This week’s reading for Perelandra was an ambivalent one for me. It’s not that there wasn’t a bunch of meaty theology. There certainly was that. And it wasn’t that the richness of Dante’s Divine Comedy was called to mind with Ransom’s emergence in the darkened underwater cave of another Fixed Land, through dimly-lit mountain, to mountain’s top. But like Dante’s Comedy the interesting bits are the ones dealing with the horrors of hell. I’m not sure why that is.
In any case, though we end in Paradise, and Paradise intended, it seems a let down compared to the cosmic battle that has been going on for many chapters now. The Lord and Lady of Perelandra are installed as rightful king and queen, and even the angelic ruler of the planet turns over her authority and becomes their messenger.
The wound in Ransom’s heel is clearly analogous to the Genesis 3 prophecy of our Lord himself. Ransom is, indeed, God’s savior of Perelandra. But here atonement is not necessary for there was never a rupture. The temptation has been faced and passed. Though not completely without cost. Even in Paradise, it seems, the divinized life is not lived apart from striving.
Were I not so tired and unfocused right now, I would love to deal more adequately with the metaphysics of space and time Lewis makes into expert poetic prose. But I rather suspect I will get my chance with That Hideous Strength.