Oh, the (Abolition of) Humanity: An Interview with Michael Ward

He has forever changed the way we read The Chronicles of Narnia. He has been hailed by N.T Wright as “the foremost living Lewis scholar.” And now he’s giving modern-day readers fresh insights into Lewis’s writing in his newest scholarly work, published by Word on Fire Academic.

Dr. Michael Ward is a professor, writer, author, speaker, and thespian. And that’s only what he does on the weekends.

But seriously, and more personally, Michael Ward was instrumental in revitalizing my interest in the Narnia series, which I had mislabeled as a hodgepodge of narrative and thematic elements. (To my credit, J.R.R. Tolkien made the same mistake himself.) Due in large part to Ward’s influence, I have grown in my enjoyment and appreciation of Lewis’s work.

Ward’s newest book, After Humanity, follows in the footsteps of Planet Narnia by introducing readers to a deeper understanding of one of Lewis’s works—in this case, The Abolition of Man. In preparation for the book release, I, along with my wife Shannon, was privileged to interview Dr. Ward for The Christian Post. We discussed several aspects of After Humanity, including the threefold meaning of the title, the numerous connections between Abolition and Narnia, and how Abolition is even more relevant today (in our post-truth society) than it was when first released.

There is one problem with the interview, though. Well, “problem” isn’t the most appropriate word, because Dr. Ward’s answers are insightful and illuminating. The problem, if we can call it that, is that our interview, which lasted over an hour, had to be condensed to fit an appropriate length (i.e., just under 2,000 words). That may sound like a lot of words, but not when compared with the 7,000+ words that comprised the unedited transcript. As such, a lot of material didn’t make it into the finished piece.

However, thanks to modern technology and Ward’s gracious agreement, I am pleased to provide my readers with an edited video of our original interview. Clocking in at just over 50 minutes, this “extended cut” gives viewers access to material that had to be jettisoned from the published article. Especially exciting is an extended conversation on how material from The Abolition of Man is weaved through the narrative of The Chronicles of Narnia. There’s also more commentary on the deficiencies of scientism, as well as further biographical information on C.S. Lewis.

If reading the published interview by The Christian Post leaves you hungry for more, check out the interview footage in the embedded video below.

Header image by didin emelu on Unsplash (cropped)
Book cover image courtesy of MichaelWard.net