AUDIO LECTURES: Which 10 books most influenced C S Lewis?


cs-lewis-pensiveI just read that I’m now a “distinguished guest speaker.” Checked quickly in the mirror: doesn’t look like I have any more grey hairs . . .

Anyhow, the Madison C S Lewis Society has just posted the audio of a tremendous series of nine top scholars, plus me, speaking at their Oct 2012 conference on the ten books that most influenced C S Lewis. I’ve got to say this was the most stimulating conference I’ve attended in a long, long time.

These were the books Lewis listed toward the end of his life in answer to a question from the American magazine The Christian Century about which books had most influenced his “sense of vocation and philosophy of life.” My assignment: to discuss how Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, of which the medievalist Lewis said, “To acquire a taste for it is almost to become naturalized in the Middle Ages,” influenced the Oxford don.

Appropriate to my activities these days in Bethel Seminary’s Work with Purpose initiative, in this talk I pay particular attention to the question of how Lewis saw his own vocation as a public intellectual attempting to preserve and recommend the Old Western Christian tradition.

The link is here. (In my bit, the talk is around 40 minutes; the lively Q&A at the end is perhaps the most interesting part: you may just want to skip ahead!) And here is the full list of books and speakers:

The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto presented by Dr. Adam Barkman from Redeemer University College. 
The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell presented by Dr. Paul Tankard from the University of Otago, NZ. 
Theism and Humanism by Arthur James Balfour presented by Dr. Charles Taliferro from St. Olaf College. 
The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius presented by Dr. Chris Armstrong from Bethel University. 
Phantastes by George MacDonald presented by Dr. David Neuhouser from Taylor University 
The Temple by George Herbert presented by Dr. Don King from Montreat College. 
The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton presented by Dr. Donald T. Williams from Toccoa Falls College. 
Descent Into Hell by Charles Williams presented by Dr. Holly Ordway, Houston Baptist University. 
The Aeneid by Virgil presented by Dr. Louis Markos from Houston Baptist University. 
The Prelude by William Wordsworth presented by Dr. Mary Ritter from New York University. 

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