C. S. LEWIS: The Shape of His Faith and Thought by Paul L. Holmer

C. S. LEWIS: The Shape of His Faith and Thought

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This eloquent essay in praise of C. S. Lewis is an affectionate and discerning tribute. Faithful to Lewis' own spirit, Holmer (veteran religion teacher at Yale) conveys his importance not by summarizing his views, but by articulating his style. For Lewis, genuine knowledge comes less through global theories or expert analysis (the modern penchant) than through concrete familiarity. And his writing has authority because he writes of what he came to know firsthand and piecemeal. The aim of his unique authorship--novels, fantasies, literary studies, religious essays--was to promote this sort of learning: to educate readers' sensibilities, to enhance their capacities for seeing and feeling, and to evoke their deep longing for innocence, purity, beauty, joy, wholeness. Only as attuned to life's high drama can one appreciate poetry, strive to shape a moral life, and hear the plain call of the Gospels to the richest possible way of being. The abstractions of theologies and moral philosophies are not so much wrong as inevitably relative and beside the point, since what matters finally is not correct theory but the refashioning of the individual. The effect of Holmer's book is almost to be impatient for it to be over so that you can read a dutch of Lewis--fit recognition of the accomplishment of both men.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row