Monday, May 21, 2012

Themes in C.S. Lewis

I discovered C.S. Lewis at a very impressionable age, just when I was beginning to sort out a worldview, and he so influenced that worldview that I have difficulty remembering which ideas I have borrowed and am, I have no doubt, often guilty of unconscious plagiarism.

Here, Dr. Art Lindsley of the C.S. Lewis Institute discusses "Seven Key Ideas from C.S. Lewis." They are key to Lewis, and they are sound ideas:
.... What are C.S. Lewis’s key ideas? I have chosen seven to summarize in this essay:
  1. Chronological Snobbery
  2. Desire
  3. Imagination
  4. Objective Values vs. Relativism
  5. Myth
  6. Immortality
  7. Comprehensiveness
Here is Dr. Lindsleys' summary of Lewis's explanation of "chronological snobbery" [the title links to a much longer pdf discussion of the idea, and similar links exist at his post for each of the other six]:
1. Chronological Snobbery

One obstacle that C.S. Lewis had to overcome was what he called his “chronological snobbery.” By that he meant the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is thereby discredited. For instance, people might ask, “What does a 2,000-year-old faith have to do with me?” One of Lewis’s friends helped him to ask about ideas that seemed outdated. Why did an idea go out of date and was it ever refuted? If so, where, by whom, and how conclusively? C.S. Lewis later argued that reading old books helped provide a corrective to the blindness induced by our own age. We ought, he maintained, to read one old book for every new one or if that’s too much, then one old one for every three new ones. Otherwise, we may be easily enslaved to the ideas of the recent past. .... [more]
Seven Key Ideas from C. S. Lewis | WisdomForLife