Category: Education

Is History Really Bunk?

Recently, I was reminded of one of C. S. Lewis’s essays that I hadn’t thought about in quite a while; in fact, I couldn’t recall if I had read it. Yet, as a professor of history, I must have perused his “Is History Bunk?” at some time or other. So I checked into it as if it were a new piece of Lewis’s corpus that I hadn’t seen before. The essay is found in the collection called Present Concerns, the… Read more »

Closed Door, Open Door: One Year Later

Today is the first anniversary of my receiving the news that, after fourteen years, I no longer would be a full-time professor at my university in Florida. The news last April came without warning; there was no advance notice, not even a hint that my position was in jeopardy. It was also too late to find another full-time professorship for the fall semester anywhere else. This surprising news marked the end of thirty-one years teaching history at Christian colleges on… Read more »

Lewis and Middle-Aged “Moralising”

C. S. Lewis gave the Memorial Lecture at King’s College, the University of London, in 1944. It has come down to us in the form of one of his famous essays, “The Inner Ring.” It’s one of my favorites, as it identifies the rather slippery slope from being part of a group to the insatiable desire to belong to the group so that you can feel like you are one of the elite, one of the few chosen who are… Read more »

Their Eyes Were All I Needed to See

We’re at the point in my C. S. Lewis course where I am giving the students The Abolition of Man. It’s a harder read than most of what I give them from Lewis, but I’ve never seriously considered dropping it from the course. It’s just too important, and the concepts within it are so significant to their worldview that I believe I would be doing a disservice to avoid it. I do, though, make sure I give it enough time… Read more »

Lewis’s OHEL: Gleanings

Out of all of C. S. Lewis’s books, probably one of the least-read is his English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, part of the Oxford series on the history of English literature. As with The Allegory of Love, its academic focus can be daunting for anyone unfamiliar with the roster of authors and titles he covers. I’m nearly halfway through the book, and I’ll admit the sections on poetry are a tough grind for me. Yet even in those highly… Read more »

“We Make Men without Chests”

One book I always include in my C. S. Lewis course is his Abolition of Man. It’s a weighty book, and I sometimes wonder if my students will be able to grasp its message. Yet I also believe it is worth requiring it because the message is so relevant, even more so today than when the book was published during WWII. The overall theme is the replacement of the natural law God has implanted within his creation with whatever new… Read more »

Teaching Narnia

I’m now a member of a church that has a strong education program. On Wednesday evenings, for an hour and a half each week, I’ve had the joy of teaching C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity (along with my book, America Discovers C. S. Lewis). I’ve now been asked—and have readily agreed—to teach The Chronicles of Narnia. I won’t try to cram them all into one semester; instead, I’ll divide them into a two-semester format, covering the… Read more »