Fascinating Facts About The Screwtape Letters #48

 Screwtape Facts 48

The Screwtape Letter is one of many great books by C.S. Lewis. As the publication of my book about it draws near I’m sharing a fact about it each day.

Adolescent, Puritanism, complacency, and unselfishness
are four words Screwtape mentions in the letters
that the devils have twisted their meaning to suit
Hell’s purposes. Democracy is another word (from
the Toast essay) that is likewise distorted.

Learn more about my book, C.S. Lewis Goes to Hell, by getting a FREE 20 page PDF sample of it. You can request it at ScrewtapeCompanion.com.

You can also hear a short podcast I did on my book over at my All About Jack site.


ADVANCE PRAISE FOR C.S. LEWIS GOES TO HELL

“Presenting The Screwtape Letters as a theatrical stage adaptation has had the wonderful benefit of inspiring hundreds if not thousands of theatre-goers to read Lewis’ classic novel.  As a result we are often asked to suggest a study guide to help people wrestle more deeply with the themes and insights behind the brilliant, morally inverted universe that Lewis created.  William O’Flaherty’s thoughtful, copious and insightful volume is what I will be recommending them.  It is the best of its kind.”
Max McLean,  Artistic Director of Fellowship for Performing Arts, New York, NY
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“A good study guide is surprisingly difficult: it must combine accuracy with imagination, it must be generative without being speculative. O’Flaherty delivers. ​I am genuinely excited ​about this important resource.”
​​Diana Pavlac Glyer, Professor of English and author of Bandersnatch: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings

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“C.S. Lewis Goes to Hell by William O’Flaherty is precisely as advertised. ​Part encyclopedia, part plot summary, part analysis, and part discussion guide, this book is a valuable resource for both an individual reader and for a small group interested in exploring in more detail Lewis’s satirical masterpiece.”
Don King, Professor of English and editor of The Collected Poems of C. S. Lewis: A Critical Edition

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​​ “O’Flaherty’s Companion to Screwtape is seriously worth any Lewis lover’s time, both for its penetrating study questions and its excellence as a reference tool.”
​ Charlie W. Starr, Professor of English and author of Light: C. S. Lewis’s First and Final Short Story

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Once C. S. Lewis’s best-known work,The Screwtape Letters today has been somewhat eclipsed by The Chronicles of Narnia. For those discovering Screwtape for the first time, William O’Flaherty provides clear summaries, useful background information, and helpful discussion questions. Anyone leading a small group study will find this to be a valuable tool.
Devin Brown, Professor at Asbury University and author of A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis​​

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“A worthy resource that will be highly valued by scholars and fans of C.S. Lewis and his masterpiece, The Screwtape Letters. Congratulations and thanks to William O’Flaherty for his diligence and fine work!”
Carolyn Curtis, veteran journalist and author of seven books, including Women and C.S. Lewis: What his life and literature reveal for today culture.

The Marion E. Wade Center (50th Anniversary)

Wade Center2

Last year I did a post (see below) about the Wade Center. I thought it was a great time to remind everyone about this excellent resource because it was fifty years ago that it first began. The center now has a blog and they did a story about the 50th anniveary.


 Originally  known as “The C.S. Lewis Collection,” this resource, now goes by “The Marion E. Wade Center” is a lot more than an online destination. However because it does have a good variety of material in addition to what’s available at their physical location at Wheaton College I felt it worth putting in the spotlight. Both locations are devoted to not just Lewis, but also six other British authors (Owen Barfield, G.K. Chesterton, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams).  

There is an individual main page dedicated to each author and an additional page listing resources that included a selected biography PDF. While there are several other sections to explore at the site, the one not to miss is under News and Events; its the Media Downloads page. If you plan to visit the physical location in Illinois then the Collection Listings page under the Collections & Services section is an invaluable area to consult. 

VISIT The Marion E. Wade Center SITE

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Lewis Resources on Dr. Diana Glyer’s Site

DianaGlyer (website)If you have explored the places I’ve highlighted since the beginning of the year you’ve probably noticed many Lewis scholars have websites. Some have material just on Lewis, or like the one this time, they have other material in addition to the content related to Lewis. While Dr. Diana Glyer has more than Lewis information than I’ll spotlight here, that just points to the importance of exploring the rest of her site.

