C. S. Lewis: Intellect and Imagination

Rediscover the life and writings of C. S. Lewis: his influences and his influence. What makes his writing so effective, both intellectually and imaginatively?

Though all of Dr. Lepojarvi’s courses are stand-alone ones, this introductory course sets the overall tone. It is recommendable to take this course before the other C. S. Lewis courses.

As a student, you can take the course as a major or as a minor. If you take it as a minor, you will write on the first four topics. If you take it as a major, you will write on the first four topics, and then choose four of the last six topics.

Paper Topics:

1. Overview of Lewis’s life and conversion
2. Lewis’s understanding of myth
3. The Narnia Chronicles (Part One): allegory, myth, or hodgepodge?
4. The Narnia Chronicles (Part Two): a revolutionary proposal
5. Lewis on ethics (major only)
6. Lewis on love (major only)
7. Lewis’s depictions and descriptions of salvation (major only)
8. Lewis on suffering (major only)
9. Lewis on heaven and hell (major only)
10. Lewis on the power of language (major only)

Jason will direct you towards initial research materials for each topic. From there, you can branch out and explore the world of your topic! For more information, or for a more detailed syllabus, contact Jason.

Some of the primary sources you will explore include: C. S. Lewis’s books Surprised by JoyThe Abolition of Man, Mere ChristianityThe Great DivorceThe Chronicles of Narnia, and That Hideous Strength; C. S. Lewis’s essays, poems, and sermons ‘The Weight of Glory’, ‘Myth Became Fact’, and ‘On Stories’.

Some of the secondary sources you will explore include: The Intellectual Life of C. S. Lewis by Alister McGrath; Planet Narnia by Michael Ward; The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis by Robert MacSwain & Michael Ward (ed.); and C. S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea by Victor Report.