FACT CHECK: Did CS Lewis Write This Dialogue Between Jesus and Satan?

Dominick Porcella | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook over 2,700 times claims author C.S. Lewis wrote a dialogue between Satan and Jesus, in which Satan said, “I will cause economic turmoil.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of Lewis writing the dialogue attributed to him in the post. It was actually written by a Facebook user earlier this year.

Fact Check:

Facebook users recently shared a short exchange between Jesus and Satan that they claim “The Chronicles of Narnia” author wrote in 1942. (RELATED: Did CS Lewis Once Write About How ‘Many Souls’ Can Be Brought To Hell By The ‘Fear Of Getting Sick’?)

In the dialogue, Satan says he will cause anxiety, fear and panic by shutting down “business, schools, places of worship and sports events.” Jesus appears to respond by saying he will, among other things, bring “dinner back to the dinner table” and help “people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters.”

The exchange is often attributed to Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters,” an epistolary novel that examines theological concepts through letters exchanged between two demons. However, it does not appear in that work or any of Lewis’ other writings. William O’Flaherty, author of “The Misquotable C.S. Lewis,” debunked the attribution on his website and Facebook page.

“This fairly recent fake Screwtape quote has been popular over the past 30 days on my site,” O’Flaherty wrote on Facebook. “If you have ever read The Screwtape Letters then you know this passage is not even in the same style.”

Snopes traced the viral exchange back to the Facebook user Heidi May, who published it on the social media platform on March 12. She later told Reuters that she wrote the exchange when she was “feeling overwhelmed,” adding that “Jesus spoke these words to my heart.”

Social media users often erroneously credit Lewis with viral quotes. Check Your Fact has debunked numerous quotes misattributed to the author, including one about people being led to Hell through their “fear of getting sick.”

Dominick Porcella