Category Archives: academics

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Apologetic From The Earth

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Is C.S Lewis’s assessment of ancient wisdom out-of-date?

I’m curious if anyone thinks the following observation, made by C.S. Lewis in the 1940s, is less true today than it was when it was written:

“If we did all that Plato or Aristotle or Confucius told us, we should get on a great deal better than we do. And so what? We never have followed the advice of the great teachers. Why are we likely to begin now?”

That’s the central issue I’m after.

However, it seems unfair not to include how Lewis continues:

“Why are we more likely to follow Christ than any of the others? Because He is the best moral teacher? But that makes it even less likely that we shall follow Him. If we cannot take the elementary lessons, is it likely we are going to take the advanced one? If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years. A bit more makes no difference.

“But as soon as you look at any real Christian writings, you find that they are talking about something quite different from this popular religion. They say that Christ is the Son of God (whatever that means). They say that those who give Him their confidence also become Sons of God (whatever that means). They say that His death saved us from our sins (whatever that means).”

(Quotations from Beyond Personality, which was later included in Mere Christianity.)

New book offers first critical biography of C.S. Lewis’ friend Ruth Pitter, first woman to win Queen’s poetry award

LiturgicalCredo.com has posted an interview with Don W. King, author of Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter (Kent State University Press). The book is due in May.

In 1955, English poet Ruth Pitter became the first woman to receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. She had previously won two other major poetry awards.

Pitter was admired by W.B. Yeats and C.S. Lewis, as well as other members of the Inklings.

Don W. King discovered references to letters between Lewis and Pitter while he was doing research for his 2001 book, C.S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse (Kent State University Press). After that, he continued to research Pitter, and the result was Hunting the Unicorn.

You’ll find the interview prominently displayed on our home page.

(Mac users, if you happen to notice any strange breaks in the text of the interview, please let us know by leaving a comment on this post.)

cheers,

Colin Foote Burch

LiturgicalCredo.com