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The Intellectual World of C. S. Lewis



The Intellectual World of C. S. Lewis

Alister E. McGrath

ISBN: 978-1-118-50318-8 April 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 208 Pages

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Marking the 50th anniversary of Lewis’ death, The Intellectual World of C. S. Lewis sees leading Christian thinker Alister McGrath offering a fresh approach to understanding the key themes at the centre of Lewis’ theological work and intellectual development.

  • Brings together a collection of original essays exploring important themes within Lewis’ work, offering new connections and insights into his theology
  • Throws new light on subjects including Lewis’ intellectual development, the uses of images in literature and theology, the place of myth in modern thought, the role of the imagination in making sense of the world, the celebrated 'argument from desire', and Lewis’ place as an Anglican thinker and a Christian theologian
  • Written by Alister McGrath, one of the world’s leading Christian thinkers and authors; this exceptional pairing of McGrath and Lewis brings together the work of two outstanding theologians in one volume

Acknowledgments vii

A Brief Biography of C. S. Lewis ix

Introduction 1

1. The Enigma of Autobiography: Critical Reflections on Surprised by Joy 7

2. The “New Look”: Lewis’s Philosophical Context at Oxford in the 1920s 31

3. A Gleam of Divine Truth: The Concept of Myth in Lewis’s Thought 55

4. The Privileging of Vision: Lewis’s Metaphors of Light, Sun, and Sight 83

5. Arrows of Joy: Lewis’s Argument from Desire 105

6. Reason, Experience, and Imagination: Lewis’s Apologetic Method 129

7. A “Mere Christian”: Anglicanism and Lewis’s Religious Identity 147

8. Outside the “Inner Ring”: Lewis as a Theologian 163

Works by Lewis Cited 185

Index 187

“I have read many of Lewis's works repeatedly over the years and have read much of the secondary literature on him. The Intellectual World of C. S. Lewisdoes a good job in placing him in the intellectual context of his time.”  (Modern-day Pilgrim, 8 April 2014)

“McGrath’s volume is useful to both Lewis scholars and lay readers interested in Lewis or the themes with which he engaged.”  (The Way, 1 April 2014)

“There are acute and stimulating observations on Surprised by Joy as autobiography cast in a Christian mould, and its reliability as a source for historians. There are two particularly fine chapters showing the long-range influence on Lewis of the tradition of classical, medieval and early modern literature.”  (Peter Webster's Blog, 22 January 2014)

“Summing Up:  Highly recommended.  Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty.”  (Choice, 1 December 2013)

“Many will also be grateful for these two books by Alister McGrath. Both reflect his thorough research, careful weighing of evidence, wide reading, and clarity of expression. . .  The book contains useful studies on different aspects of Lewis as a Christian thinker; and I particularly enjoyed the slightly mischievous chapter in which McGrath argues that Lewis should be seen as a “real” theologian, not just the amateur one that he himself claimed to be.”  (Church Times, 22 November 2013)

“There is more to be said about Lewis as apologist and theologian but McGrath has written what will long be regarded as the essential guide.”  (The Church of England Newspaper, 23 June 2013)

“McGrath is ingenious and persuasive in searching Lewis’s writings for clues to his private life … [A] devoted and meticulous biography.”   (The Times Literary Supplement, 21 June 2013)

“Alister McGrath's biography of C.S. Lewis was an incredible exploration of one of the greatest minds in the history of Christian thought. I've always enjoyed reading Lewis because of the way he explains concepts in a way that is refreshing and inspiring. I found McGrath to have that kind of way with words in his exploration of Lewis' life. He takes the exploration a step further in a new companion book to the Lewis biography, THE INTELLECTUAL WORLD OF C.S. LEWIS.”  (Tom Farr Reviews, 1 June 2013)

"Lewis will go on being read nevertheless, because he is capable of great writing, but precisely which works and what the reception will be is also an open question. There are, however, many useful insights in this collection of essays, especially as regards the approach to Lewis’s modes of thought, with much unspoken about Lewis’s verbal practices." (Oxford Journals 2016)

Please click on the link to visit the Wiley website for Alister E. McGrath, Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education at King�s College London, UK, and head of its Centre for Theology, Religion, and Culture. This innovative website brings together information about McGrath�s numerous Wiley books, including textbooks and scholarly research.

You will also find links to our companion websites for key textbooks, such as Christian History, and a host of additional resources such as podcasts, images, and videos, all designed to enhance your experience of using his books � whether you are a student or a teacher.