The Writings of C.S. Lewis
GENERAL EDUCATION: This course fulfills a General Education - Letters requirement.

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: This course will explore the writings of C.S. Lewis as the "theological philosophy" of an insightful writer, who defended Christianity as a philosophy of life. In doing so, the class will address the question: What use is C.S. Lewis to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
DESCRIPTION: The method of study in this course will be both challenging and exciting. It will be challenging because most students are not required to read in the manner I hope to teach in this course.

The basis of this insightful method of reading is learning how to respond to a particular topic in class by discovering connectedness between the topic and something not directly related to it. This "non-related" topic will be drawn from the books (and selections) available to you. Many of the connections you make will come from interrelating the Lewis texts you will purchase. But connections will also be made from other books you have read, or are reading. For instance, while talking about the problem of pain in Lewis's 'The Problem of Pain,' a student could draw upon Lewis's discussion of faith in 'Mere Christianity' to understand how faith enables one to learn needed lessons from pain, even though our initial reaction to pain is to ignore it, or find some way of eliminating it easily from our lives. It would also be possible to consider the first verse in First Nephi, Chapter One (See The Book of Mormon), in order to understand what blessings come from affliction and pain if experienced faithfully.

This method of reading to make connections is largely made up of what, in the Church, you may have referred to as "cross-referencing." In this class we will expand your understanding of cross referencing by doing more than linking similar ideas together. We will expand it for the purpose of posing questions not addressed in one particular text. We will draw examples from other sources to illuminate the discussion in any one particular text for the purpose of exploring perspectives that may challenge Lewis's or our own views of the doctrines we study.

By the time the course is finished, it is my hope that you will have experienced an integrated introduction to the thinking and commitment of C.S. Lewis to Christianity. At the same time, I hope you will have developed your thinking and commitment to the Revealed Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only genuine philosophy of life there is by which men and women may enjoy true happiness in this life, and eternal joy in the life to come.
TOPICS: This course has been designed to meet the interests and needs of the students. As such, the topics to be explored have not been chiseled in stone. Rather, they are here proposed as topical types to be examined during the course of one's study.

Learning to Gain Insight and Revelation into Familiar Principles and Doctrines.

Finding Our Eternal Selves in Christ.

Writing the Intellectual Journal: Intellectual Courage and Emotional Honesty.

The Principle Pattern of Insight.

Pain as God's Megaphone to Arouse a Deaf World.

The Struggle to Give Up Self.

Christian View of Divine Omnipotence and Our Restored Perspective on Agency.

The Slippery Slope of Self and Our Need for a Savior.

Asking Faithful Questions/Discovering Faithful Insights.

Humility and Our Acknowledgement of Weakness.

The Circle of a Faithfull Life in Our Search to Know the Savior.

Experimenting Upon the Word: Alma's True Comparison.

The Law of Undulation, and the Temptation to Dwindle in Unbelief.

Forgiveness: A Doctrine of Hope for Christ, Self and Others.

The Savior's Suffering Love: The Divine Motivation for Change.

OBJECTIVES: During this course we will explore Lewis' insightful doctrinal perspectives while considering how these may enable members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to understand the revealed gospel of Jesus Christ more insightfully. Our particular focus will be to read and study in order to recognize how Lewis's faithful questioning enabled Lewis to discover the significance of the Christian doctrines and principles he explored. Just as Lewis faithfully explored what he had been taught, we may understand the significance of the Revealed Gospel as we learn how to question what we have been taught in faithful ways. The purpose of this course, then, is to explore fundamental principles and doctrines of the Revealed Gospel of Christ through faithful questioning in an effort to come to understand Jesus Christ and how His atonement may be experienced more meaningfully in our lives.
REQUIREMENTS: This course assumes that students are committed to read and reread texts closely to gain insight into concepts, principles, and doctrines explored during the course.
Since 80% of the course grade will be drawn form the work students accomplish in creating an Intellectual Journal, this course assumes that students are competent writers who are committed to use their writing ability to learn. Grading is based on quizzes, exams, attendance, participation, and a large portion on the Intellectual Journals.
PREREQUISITES: You must have a 3.5 or higher accumulative GPA to take an Honor's course.