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Publisher's Summary

What can we still learn from C.S. Lewis? Find out in these 12 insightful lectures that cover the author's spiritual autobiography, novels, and his scholarly writings that reflect on pain and grief, love and friendship, prophecy and miracles, and education and mythology.

This is your chance to explore a canon of literary work that speaks volumes about the imaginative, emotional, and spiritual power of literature. As you delve into the depths of enduring works such as the Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and Till We Have Faces, you'll consider a range of questions central to truly understanding why C.S. Lewis has had such a profound impact on 20th-century readers.

From the magisterial Oxford History of English Literature to children's fantasy series, how did Lewis write with such brilliance and coherence in so many distinct fields? What were the people, events, and influences that shaped his thought, his character, and the spiritual drama at his life's core? What do Lewis's fictional and factual autobiographies reveal about his conversion and his efforts to explain and defend Christianity? How do his writings help readers come to grips with perennial spiritual questions involving miracles, suffering, sin, and salvation?

Join Professor Markos for an eye-opening examination of why Lewis - the Oxbridge don and self-described, "very ordinary layman of the Church of England," touches millions of readers so deeply and is considered the most widely read Christian spokesman of our time.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses

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C.S. Lewis Would Be Proud

This course explores the greatest works of C.S. Lewis. The first half of the course focuses on his non-fiction works and the second half on his fiction works, ending with the famous Chronicles of Narnia. Each lecture gives a short synopsis of the work, but the professor's primary goal is to give the background of the work and explore the messages that Lewis was trying to convey.

Preliminarily, anyone listening to this should be aware that C.S. Lewis was a devout Christian who focused much of his time extolling the virtues of Christianity and persuading others to adopt the faith. Nearly all of his works are either overtly Christian or Christian allegories. The professor begins his presentation by expressing that he shares Lewis's worldview, which is particularly appropriate in this context because it gives the professor a deeper understanding of Lewis's message. While it is possible that some of the professor's lectures may come off as "preachy," the listener should bear in mind that Lewis was typically trying to do just that—i.e., preach the Gospel. Lewis did not hide his faith and no serious review of his work can be done without exploring his beliefs as well as the foundations of Christian thought. The professor handled this both skillfully and respectfully. The professor's knowledge of Lewis's is vast, and the class is both informative and entertaining. I gained a much deeper appreciation of Lewis as a person and Lewis as an author.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Basically a collection of sermons

I hoped that this would be a series of lectures that talked about C.S. Lewis' life and the major themes in his writing. I already knew that most of what Lewis wrote is either an allegory of Christianity or directly apologetic of Christianity. I'm fine with that, and I expected that it would be a major recurring theme in this course. Unfortunately, this isn't a series of lectures, it's a series of sermons. Essentially, every lecture boils down to "here is one of the Truths of Christianity" (notice the capital "T") and a few quotes from one or two of C.S. Lewis' works on that theme. I'm a practicing Christian, and the problem wasn't that I was offended by the professor's sharing of his faith (he and I are probably 80% faith-compatible, if that's even a thing). The problem was that I wanted a literature review mixed with some biography, but I got twelve sermons with passing references to C.S. Lewis. If you want twelve sermons with references to C.S. Lewis, then this course is a good choice. Unfortunately, the description implies that it's something very different.

41 of 46 people found this review helpful

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Meh

I was already a big fan of C. S. Lewis when I downloaded this lecture series. While I did appreciate some of the points Professor Markos makes, I felt as if I was being preached at rather than being presented with information so I could form my own opinions.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A good overview, but more summary than analysis

The instructor is enthusiastic and knowledgeable. My reservations are in two areas: first, he devotes a great deal of time to summarizing Lewis's books and not nearly enough time analyzing them; and second, he allows his devotion to CS Lewis to overshadow any critical analysis of Lewis's ideas, relative to the broader context of theological, historical, and philosophical thought.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great but short

It felt rushed? No real depth on abolition of man or his literature (non fiction/non apologetical works) but good macro level treatment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Work on Chronicles of Narnia, Got Lost With

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Pluses:<br/>• Excellent summaries of the Chronicles of Narnia and literary analysis/insight<br/>• At times the philosophical discussion was interesting and got you thinking <br/><br/>Minuses:<br/>• The professor’s talking style seemed rushed<br/>• Too often I found myself either not understanding some of the philosophical concepts being discussed or did not find them interesting<br/>• The professor seemed to gush a little too much over the “greatness” of C.S. Lewis<br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Informative, enlightening.

I enjoy learning about what were the influences behind Lewis's works.
He was a gifted story teller.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Whirlwind tour of Lewis

Loved this and gave it five stars! Will relisten to all except the parts on the sci-fiction summaries. I have read them and not even the professor's explanations help Perelandra.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not What I Had Hoped

The professor spent most of the time summarizing the plots of several of Lewis's writings (which I can read for myself), and very little on the man himself. I had been hoping to learn about C.S. Lewis the person and how his life was reflected in his work, but this course did not offer that.

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Enjoyable &amp; Educational Overview of Lewis' writing

What made the experience of listening to The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis the most enjoyable?

I started with the sections on the Chronicles of Narnia--always enjoyable.

What did you like best about this story?

Professor Markos explains the historical and/or circumstances behind the writings as well as the theological implications and relates them to our current time.

Have you listened to any of Professor Louis Markos’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He's very passionate. I appreciate the choice of a professor who is also a Christian.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I enjoyed the example Professor Marko's used to explain Emeth the Calormen being saved. He contrasted the unbelieving Narnians to the sincere Calormen. His Biblical example contrasted the Pharisees to the Magi, who found Christ through their pursuit of Truth and worshipped him, while the Pharisees rejected Christ. Emeth's salvation and the inclusion of Bachus had bothered me when I was young; Professor Markos provides a logical explanation for the inclusion of both characters in the Chronicles.