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Philosophy of CS Lewis

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Ben Taubensee

on 4 April 2013

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Transcript of Philosophy of CS Lewis

Philosophy of
C. S. Lewis Clive Staples Lewis -Born in 1898 in Belfast Ireland
-His mother died when he was 9 and was then sent to away to
boarding school
-He grew up in a Christian home
but after attending boarding school for four years he became an atheist at the age of 15 College He began attending college at Oxford University in 1916, however in 1917 he enlisted in the Royal British Army WWI Lewis served on the front line in France at the age of 19 and was wounded and released after the Battle of Arras in late December 1919.

Lewis became great friends with his army roommate Paddy Moore. After his death in battle, Lewis took over care for his mother and sister, moving in with them and later buying a family home "The Kilns" where they all lived along with Lewis' brother Warren. Back To College By May 20th 1925, Lewis had become an English Literature Professor at Oxford University and continued in this job for 29 years. It was here that he began some of his famous friendships. The Inklings Lewis met with a group of other authors in local pubs twice a week such as "The Bird and Baby" and "The Lamb and Flag". The other writers were:
-Hugo Dyson
-Charles Williams
-Robert Harvard
-Owen Barfield
-Nevill Coghill
-J.R.R. Tolkien Tolkien's influence on Lewis "What Tolkien did was help Lewis see how the two sides (of himself), reason and imagination, could be integrated...Tolkien showed Lewis how the two sides could be reconciled in the Gospel narratives. The Gospels has all the qualities of great human storytelling, But they portrayed a true event - God the storyteller entered his own story, in the flesh, and brought a joyous conclusion from a tragic situation. Suddenly Lewis could see that the nourishment he had always recieved from great myths and fantasy stories was a taste of the greatest, truest story - of the life, death and resurrection of Christ."
Collin Duriez interview on his book "A Fateful Conversation" Mere Christianity This work was originally 15 minute broadcasts made for BBC which were then published into book form. This book is best known for its opening chapters where Lewis explains why our sense of right and wrong implies the existence of both an objective morality and of a legislator of that objective morality. Also in Mere Christianity is Lewis’s Lord, liar, lunatic dilemma. Given the claims that Jesus made about himself. If those claims were false, then we should denounce Jesus as either a lunatic (if He believed them) or a liar (if He did not). If they were true, we should recognize that Jesus was far more than a great teacher, and acknowledge him as Lord. The
Screwtape Letters Another firm favorite of Lewis fans is his satire The Screwtape Letters. A collection of letters of advice written by the demon Screwtape to his apprentice and nephew Wormwood. Wormwood is struggling to disrupt the faith of the man to whom he has been assigned. Screwtape advises him on what techniques to use. Through this device, Lewis advises Christians on what schemes of demons to guard against. The
Pilgrim's Regress The Pilgrim’s Regress is Lewis’s first novel, an allegorical tale inspired by John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. In it, John, having had a vision of a beautiful island, sets out from the land of Puritania to find it. As he goes, he meets strange characters, caricatures of major worldviews: Sigismund Enlightenment, Media Halfways, and Mother Kirk. Underlying the allegory is autobiography; John’s journey is much like Lewis’s own, from the empty churchgoing of his childhood, through atheism, back to the Lord. The Problem of Pain Miracles Every experience of the supernatural is just that: an experience. Experiences are, though, by their very nature, subjective; it is always possible to question an experience; there is always room for doubt. How, then, can we ever trust an experience of the miraculous? What are we to do when our senses clash with our reason, when we seem to experience what we do not believe can occur? Miracles is Lewis’s response to this problem, his case for believing in both the possibility and the actuality of divine intervention in the world. The Abolition of Man Superficially a set of three essays on education. "Men Without Chests”, “The Way”, and “The Abolition of Man” this collection is of much broader interest than that. It is, in fact, snappy treatment of subjectivism, in ethics, and it's dire consequences. Lewis defends the idea that there is an eternal and immutable moral law that, no matter how much we attempt to reduce it personal preferences and cultural attitudes, cannot be conquered. The Great Divorce A second work dealing with subjectivism, this time religious rather than ethical, is The Great Divorce. This work, which gets its title from William Blake’s The Marriage Between Heaven and Hell, follows the narrator on a bus journey to both. Using this device, Lewis seeks to debunk the universalist idea that all are saved, that whatever path one chooses for one’s life will ultimately fulfil the same role as any other and so will lead to the same place. The Four Loves The Greek language, in which the New Testament was written, has four words for love, each meaning something slightly different: storge (affection), philia (friendship), eros (romantic love), and agape (charity). In The Four Loves Lewis explores each of them, how they differ, and how they relate. He sees the first three as natural loves, but the fourth as the gift of God, without which the other three can become distorted. The Problem of Pain is Lewis’s response to the problem of evil. The book begins with Lewis looking back at the response he would have given if asked “Why do you not believe in God?” when an atheist. -He died on November 22 1863,
the same day that President Kennedy was assassinated.
-On November 22, 2013,
the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis will be honored with a memorial in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. THE END
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