JIS logoVolume 2, number 2 (October 2012)

 

Joseph Zepeda, ‘To whom my own glad debts are incalculable: St. Augustine and human loves in The Four Loves and Till We Have Faces’, pp. 5-26
This essay examines C.S. Lewis’ criticism of St. Augustine in The Four Loves and his development of Augustinian themes in Till We Have Faces. Lewis reads Augustine, in his discussion of his friend’s death in Confessions Book IV, as endorsing the moral that one should love only that which will not bring us heartbreak. This, according to Lewis, is the wrong way to privilege the love of God over human loves, one that owes more to Augustine’s philosophical context than to Christianity. I argue that Lewis’ reading of Augustine is mistaken, that Augustine is saying something very different and much more profound, and that Lewis himself explores these same depths in Till We Have Faces. Both Lewis’ novel and Augustine’s Confessions IV meditate on time and eternity, complete and incomplete love, truth and falsehood, and the severe shortcomings in our self-knowledge. Augustine, like Lewis’ narrator, is examining the untruth, in both the moral and intellectual senses of the term, of his human love. Loving the beloved in God, for both Lewis and Augustine, does not mean choosing security over the possibility of heartbreak as such; rather it means seeing the beloved truly, as a complete person, for the first time.
Meriel Patrick, ‘Letting In and Shutting Out: Themes in the Thought of C. S. Lewis’, pp. 27-46
This article considers two related themes from the writings of C.S. Lewis: the desire to be granted admittance to an exclusive circle (which Lewis calls ‘The Inner Ring’ – discussed at length in his 1944 oration of that name) with its corresponding dread of being left outside, and the opposite fear of being ‘drawn in’ to something against one’s will, and finding oneself trapped inside a community or way of life to which one never intended to commit oneself. In Lewis’s fiction, these desires and fears are most obviously exemplified in the characters of Mark and Jane Studdock from the third novel in the Cosmic Trilogy, That Hideous Strength: Mark is terrified of being shut out, and Jane of being shut in. After offering some thoughts on the journey that each undertakes and the struggles that the couple find themselves engaged in during the course of the book, the article concludes with some reflections on the broader theological significance that the themes of admission and exclusion have in Lewis’s thought.
Owen Barfield, ‘The Inspiration of the Divine Comedy’ (1934), pp. 47-65
No abstract available
Giovanni Maddalena, ‘Barfield and Pragmatism', pp. 67-88
Owen Barfield (1898-1997) has been a very eclectic writer: poet, novelist, and philosopher. Though almost unknown to philosophy scholars, his thought has been very influential on the work of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and it is worth being studied, understood, and used in connection with pragmatism. His philosophy amounts to a strong metaphysical realism that can parallel Peirce’s view of scholastic realism and, more generally, the pragmatist attitude toward a comprehension of reality based on continuity. Moreover, Barfield sustains a view of knowledge as ‘participation’ that is very close to Peirce’s understanding of knowledge as representation. Finally, he proposes a form of ‘synthetic’ reasoning that goes the same direction as many classical pragmatists’ attempts. Therefore, the threefold philosophical aim of this paper is (1) to introduce Owen Barfield’s main theories, (2) to show the parallel between Barfield’s and pragmatists’, and especially Peirce’s tenets, and (3) to show how pragmatism and Barfield’s theory can be reciprocally useful.

Notes & Queries:

Arend Smilde, ‘A History of C.S. Lewis’s Collected Shorter Writings, 1939-2000’, pp. 91-100
No abstract available

Book Reviews:
Richard Platt, As One Devil to Another: A Fiendish Correspondence in the Tradition of C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. Review by A.T. Reyes, pp. 103-4
Eduardo Segura and Thomas M. Honegger (eds), Myth and Magic: Art according to the Inklings. Review by Brandon Dorn, pp. 105-9
Thomas Howard, The Night is Far Spent. Review by Sarah Elizabeth Maple, pp. 110-12
Donald T. Williams, Mere Humanity: G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien on the Human Condition. Review by Shannon C. Coker, pp. 113-16
Joseph Pearce, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton. Review by Travis Buchanan, pp. 117-20