The Influence of CS Lewis

2010
Interview - CS Lewis Foundation

Stan Mattson came to Dallas's office in 2010 for this interview in preparation for the announcement that the CS Lewis Foundation would be opening a C.S. Lewis College

Resources

The Influence of CS Lewis

Dallas comments on the intellectual vigor of C.S. Lewis, emphasizing how his candid and rigorous approach to argumentation invigorates the tradition of Western thought. Dallas praises Lewis for his honesty, openness, and remarkable creative imagination, which not only draws readers in but also reshapes how we think about complex topics. Dallas lauds Lewis's substantial impact on modern Christian thought and his unique ability to challenge and expand the intellectual landscape with his literary and philosophical contributions.

The Influence of CS Lewis

Highlights:

  • Embodying Intellectual Tradition: Dallas starts by appreciating C.S. Lewis's method of engaging with ideas without holding back, highlighting Lewis’s embodiment of the historical spirit of Christian intellects in universities. He argues that Lewis’s style of straightforward argumentation is a refreshing approach in academic settings.
  • Following the Argument: Dallas emphasizes Lewis's commitment to intellectual honesty and the pursuit of truth, which stems from a Socratic tradition of following arguments to their logical conclusions. He appreciates Lewis's impact on encouraging open intellectual inquiry, particularly appealing to young audiences.
  • Refreshing Honesty: Dallas praises Lewis for his transparency in acknowledging his own uncertainties, which contrasts with the often perceived pretentiousness in academia. He notes that Lewis’s authenticity is a significant draw for those interested in the life of the mind.
  • Creative Imagination: Dallas highlights Lewis's exceptional ability to employ his imagination creatively to reshape traditional views on complex issues, making them accessible and intriguing. He points out how this imaginative prowess is as influential as his logical arguments. “Helping people think about issues in a different way is often more powerful than an argument.”
  • Innovative Perspectives on Heaven and Hell: Dallas discusses Lewis’s work "The Great Divorce," praising his innovative portrayal of heaven and hell that challenges conventional views and offers a perspective that resonates deeply with contemporary readers.