Summer 2013

My Favorite C.S. Lewis Book

The Abolition of Man

This book consists of three reflections on education: “Men without Chests,” “The Way,” and “The Abolition of Man,” along with a rich collection of illustrations of the Natural Law. I deeply appreciate Lewis’ arguments for objective truth outside ourselves and the need to inculcate in pupils just sentiments, magnanimous living and trained virtue. 
– June Hetzel, dean of Biola’s School of Education

 

That Hideous Strength

The final book in Lewis’ Space Trilogy, That Hideous Strength narrates with heart-stopping reality the redemption of two young souls as well as the desolation and death of others. Set in an English university town, this story’s characters include professors, angels, demons, a wizard and a bear. Only Lewis could pull this off with such finesse, creating a story for the ages that will recalibrate your imagination.
– Betsy A. Barber, associate director of the Institute for Spiritual Formation

 

The Great Divorce

I love this dream vision by C.S. Lewis because it brought comfort to me after I lost my mother in a sudden and unexpected way. Lewis’ paradoxical images of a sublimely concrete afterlife helped me picture the joy of meeting my mother again, just as Lewis, through the narrator of The Great Divorce, imagines meeting his literary mentor George MacDonald in heaven.
– Natasha Duquette, associate professor of English

After all these years of reading Lewis, I remember best many moments in his fiction where his intellectual and imaginative brilliance meet. In The Great Divorce, Lewis exposes the reasons why people reject God’s invitation, reasons that are more often of the heart than of the mind, encouraging us to wonder, “What really keeps this person before me from opening to God’s love?”
– Todd Pickett, dean of spiritual development

 

The Horse and His Boy

I loved reading the Narnia series to our chil­dren when they were younger, and I always was moved by The Horse and His Boy. One scene that I’ve found assuring over the years is when the boy Shasta, along with Aravin and the horses, is journeying across the desert. A lion in the dark frightens them, causing the four to flee more swiftly, not knowing that their accelerated speed was actually saving them from the pursuing army of Rabadash. The lion later reveals himself as Aslan. There’s a lot there to mull over as it relates to the pursuing God, whom poet Francis Thompson called the “Hound of Heaven.”
– Barry H. Corey, president

 

The Screwtape Letters

I remember after giving my life to Christ on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in 1988 as an undergraduate at San Diego State University, being told by a brother of mine to get involved with Campus Crusade. I was then told to read some of the great Christian writers such as C.S. Lewis. I picked up Mere Christianity and couldn’t make heads-nor-tails from it, so I picked up The Screwtape Letters. As a new Christian, this book scared the heck out of me, especially after having an encounter on campus that paralleled the book. I didn’t pick up the book again until two years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed the message Lewis was bringing to me, and the daily prayer that is so vital and important for our lives.
– Fred Ramirez, professor, School of Education

 

Surprised by Joy

Besides the fact that this is Lewis’ spiritual autobiography and therefore a must-read, I deeply connected with his concept of Joy, how God moved in the confluence of Lewis’ intellect and emotions. As Lewis writes in his preface, it made me say, “What! Have you felt that too? I always thought I was the only one.”
– Monica Cure, assistant professor in the Torrey Honors Institute

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