Several years ago Glyer contributed to a book where she provided a bibliography of every book-length study of C.S. Lewis.  Listed as a main heading on her site as C.S. Lewis Bibliography, this area (as she notes on the page) has a goal of providing “a brief description of the content and also a sense of the quality and importance of (the) book.”

Tollers and Jack is the only other area I’m highlighting. It contains a collection of research papers from students in one of her classes. The papers examine the “different ways that Lewis and Tolkien connected.” It was originally compiled to be published as a book, but when no publisher was found Glyer decided to make it available on her site. A couple of the chapter titles are “Christlikeness in The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Stimulations of the Imagination in Children Through Fairy Stories.”

VISIT Dr. Diana Glyer’s SITE

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LEWISIANA.NL (Arend Smilde)

LEWISIANA

My spotlight shines again on an entire Website. However, this one is very unique. It’s a site created by Arend Smilde called LEWISIANA.NL. The last part of the name should be noted because unless you are following a direct link to the site you will not arrive at your desired destination. The reason for the unusual ending is the fact that the place is hosted in The Nederlands, where Arend resides. In fact, while the majority of the information at the site is in English, there are some in only Dutch and some in both English and Dutch.

When visiting the site you will immediately realize that it isn’t about to win any awards for being the fanciest destination online. However, what it lacks in visual appeal, it more than makes up in useful information. While not aimed at the casual Lewis admirer it does have helpful material on specific books (“Notes on…”) that any reader would find beneficial. These postings are actually mostly explanations of quotations and allusions used in the examined work. But there are many other pieces (nearly all by Arend); one I remember first reading was a summary of The Abolition of Man. Another favorite of mine is an selection that lists Lewis’s published shorter writings three ways: by book, chronologically and alphabetically. While there isn’t any regularly scheduled additions to the site, you will find that it will take you some time to consume what is already available.

VISIT LEWISIANA.NL

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Northern Michigan C. S. Lewis Festival

CS Lewis Festival (2014)This time I’m shining the spotlight on a site from a group who hosts an annual event that involves quite a celebration. Even if you’re reading this beyond the big weekend at the end of October, 2014 it’s not too soon to plan to be a part of the next gathering! This year the kick-off is October 24th-26th and the theme is “A Quest for Meaning.” This is the twelfth year for events in Petoskey, Michigan. The site also has a few recordings from previous celebrations.

The first event on Friday evening, October 24th is FREE (but most of the other events are not).  They will be showing an advanced screening of a new documentary film about “myth, imagination and faith in the lives & literature of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.” It takes place a Petoskey Middle School Auditorium at 7:30 PM.

The organizers has created a PDF flyer that gathers the most details in one spot to learn more about the resent of meetings (including prices when it is not a free event). The Saturday Seminar is a key gathering (that has various pricing options) that I’ve copied the promotional material below to give you the details (that’s because their website is not the easiest to navigate).

“A Quest For Meaning: Myth, Imagination & Faith in the lives and literature of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien”

Saturday Seminar
Saturday, October 25, 2014
North Central Michigan College
Library Conference Center
Registration Required

9:00 Registration and Welcome
9:30 – 10:30 Session One: Verlyn Flieger
“Myth and the Making of Meaning”

It’s been said that myth is the meaning of history—that is, that the stories we tell about events that invests them with significance and makes great happenings accessible to ordinary people. In the middle of World War I, on August 12, 1916, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote an anguished letter to his friend Geoffrey Smith about the death from enemy fire of another friend, a fellow-member of the TCBS, their school fellowship. Tolkien inquires several times what this death might have meant, indicating that he was searching for the meaning of this private event in the context of a great historical conflict. From this inquiry grew the “mythology for England” that Tolkien wrote over the next forty years and of which The Lord of the Rings is the jewel in the crown. Tolkien’s great mythological story gave fictive meaning to the real history he experienced. The stories of Frodo Baggins, Túrin Turambar, and Beren One-Hand are the heart of his mythos. Together we’ll explore not just what Tolkien did, but why it has had such enduring life.

