purported discovery; two years later, in 1990, he belatedly announced the discovery and published the essay. (Some might find this chronology suspicious in light of the fact that according to cusum analysis the central 40 percent of the essay matches Hooper’s invisible statistical sentence pattern rather than Lewis’s.) The document (Dep. d, 826) is in an envelope and consists of four pages torn from a notebook 6 3/8 inches by 8 inches. It was written with a dip pen in black ink on paper lined on both sides. On the back of page 4 there appears an unrelated passage in blue ink and smaller script from Lewis’s 1944 radio broadcasts. All the handwriting looks like Lewis’s to the untrained eye, but according to one analyst this penmanship has more righthand slope than Lewis’s and is slightly taller. The pronoun “I” is a hard upright, as though gouged, and lacks the usual rightwards flick at the bottom of the stroke that is characteristic of Lewis. This penmanship is more plodding than Lewis’s usual crisp and dancing hand. Whatever its source, this newly available document does nothing to improve the provenance of “Christian Reunion” or to establish its authenticity.