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C.S. Lewis In A Time Of War Hardcover – January 24, 2006
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From the Back Cover
BBC journalist Justin Phillips’s C. S. Lewis Goes to War is a fascinating look at a how these talks were created and the enthusiastic response they generated at a time when bombing in London caused many radio stations to be evacuated. This book reveals a previously untapped and rich vein of Lewis’s life and work that will intrigue his millions of fans.
About the Author
Justin Phillips was a radio journalist for the BBC for over twenty years. He worked in the World Service and was deputy editor of The World Tonight. He was an elder at his local church and a frequent speaker and preacher about Christianity, the media, and the relationship between the two. Phillips died in 2000, just before his fiftieth birthday, soon after submitting this finished manuscript. His oldest daughter, Laura Treneer, acted as his editor and brought the manuscript forward to publication.
Top Customer Reviews
In his bold BBC radio broadcasts, Lewis used plain language to defend core Christian beliefs -- the beliefs that transcend individual denominations. His broadcasts stiffened the spine of the British people as German bombs rained down upon England. He reminded them that western civilization stands for wholesome principles of eternal value. And, decades after the defeat of the Nazis, Lewis' message continues to inspire through the pages of his classic, Mere Christianity.
The late Justin Phillips was the perfect author to explain this little-understood nexus between World War II and Mere Christianity. A BBC radio journalist for over 20 years and a devout Christian, Phillips understood both the medium and the message. We can be grateful to Phillips' daughter Laura Treneer, who edited his almost-finished manuscript for publication.
The first section of the book tells the story of the development of the BBC, the political structures it operated under and the development of religious programming. This section does an excellent job of drawing the situation into which Lewis is injected with his talks that eventually became Mere Christianity. The second section is the story of Lewis broadcast talks.
Perhaps most intriguing was viewing the process of developing the talks and the role of the BBC in "encouraging" Lewis to shape his talks to their needs. Just as importantly we see how he might change structure, but he had a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish with the talks. In addition we see how the talks and religious programming in general were a part of the war effort. The book concludes with their divergent paths in the post war era.
It's intriguing to see how many times over the years Lewis turned down the BBC, rejecting both half-baked ideas and a few that look quite promising. Also it's interesting to note that due to the authors archive searches, there is no doubt that virtually none of this material survives in recorded form-a real tragedy.
The first 60 pages or so deal mostly with the BBC and the internal workings and government external forces in producing programs for the population. It is interesting in its relation to the war as well as its relation to religious programming. The censorship chapters are interesting, yet, not surprising and in the context of the situation at hand, over understood.
The archives and letters about C.S. Lewis and the interactions with producing his talks, changing items for the BBC and making the "Talks" and their effect is interesting from a realistic and pragmatic standpoint more than a theological one.
Phillips also touches on the work Dorthy Sayers and her BBC production of "The Man Born to be King." Her and Lewis' radio work left a lasting legacy, for good or ill (after all, most religious prod-casting isn't up to their level whether in theological discussions or plays).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well-researched and written. A fascinating view into Mr Lewis' character and work. A book I'm keeping!Published on July 4, 2014 by surfwidow
As a seminary professor charged with teaching a seminar on Lewis and "Mere Christianity" earlier this year, I found this book to be an excellent resource in teaching the... Read morePublished on May 7, 2014 by Our old house
Since Lewis if famed for his Narnia works, still most praised by Britons, it seemed a worthy pursuit to understand his role in England's crisis. Read morePublished on December 21, 2013 by Rod Story
by Theresa E. Dalton
Recently, I came across this book. Of course, C.S. Lewis is an icon to many, his many books highly respected and inspirational to millions, so its subject... Read more