10:45 – 11:45 Session Two: Peter Schakel
“The Quest for Meaning in Lothlorien and Perelandra”

In An Experiment in Criticism, Lewis notes that certain stories by modern writers achieve what he calls the “mythic quality,” and among them is “Lothlorien in Professor Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.” Also among them (though Lewis could hardly say so himself) is Perelandra. Looking at these two stories together reveals a good deal about Tolkien and Lewis as makers of myth. Both men used myth to convey meanings they could impart effectively in no other way, but their ideas about and approaches to myth compare and contrast in significant ways.

12:45 – 1:45 Session Three: Chip Duncan
“Visualizing the Landscapes of C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien”

As they prepared to bring epic stories to the screen, feature film directors Andrew Adamson (The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe) and Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) were faced with the extraordinary creative opportunity to create a visual environment to define both Narnia and Middle Earth. In both cases, New Zealand became the stomping ground – and at times the battleground – for hobbits, elves, dwarves and the quartet of youthful siblings that hailed from rural England. Director/Photographer Chip Duncan faced a similar task in creating the visual landscape for the new public television documentary A Quest For Meaning — Myth, Imagination & Faith in the Lives & Literature of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Working with a small fraction of the budget of the feature films and an entire crew smaller than the design department from any of the movies, Duncan used his own imaginative process to bring the landscapes of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien to life. Along with film maker and C.S. Lewis co-founder, David Crouse, they will examine the choices made and how Lewis & Tolkien inspire people to read the books and let the writers help guide their own imaginative process.

2:00 – 3:00 Session Four: Q&A and Panel Discussion
“A Quest For Meaning: Where do we go from here?”

Panel Moderated by Sarah Arthur.

VISIT C. S. Lewis Festival’s SITE

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Lewis Resources on Dr. Diana Glyer’s Site

DianaGlyer (website)If you have explored the places I’ve highlighted since the beginning of the year you’ve probably noticed many Lewis scholars have websites. Some have material just on Lewis, or like the one this time, they have other material in addition to the content related to Lewis. While Dr. Diana Glyer has more than Lewis information than I’ll spotlight here, that just points to the importance of exploring the rest of her site.

Several years ago Glyer contributed to a book where she provided a bibliography of every book-length study of C.S. Lewis.  Listed as a main heading on her site as C.S. Lewis Bibliography, this area (as she notes on the page) has a goal of providing “a brief description of the content and also a sense of the quality and importance of (the) book.”

Tollers and Jack is the only other area I’m highlighting. It contains a collection of research papers from students in one of her classes. The papers examine the “different ways that Lewis and Tolkien connected.” It was originally compiled to be published as a book, but when no publisher was found Glyer decided to make it available on her site. A couple of the chapter titles are “Christlikeness in The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Stimulations of the Imagination in Children Through Fairy Stories.”

VISIT Dr. Diana Glyer’s SITE

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Top 3 Resource Spotlights So Far

I’ve decided to do a recap this time and present the top three resources so far (excluding the most recent post), based on the number of page views here. So, while I want you check out all the sites I’ve spotlighted, you don’t want to miss these that have been the most popular. They are C. S. Lewis Symposium, A Pilgrim in Narnia and Joel Heck’s Lewis Site.

CS Lewis Symposium#1: C. S. Lewis Symposium (Three Videos)

This is a collection of three excellent films from last year’s meetings before Lewis was honored in Poets’ Corner. Those events from November 21st were filmed by Lunar Firm and the videos were only recently released by a group called Christian Evidence with permission from the Westminster Abbey Institute.

  • Part One – Telling the Truth Through Rational Argument (Dr. Alister McGrath)
  • Part Two – Telling the Truth Through Imaginative Fiction (Dr. Malcolm Guite)
  • Part Three – PANEL DISCUSSION: What Can 21st Century Apologetics Learn from C.S. Lewis?

A Pilgrim in Narnia#2: A Pilgrim in Narnia (Brenton Dickieson)

Brenton Dickieson is the mastermind behind A Pilgrim in Narnia where he posts a large variety of content related to C.S. Lewis. Since posting this site when I debuted this feature the first week of January he has done more than a few new posts to check out with a Lewis theme, including:

  • The Fictional Universe of Narnia
  • Two Different Prefaces to C.S. Lewis’ “That Hideous Strength”
  • C.S. Lewis Really Should Have Seen it Coming: More On the Dangers of Reading.

