Surprised by Joy

Surprised by Joy : The Shape of My Early Life

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"A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere . . . God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous." This book is not an autobiography. It is not a confession. It is, however, certainly one of the most beautiful and insightful accounts of a person coming to faith. Here, C.S. Lewistakes us fromhis childhood in Belfast through the loss of his mother, to boarding school and a youthful atheism in England, to the trenches of World War I, and then toOxford, where he studied, read, and, ultimately, reasoned his way back to God. It is perhaps this aspect of Surprised by Joy that we believers and nonbelievers find most compelling and meaningful; Lewis was searching for joy, for an elusive and momentary sensation of glorious yearning, but he found it, and spiritual life, through the use of reason. In this highly personal, thoughtful, intelligent memoir, Lewis guides us toward joy and toward the surprise that awaits anyone who seeks a life beyond the expected. "Lewis tempered his logic with a love for beauty, wonder, and magic . . . He speaks to us with all the power and life-changing force of a Plato, a Dante, and a Bunyan." Christianity Today "The tension of these final chapters holds the interest like the close of a thriller." Times Literary Supplement C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis (1898 1963), one of the great writers of the twentieth century, also continues to be one of our most influential Christian thinkers. He wrote more than thirty books, both popular and scholarly, including The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Screwtape Letters, The Four Loves, Mere Christianity, and Till We Have Faces."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 252 pages
  • 134 x 198 x 18mm | 181.44g
  • Cengage Learning, Inc
  • Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc
  • Belmont, CA, United States
  • English
  • 0156870118
  • 9780156870115
  • 96,724

Back cover copy

"Fascinating."--"The Nation"The intensely intimate and sincere autobiography of a man who thought his way to God. An unfailingly honest and acutely perceptive observer of humanity, C.S. Lewis recounts his search for joy, a spiritual journey that led him from a traditional Christian childhood in Belfast to a youthful atheism and, finally, back to a confident Christianity. Lewis candidly and sensitively describes his early schooldays, his experiences in the trenches during World War I, and his undergraduate life at Oxford--where he reasoned his way back to God. It is perhaps the commonsensical aspect of his conversion to Christianity that makes Lewis's story so compelling and meaningful, especially to contemporary readers who are believers and nonbelievers alike.Since its first publication in 1955, Lewis's journey--his "surprise"--continues to be deeply important to his admirers and to those concerned with the compatibility of the rational and the spiritual. "I read C.S. Lewis for comfort and pleasure many years ago, and a glance at the books revives my old admiration."--John Updike "Anyone approaching this book as a study in the psychology of conversion will find the greatest interest in the dual paths--intellectual and intuitive--which converged at last. But the casual reader looking merely for an enjoyable book will equally value many other parts."--"Saturday Review" C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) gained international renown for an impressive array of beloved works both popular and scholarly: literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature, and numerous books on theology. "Surprised by Joy" is among his most celebrated achievements, as is "Out of the Silent Planet, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, " and "The Four Loves."show more