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Lewis; perhaps you have noticed. And to say that he was a responsible scholar appears to be among the least interesting things to say; but no statement is truer. By "scholar," I refer to one whose vocation is academic inquiry, one who marshals evidence in the pursuit of theses for testing and development and shares his discoveries with peers in the forums of his discipline.
Such inquiry assumes the effective use of those tools, verbal or instrumental, available to the scholar: By these standards, Lewis us a towering scholarly figure in the world of 20th Century letters, particularly in literary criticism and history.
Between andhe published an astonishing number of scholarly works, countless articles, and more than five major, seminal works of influence and provocation-all the while maintaining an equally active, impressive career as an apologist, fantasy writer, and, of course, correspondent.
In was in one of his fantasy works, The Great Divorce, that Lewis epitomizes the difference between the work of the responsible scholars and that of much modern and contemporary academic discourse. During his dream journey to the netherworld, Lewis overhears a conversation between two characters, one of whom, If you recall, is a citizen of the grey town, an apostate bishop who deigns to escape what is to him an increasingly impertinent discussion with one of the Bright People, Dick, who has come to try to rescue him.
Dick, a redeemed soul who knew the venerable bishop before his death, earnestly tries to get him see that he is, in fact, dwelling in Hell--not as a theological abstraction but as an actuality.
This Episcopal ghost becomes quite agitated by Dick's insistence that his earthly opinions were not arrived at honestly, that there are firm and true answers to his theological heresies, and that he has had the audacity to call upon him to repent. As Lewis listens in, he hears the climax of this obtuse conversation: Will it leave me the free play of Mind, Dick?
I must insist on that, you know. What you now call the free play of inquiry has neither more nor less to do with the ends for which intelligence was given you than masturbation has to do with marriage" Dick's pointed answer, which the bishop regards as both irreverent and obscene, indeed offers a stinging rebuke to the spirit of our own age, one whose errant scholarship often surpasses in foolishness and squalor even Lewis's dire predictions.
Its disdain for even the possibility of objective truth; its fostering of inquiry that is only about itself; and its veneration for postmodernism's "free play" of discourse-in which meaning is tied neither to persons or things: And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind-is, in the end, Hell.
But heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakable remains" So it is in our little grey dungeons of "academic inquiry" at the end of the twentieth century, a socially constructed universe each within our own heads resting on truth that is only, at its best, consensus, and a consciousness which suspects nothing of a transcendent order, lacking both the tools and the will to investigate it.
The question to be answered in this essay is, What can Lewis offer us as antidote to what he called in An Experiment in Criticism, "egoistic castle-building"-shallow, self-indulgent scholarship that folds in on itself in Seinfeldian fashion and is about precisely "nothing"?
As we head toward a new millennium, we turn once again to Lewis as a wise navigator whose instruction and example may lead us out of the morass of subjectivism and doubt that renders our campuses and public square so impotent in the search for understanding.
To accomplish our task, we must consider first how the young Lewis grew to become the astoundingly erudite and successful scholar he was.
From an early age, Lewis had had a precocious interest in the transcendent, which is to say, the unshakable, the real, and sought through the twin organs of imagination and reason, through nature and the outside world, as well as through books and his inner world, to apprehend the truth.
The young Lewis, denied none of the volumes in his father's library traveled far and wide in history, myth, and story long before he entered Oxford.
Listen to his brother Warnie speak to this: By the standards of a present-day childhood in England, we spent an extraordinary amount of our time shut up indoors. We would gaze out of our nursery window at the slanting rain and the grey skies.
But we always had pencils, paper, chalk, and paintboxes, and this recurring imprisonment gave us occasion and stimulus to develop the habit of creative imagination. And so, my brother's gifts began to develop:Grendel misunderstood essay essay for the bill of rights help to write essay videos g descriptive essay rics contract sum analysis essay rehabilitations and other essays about life this i believe essay assignment on respect organ donation debate essay paper?
Rehabilitations and other essays, by C. S Lewis (Author) Be the first to review this item.
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See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. Price New Author: C. S Lewis. The Rehabilitation Services collection includes videos and books on all aspects of rehabilitation and disabilities. Examples of topics include: disability awareness and rights, assistive technology, ADD and ADHD, brain injury, deafness, blindness, ergonomics, returning to work, sign language, etc.
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