C. S. Lewis on Love and its Limits

Starting with The Four Loves, explore the nature of love, as reflected by Lewis and developed across his writings, including Till We Have Faces and Surprised by Joy.

What is love? How many loves? Can men and women be friends? When does love become idolatrous?

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 course, you will write on all eight topics.

Paper Topics:

1. New perspectives on The Four Loves
2. Lewis and Augustine on love’s vulnerability
3. Lewis on eros and happiness
4. Lewis on spiritual longing as a form of love
5. Lewis on gender (major only)
6. Lewis on Christian marriage (major only)
7. Lewis on love, worship, and idolatry (major only)
8. Lewis on “Christian love”: myth or matchmaker? (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 The Four LovesTill We Have Faces, and Surprised by Joy; C. S. Lewis’s essays, poems, and sermons ‘We Have No Right to Happiness’, ‘Transposition’, ‘Love’s As Warm As Tears’, and ‘Scazons’.

Some of the secondary sources you will explore include: Love in the Western World by Denis de Rougemont; Agape and Eros by Anders Nygren; Confessions by St. Augustine; and The Sword Between the Sexes? by Mary Van Leeuwen.