RELS 375 CP, The Christian Apologetics of C.S. Lewis

Dr. Andrew Kaethler, Mondays & Wednesdays, 9:25 am to 10:40 am

RELS 375 CP, The Christian Apologetics of C.S. Lewis (3 Sem. Hrs.)

This course provides a detailed study of the theological and apologetic writings of C.S.Lewis. The instructor presents the Christian worldview of Lewis, as well as limitations and problems that may be inherent in his theological vision. The relevance of Lewis' writings to the task of ecumenical theological dialogue is a recurrent theme.

C. S. Lewis was one of the twentieth century’s incisive intellects and an influential contributor to Christian apologetics and literature. He penned numerous books, ranging from nonfiction works of theology, philosophy, literary criticism and apologetics, to children’s literature, fiction and poetry. Since he was such a broad and intuitive thinker, it should be no surprise that some of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers and theologians have nothing but praise for him (e.g., Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Josef Pieper, and Robert Spaemann). Although Lewis is recognised as a brilliant thinker, for him, reason did not have the last word. While “reason is the natural order of truth,” the “imagination is the organ of meaning.” With this in mind, we will explore Lewis’ perspective on life, love, language, literature, friendship, epistemology, myth, morality, and God via his works of imagination.

Instructor's Note: Like many people, I was introduced to the Narniad as a child and was enamoured by Lewis’ fictional world. In university, I discovered Lewis’ other works of fiction and nonfiction, and his logic and poetics significantly shaped my intellectual and spiritual development. During my time in Eastern Europe I was fortunate to be plunged head first into the Lewis corpus as I researched and prepared to teach two different university courses on Lewis. To top it off, while living in the UK, I supped at The Eagle and Child (affectionately known by Lewis et al as The Bird and the Babe), spent several evenings bantering and discussing literature, theology, and CS Lewis with Michael Ward (author of Planet Narnia), and attended mass in Oxford with Lewis’ private secretary, Walter Hooper. Even though my attention over the last few years has been turned towards the theological anthropology of Joseph Ratzinger and Alexander Schmemann, I remain a Lewis aficionado.

   • Prerequisites: RELS 160 or equivalent with instructor’s consent. (0-0; 3-0)

   • The course meets the University Core Requirement for Religious Studies - C&C/ICRS (6-9), and meets the requirements for Christianity and Culture: Catholic Studies Minor.

   • In order to use this CPC course for any TWU Religious Studies Department degree requiring Christianity & Culture (6-9) courses, please seek permission from the Religious Studies Chair.

   • All CPC courses may be counted as electives for any TWU Degree.

   • CPC Courses may count towards CPC certificates as listed in the Course Requirements for each Certificate.

Image: Aslan, the great Lion of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Video: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe, 2005, Walt Disney Pictures