DESCRIPTION: This class explores the life and writings of C.S. Lewis and consider why LewisÕs works have continued to gain in power and popularity over the last half-century. After an introductory lecture that considers his range as a writer and reviews events and people that shaped his thought and his works, consideration of his key apologetical work are reviewed. Lecture two is a close analysis of both his fictional and non-fictional autobiographies – The pilgrimÕs Regress and Surprised by Joy. In lecture three we shift from his apologetic to ethics and morality with a close look at Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man. Here we explore LewisÕs belief that the code of ethics by which Christians live is not a manmade construct but constitutes a set of divinely revealed standards. Lectures four and five we will study closely LewisÕs answers to such perennial spiritual questions as: Why miracles happen; why, if God is good, is there so much pain in the world; whether heaven and hell exist and what role our choices play in determining our final destination; what is the nature of sin and evil; and how does it separate us from God and salvation? This will include a review of Miracles, The Problem of Pain, The Screwtape Letters, and The Great Divorce. Lecture 6 is a transitional lecture that takes up LewisÕs role as a scholar and academic. The Discarded Image and A Preface to Paradise Lost will explore how Lewis sought to break down prejudices concerning the past. Lecture seven and eight will consider his Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. Lectures nine, ten and eleven will focus on his best loved works. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian;l The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Horse and His Boy; The MagicianÕs Nephew; and the Last Battle. In each of these lectures synopses of the key plot and Christian allegories that lie below the surface of each tale.
The method of instruction will be seminar format. A series of CDs will be used to enhance discussion. Two lectures will be reviewed at each class and discussion will follow. The class meets for two hours for eight weeks.
Barbara J. Hemphill-Pearson is Assistant Professor Emeritus at Western Michigan University where she taught Spirituality to occupational therapy students and she has taught a computer course on spirituality on-line. Dr. has also taught a spirituality course at the senior center in Portage, Michigan. She has a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit.