C.S. Lewis's Seven Key Ideas
by Dr. Art Lindsley
I have heard it said that many well-known thinkers have only two or three key ideas that they develop from various angles throughout their lives. It might be asked: What are C.S. Lewis's key ideas? I have chosen seven to summarize in this essay. You can click on the words in bold to get a further development of these ideas. The seven I have chosen are:
1.) Chronological Snobbery; 2.) Desire ; 3.) Imagination; 4.) Objective Values vs. Relativism;
5.) Myth; 6.) Immortality; 7.) Comprehensiveness
One obstacle that C.S. Lewis had to overcome was what he called his "chronological snobbery." By that he meant the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is thereby discredited. For instance, people might ask, "What does a 2,000-year-old faith have to do with me?" One of Lewis's friends helped him to ask about ideas that seemed outdated. Why did an idea go out of date and was it ever refuted? If so, where, by whom, and how conclusively? C.S. Lewis later argued that reading old books helped provide a corrective to the blindness induced by our own age. We ought, he maintained, to read one old book for every new one or if that's too much, then one old one for every three new ones. Otherwise, we may be easily enslaved to the ideas of the recent past…
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