C.S. Lewis Then and Now

C.S. Lewis Then and Now

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Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was a distinguished scholar of medieval and Renaissance literature who taught at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. After his conversion to Christianity, Lewis began writing Christian apologetic works aimed at a popular audience. It is for these works that Lewis is now best remembered; especially in the U.S., where his books have sold in the millions and continue to be popular today. Perhaps because of this popularity, however, Lewis's Christian writings are generally dismissed by theologians as oversimplified and conceptually flawed. With this book, Wesley A. Kort hopes to rehabilitate Lewis and to demonstrate the value and continuing relevance of his work. Kort not only retrieves Lewis from the now-dated context of his writings, but also wrests him from the hands of evangelicals who have turned his word into gospel and mistaken his attacks on modernity for a retreat from the world.
Kort addresses and refutes common prejudices about Lewis and shows that, although Lewis was sharply critical of the materialism and narcissism of modern culture, he nevertheless insisted that only through culture can Christian teachings effectively shape moral character. Lewis's desire for a fruitful, interactive relationship between Christianity and culture sharply distinguishes him from neo-orthodox theology and many contemporary Christian rejections of culture.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 149.9 x 231.1 x 17.8mm | 317.52g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195176634
  • 9780195176636

About Wesley A. Kort

Wesley A. Kort is Professor of Religion at Duke University. His publications include "Take Read": Scripture, Textuality, and Cultural Practice (1996), Bound to Differ: The Dynamics of Theological Discourses (1992), and Story, Text, and Scripture: Literary Interests in Biblical Narrative (1988).
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Review quote

"If you last read something written by C.S. Lewis during your student days, or if you have never read anything at all by him, you may want to pick up C.S. Lewis Then and Now by Wesley A. Kort....Kort has given us a literary Rosetta Stone to update and understand some of Lewis' themes that are pertinent to contemporary life. This well-written book houses many ideas that should be entertained in sermons and studies throughout congregations that take seriously
solid thinking to the glory of God."-The Presbyterian Outlook "C. S. Lewis Then and Now promises to make Lewis compelling not only to many lay people, but also to the kind of academic religious studies reader who (unlike millions of lay readers, many of them Christians of various sorts) has not been able to appreciate him. Kort shows that Lewis was not only criticizing 'modern culture' but looking for a fruitful, interactive relationship between Christianity and culture."-Larry D. Bouchard, University of
Virginia "Wesley Kort takes the opportunity of C.S. Lewis's recent centenary to assess the author's ongoing appeal, to examine his critique of modern culture, and to explore the varied riches he has personally found in decades of rereading. Taking into account a wide-ranging legacy of fiction, autobiography, and essay, he concentrates his attention on Lewis's ability to imagine a rich, collective life -a shared communal vision. Kort argues that the post-modern world in which
we live is ripe for a writer so adept at building bridges between various constituencies, so versatile in his mastery of different kinds of writing. After years of teaching Lewis to Duke undergraduates, he now brings his smart, timely discoveries to the rest of us."-Peter S. Hawkins, Boston
University "This book should contribute to a greater appreciation of C.S. Lewis by all levels of readers."Choice "Wesley Kort has given us a literary Rosetta Stone to update and understand some of Lewis' themes that are pertinent to contemporary life."-Presbyterian Outlook "[Kort] penetrated Lewis's world in a way that few before him had."-America "Taking a broad look at Lewis's weaving together of Christianity and culture, Kort offers a refreshing new reading of Lewis's life and work...Kort provides perhaps the most challenging reading of Lewis now available."Publishers Weekly
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