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David Downing, Ph.D.

Co-Director of the Wade Center, Marion E. Wade Chair of Christian Thought, and Professor of English


630.752.5479



David C. Downing is the Co-Director (with his wife Crystal Downing) of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College in Illinois. Downing grew up in Colorado, graduated from Westmont College, and earned his PhD from UCLA. Downing has written four scholarly books on C.S. Lewis: Planets in Peril (1992), a critical study of the Ransom trilogy; The Most Reluctant Convert (2002), an examination of Lewis's journey to faith; Into the Wardrobe (2005), an in-depth overview of the Narnia Chronicles; Into the Region of Awe (2005), a study of how Lewis's wide reading in Christian mysticism enhanced his own faith and enriched his imaginative writing. Downing also provided a critical introduction and over 400 explanatory notes to the new edition of C.S. Lewis's The Pilgrim's Regress, originally published in 1933 and reissued by Eerdmans in the Wade Center Annotated Edition (2014). Downing is a consulting reader on C.S. Lewis for the Publications of the Modern Languages Association (PMLA), as well as Christian Scholars Review and Religion and Literature. He also serves as an editorial consultant for Blackwell’s Books, Cambridge University Press, Notre Dame University Press, and several other academic publishers. Downing is also the author of Looking for the King (2010), a historical novel in which two young Americans meet Lewis and Tolkien in Oxford in 1940. His blog may be found at cslewis.com.

University of California at Los Angeles
Ph.D., English, 1977

University of California at Los Angeles
M.A., English, 1975

Westmont College
B.A., 1973

  • C. S. Lewis