Joel Heck Website#3: Joel Heck’s Lewis Site

There are many individuals who have a website devoted to C.S. Lewis, but few are by Lewis scholars. This one by Joel Heck, who is Professor of Theology at Concordia University Texas is one of the best.  You can see the main sections of Heck’s site in the picture at the left (and visit the site by clicking on it or the link below). If you have PowerPoint, or a compatible program or viewer then you will enjoy the many free presentations in the Outlines area for enhancing your enjoyment of a variety of Lewis’s works. The PowerPoint Tours gives you a glimpse, in pictures, of the many places Lewis lived and worked. The Outlines and Articles sections provides a variety of material in PDF, including (among other items) a chapter-by-chapter summary of Miracles and a useful overview of Lewis’s life in seven pages!

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C.S. Lewis Institute YouTube Channel

CSLI - YouTubeThere are nearly an endless variety of free videos on  just about any subject online. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look for them. One of the reasons I enjoy sharing about other places online to find material on C.S. Lewis is that you might not know where they are. Which is why I’m highlighting these videos from the C.S. Lewis Institute.

The C.S. Lewis Institute has more than the four video series I’m spotlighting, so be sure to check their other offerings. The ones I’m focusing on are about three that deal with Lewis’s books and one on a book about Lewis. They are as follows:

C.S. Lewis’s Case for Christ, an interview with Dr. Art Lindsley
These are seven videos that are 11-15 minutes each on Lindsley’s book C.S. Lewis’s Case for Christ.

Mere Christianity (Dr. Christopher Mitchell)
Here are eight videos that are 30 mintues or less each that are eight lectures on Mere Christianity and given by the late Dr. Christopher Mitchell.

Letters to Malcolm (Marjorie Lamp Mead)
This is a lecture series of six videos that are 30-40 minutes each about Letters to Malcolm. It is given by Marj Mead from the Wade Center.

The Screwtape Letters (Dr. Jerry Root)
Dr. Jerry Root teaches at Wheaton College. These videos are lectures on The Screwtape Letters and are 33-39 minutes each.

 

 

Open Access Reviews at The Journal of Inklings Studies

Journal of Inkling Studies ReviewsHave you ever wondered if a particular book about Lewis or the one of his Inkling friends was any good? While I’ve personally tried to help potential readers with my podcast interviews from the authors themselves, often you benefit more from an objective review. Where can you turn? If you want more than feedback from the review section of a place like Amazon (which may or may not be useful) you have to check out a place online that I don’t believe many are aware of…the FREE (“Open Access”) part of the scholarly publication The Journal of Inklings Studies (formerly known as The Chronicle of the University of Oxford C.S. Lewis Society), which is now also known by “JIS.”

When you visit this area (by clicking the graphic above or link below) you have your choice of browsing the reviews from JIS or the previously Lewis Chronicles. Be sure to check out both areas to get reviews back to 2004. Over the last ten years some of the material they have covered include:

  • Alan Jacobs, The Narnian
  • Don King (ed.), Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman
  • Peter Kreeft, The Philosophy of Tolkien
  • Peter J. Schakel, The Way into Narnia
  • John G. West (ed.), The Magician’s Twin

VISIT Open Access Reviews @ JIS

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Lewis Scholar Dr. Christopher Mitchell Passes

Christopher MitchellTypically this section of my site highlights some online resource available from other locations on the web. However, the following news about the death of Dr. Christopher Mitchell, a highly respected C.S. Lewis scholar, is close enough to the spirit of reason for this portion of my site that I decided to share it here.

At the time I’m posting this (7/12/14) the exact details has not been shared, nor has the date of a memorial service been announced. I’ll update this page to reflect any new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, the following three articles from other places online share what is known and some reactions from other Lewis scholars.

UPDATE (7/14): Wheaton Bible Church will be having a Memorial Service on Friday evening, July 18th. The service is at 7 o’clock with visitation from 3-7 p.m. Another Memorial Service is will be at Grace EV Free Church in La Mirada on Sunday, July 20 at 5:30 p.m.

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