Friday, February 15, 2013

A Mind Awake

At this point I have worked my way through a good portion of C.S. Lewis' books. By my counting, I have now read nearly 20 of them. My most recent work was actually an anthology of his works put together about five years after his death. The book is entitled A Mind Awake. The focus of this compendium is meant to be a showcase of various Christian themes that provided the foundation of his faith and his philosophy. The book is divided into chapters such as The Nature of Man, The Moral World, The Bible, Sin, and Heaven and Hell. The various snippets of this literary collection range from his first book of poetry to his last novel and were cut and pasted into the different chapters.

The format of this anthology has its strengths and weaknesses. Certainly a strength of this form is that you can gain some insight into Mr. Lewis himself and really come to appreciate his firm belief in the absolute logic of Christianity and faith. You also can bear witness to his style of prose and the depth and intricacy of his approach. It is also good for those with short attention spans as the snippets included range from single sentences to several paragraphs, each separated by the appropriate reference to its original work. The weakness of this form is that by taking sentences and paragraphs from a complete argument, you lose some of the power and grace of the complete thought. You get just a sampling of a few notes from the whole symphony. Still, it was good to stir up in my mind some passages from books that I have read over the years. Also, there were a few books that I had not read yet that have been added to my reading list.