Whilst much has been written about Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien both individually and collectively, Scarf claims that the quintessential ideals of Kingship common to their work have never by themselves been studied.
In exploring the ideals of kingship – divine, human and mythological– in the work of the three writers, Scarf discovers a variety of ideas, some overlapping, of a Creator-King. Scarf explores the concept in depth seeking out evidence for His attributes, His perceived purpose in creating, and whether any such purpose is reflected in His creations. The book considers whether the Creator involved demiurges, or simply created ex nihilo. Scarf also considers the entry of evil into a perfect creation, a question at the heart of Christian theology.
As well as drawing on the works of the three authors, Scarf looks to their influences – Old English poetry such as Beowulf, the Arthurian Legends and Greek history, as well as scholarly exegesis of Old and New Testament ideas of Ancient Hebrew kingship, and its ultimate fulfilment in Christ the King.
This new work forms an inter-disciplinary approach to Kingship – literary, theological and historic– that offers the reader a key to a deeper understanding of the work of all three Oxford ‘Inklings’. Scarf ultimately claims that these ideas are important in the light of today’s Christian belief (or lack of it) in contemporary Britain, and that it is only in understanding these ideas and ideals that the three men’s true contributions to English Life and Literature can be fully appreciated.