- Paperback: 268 pages
- Publisher: IVP Academic; PRINT-ON-DEMAND edition (June 15, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0830828087
- ISBN-13: 978-0830828081
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,388,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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C. S. Lewis as Philosopher: Truth, Goodness and Beauty Paperback – June 15, 2008
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"Lovers of C. S. Lewis will both enjoy and benefit from this collection." (Thomas W. Platt, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Vol. XXII, No. 1/2)
"Lewis's philosophical significance has been neglected too long, and this book goes a long way to addressing that neglect. This belongs in every college library." (David L. O'Hara, Religious Studies Reviews, September 2009)
"Taken as a whole, this collection succeeds in fleshing out the place Lewis occupies in the development of Christian philosophical thought during the 20th century. The essay by Jean Bethke Elshtain, explicating The Abolition of Man, is so powerfully written and exquisitely reasoned as to make it alone worth the cost of the entire book." (Steve Baker, The Christian Librarian, 52, 2009)
"I was at first intimidated by this academic collection, but as I continued reading, my understanding and appreciation of Lewis grew. Because of this book, I will enjoy reading Lewis's works with a new vision." (Mary Lou Henneman, Congregational Libraries Today, January/February 2009)
"A number of essays in this intersting collection bring out the unity in Lewis' thinking. The essays in this collection cast plenty of light on the thinking of the man who was probably the greatest Christian apologist of the twentieth century." (Paul Richardson, Church Newspaper, March 13, 2009)
"Provides impressive evidfence that Lewis' philosophical legacy is a substantial one, with lasting significance. The book will be of particular interest to philosophers, philosophy students, and C. S. Lewis readers." (Savannah Jones, Sir Read a Lot (sirreadalot.org), July 2008)
"This brilliant collection of essays will appeal especially to those who are avid readers of Lewis's books and essays." (Retailers + Resources, June 2008)
About the Author
David J. Baggett (Ph.D., Wayne State University) is professor of philosophy at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is the coeditor (with Shawn Klein) of the book Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts.
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This somehow led me to listen to a talk by the celebrated philosopher Peter Kreeft (who recently wrote Jacob's Ladder: Ten Steps to Truth), on the Good True and Beautiful. I found it online. Kreeft's numerous references to C. S. Lewis and the brilliant thoughts quoted from him were enough to warrant spending some of my time with the thoughts of Lewis. I chose this book because of its title and especially because Peter Kreeft was the author of the first essay found inside, "Lewis's Philosophy of Truth, Goodness and Beauty," which is probably the best essay in the book.
Since, Philosophy is the "love of Wisdom," calling Lewis a Philosopher is merely owning up to the fact that wisdom is found throughout all of his works. The range of his thought is not captured in a single volume. Rather, it is found in the rich nuggets spread throughout all of his works. A quote from Owen Barfield sort of summarizes the quality of thought found sprinkled among all his works, "what he thought about everything was secretly present in what he said about anything." In this, Lewis has a way of pressing the reader to think on his or her own profound thoughts which Lewis seemingly effortlessly makes intuitively obvious, but which the reader needs personal reflection to realize their full impact. For instance, from the movie C.S. Lewis: Through the Shadowlands or Shadowlands, we hear Lewis' famous line, "God whispers in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it's God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world." His thoughts are likened to greats like Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas.
Lewis has a way to make sense out of impossible to grasp things like suffering and God. He identifies suffering in this world in a very positive way, a "vale of soul making" and concludes that "it seems on the whole to be doing its work." He moves away from traditional descriptions of God, who he says, "is not a static thing ... but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think of me as irreverent, a kind of dance."
For those unfamiliar with C. S. Lewis, the plentiful passages and citings found in this work might just be enough to take the reader back to their sources, like Mere Christianity by Lewis, C. S. (Unabridged Edition) [AudioCD(2003)], The Problem of Pain,A Grief Observed (Library Edition)[Unabridged] (Audio CD),The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7 Volume CD Box Set (Unabridged),Perelandra (Space-Cosmic-Ransom Trilogy, Book 2)(Library Edition) (Space Trilogy), etc.
Not an easy read! But, it's a worthwhile one!
This collection of essays delivers on its promised explorations of Lewis' ideas about 'Truth, Goodness, and Beauty' in the breadth of its explorations, the depth and cogency of its arguments, the beauty of the book inside and out, and the clarity and crispness of the prose, which, though written predominantly by professional philosophers, is mercifully free of academic jargon.
Three essays I enjoyed very much and which stretched my thinking as well as my understanding and appreciation of Lewis were Victor Reppert's 'Update on Lewis' Argument from Reason,' Gregory Bassham's 'On the Power of the Imagination,' and Peter Kreeft's opening work on 'Truth, Goodness, and Beauty' that sets the engaging, challenging tone of the collection. What I learned from this fraction of the whole (a fifth!) justified many times the cost of the book.
Again, Lewis as Philosopher and Lewis as Social Critic are the neglected aspects of this brilliant Renaissance Man (as much as the Medievalist might have disliked that term). 'C. S. Lewis as Philosopher' is a valuable addition to the growing awareness of this don and his relevance in understanding virtue, art, and reality. I recommend it with enthusiasm to individuals who are serious readers of CSL and to libraries and schools with collections of Lewis' books, critical and fictional. This is a text to help the neophyte and scholar to a greater appreciation of those books.
C.S. Lewis: Views From Wake Forest
C.S. Lewis & Philosophy As a Way of Life