After describing the belief in the Angelic Hierarchy as central to ancient "spiritual cosmology," both Scriptural and Neoplatonic, this paper identifies Lewis's fascination with it in both his fiction (the Ransom trilogy) and his nonfiction (The Oxford History of English Literature in the 16th Century excluding Drama and The Discarded Image). Often viewed by Moderns as a "mythological hangover from pre-Modern times," belief in the Angelic Hierarchy is a key component of what Lewis calls "the Discarded Image." For those tempted to think that Lewis's interest in the Angelic Hierarchy was merely love for the beauty of the "old model," or else merely the mythic backdrop of his fictional "Random trilogy," this paper reveals Lewis's actual personal belief in the reality of the Angelic Hierarchy: the fact that God "comes filtered to us" through the hierarchies of angelic spiritual beings. Lewis's essay The Empty Universe reveals that the ancient "spiritual cosmology" has been increasingly replaced with a "modern" materialist worldview, leading not only to the "dryads leaving the trees" but also ultimately to the "abolition of man."
Wendling, Susan and Wendling, Woody
"C.S. Lewis and the Angelic Hierarchy,"
Inklings Forever: Vol. 8
, Article 27.
Available at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/inklings_forever/vol8/iss1/27