C.S. Lewis


Mere Christianity

Lewis wishes to deal with what he calls 'mere' Christianity and tries to avoid the areas of contention between denominations. He says these beliefs common to all Christians at all times was the only area he should deal with as: theological disputes are for experts to consider; that such disputed points has no tendency at all to bring unbelievers into Christianity, that so much as they are discussed it is more likely to deter unbelievers from entering any Christian Communion than draw him into one's own communion; and third that Lewis saw more authors were involved in the disputes than in mere Christianity. So about specific disputes his silence is sometimes intentional and sometimes necessary as he doesn't have an answer, he just doesn't want us to read into his silence. pg. viii It is at her center...the same voice [whereis the argument for this claim?] He tries to be silent about moral judgements on people who are in different contextual circumstances, and he has a reluctance to say mcuh about temptations to which he isn't exposed. "No man, I suppose, is tempted to every sin." He defends his use of the word "Christian" because it would become a useless word if we take too much liberty on how it could be used, merely becoming just another synonym for words we already have to refer to something. [Granted that "Christian" should not be made a relativized word, what reasons does he have that his definition reflects reality?] He likens mere Christianity to a hall and the rooms attached to this hall are the various communions we could choose, but one must live in the rooms and only use the hall to find the right (true) room. pg. xi "It is true that some...true one" [lots of beliefs based on faith here]. Lewis makes sure to distinguish between truth and subjective reasons for belief and lists some of these on the bottom of xi and xii.

Surprised by Joy

pg. 5 false identification of refinement with virtue

pg. 5 Lizzie was, as nearly as any human can be, simply good.

pg. 6 He discusses the absence of certain awareness of Beauty and design.

pg. 7 He mentions his introduction to the experience of Beauty, but limits the amount of experience he had of such things as Beauty, metaphysical concerns and imagination.

pg. 8 "It is not settled ... the past." He finds it odd that children can be exposed to "Hell" in their dreams. He finds insects horrifying because they suggest machines that have come to life or life degenerating into mechanism, and may add that in the hive and anthill we have realized two dreadful possibilites for our species - the dominance of the female and the dominance of the collective.

pg. 9 This scientific interest caused his phobia to almost vanish "and I am inclined ... cleansing effect." And he wonders why his mother would have let him see a picture of an insect terrorizing a child to him.

pg. 10 "to me, the important thing about ... became larger."

pg. 11 He mentions his introduction to the other world as having some reality.

pg. 12 He mentions why he began focusing on writing and say one can do more with imagination in writing than one could in reality.

pg. 13 Good quote

pg. 15 He draws a sharp distinction between imaginative invention and reverie. Interesting fact that his Animal-Land was prosaic, non-romantic, non-wonderful.

pg. 16 He writes of the experience he had of desire that is fascinating as the first experience he had of this type. The second and the third on pg. 17. All very interesting about a desire more desirable than any other falsification, he calls "Joy".

pg. 18 He defines Joy and constrasts it from Happiness and from pleasure. "Children suffer not ... differently."

pg. 19 "They say that a ... at this time." He mentions the changes in the house that would have been ? for a child. "Under the pressure ... bleak world."

He mentions his reaction to seeing the dead body of his mother. "To my hatred ... formality." He mentions that as a child the fact that his belief that prayer would work but it didn't make any religious difference because of how he saw things as a child.

pg. 26 and 27 He describes Oldie's abuse, which Lewis attributes to Oldie's not liking the children's social status. I also found the question about ushers wanting beers interesting as they were expected to decline the offer.

pg. 30 "guided by his first thoughts ... exactly what you had said."

pg. 31 A boy home from ... ergastulum, less." We had our quarrels ... alone together."

pg. 32 "I suspect that this pattern ... number of combatants."

pg. 33 "He reacted to bereavement ... reason to do so." He mentions that his conscious reaction was different from his unconscious reaction.

pg. 36 "Then the ordinary ... tell tale." He describes the apparent unreality of far off good occurences when confronted with immediate horrors and the opposite present peace being disturbed by impending but far off bad things but couldn't fully realize it.

pg. 37 "to think in sunny times ... face value."

pg. 38 and 39 He describes how his dad's verbal scolding was hard on him.

pg. 43 "I do not suppose ... on the subject."

pg. 44 and 45 Sir W.E.'s description and his daughter's descriptions "who can describe beauty?"

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2009