C. S. Lewis is generally regarded as a commonsense Christian whose theology is understandable and practical. And yet, from his memoir Surprised by Joy to his beloved Chronicles of Narnia, from his nonfiction essays to his letters, C. S. Lewis' works display a distinct sense of the mystical. In this book, David C. Downing explores the breadth of Lewis' writing, introducing us to the context of Christian mysticism in Lewis' day and to the writers who most influenced him. Lewis' critique of mysticism is instructive to us in this day of eclectic religious thought. Exploring Lewis' sense of the mystical can help us safeguard ourselves from false mysticism, even as it opens the way to a full experience of God's presence.
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by David Downing
by David Robson
by Julian Barnes
by Guy Gavriel Kay
"Simon Vance interprets the author's work with clarity. He explores Downing's interpretation of Lewis's interest in Christian mysticism with empathy. With deft narration, Vance describes the writers who influenced Lewis and how they differed from the famous writer. Vance speaks with warmth and a subtle rhythm as Downing explores concerns Lewis had with mystical thought, some of which Lewis called, "misguided forms." Lewis feared these forms could lead to sacrilegious thinking. Vance unspools their meanings, phrase by phrase, as Downing explains the differences Lewis saw between valid and invalid mysticism. Vance's adept reading style equips listeners to understand why Lewis is thought of as a "commonsense Christian," with easy-to-understand theology and practical morality. This work also explains Lewis's mystical foundation for THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and other writings. G.D.W. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine"