C.S. Lewis

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

Myth and the Desire for the Transcendent

There is within our present society a profound and pervasive sensitivity that something is amiss, a deep and desperate yearning for things higher than our modern materialistic society has within its power to offer. Burrowed in the innermost secret place of every man and woman there is a sense, an inherent knowledge, that much of [...]

C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew

For those who are concerned with important books, The Magician’s Nephew should be a concern. It is important because in reading this book, the young reader should experience that particular delight when a book surprises you with the completely unexpected. And the surprise at the end of The Magician’s Nephew is of the first order. [...]

When the Benedict Option is the Only Option

Much has been written about Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option. It has been portrayed as not so much an option as an opting out. Critics have said it is a call to run away from the public square, an escape, an indefensible retreat, and an admission of defeat. The Benedict Option is thought to be a [...]

Logan, Technocracy, and the Abolition of Man

The newly released film Logan, the final appearance of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, the metal-clawed and brooding member of the X-Men, is indeed a film heavy on violence and profanity. It does, however, offer a fascinating view of what is possible when man uses technological advancement divorced from any conception of nature and the good. [...]

How “Educators” Kill Creativity

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on ’t, ah fie! 'Tis an unweeded garden That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely. Hamlet, I, ii, 133-8 Recently, a document about education in Australia found its way onto my desk. Hereafter [...]

The Wisdom Of Saint Mary Of Bethany

Six days before the Passover, one day before Palm Sunday, and not long before Holy Week, Jesus came to Bethany to where Lazarus was with his siblings, Martha and Mary (John 12:1-8). Parallel accounts in Matthew (26:6-13) and Mark (14:3-9) tell us that they were at the house of Simon the leper. While Martha served [...]

Lessons from Lewis: On C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair

When I first read and re-read the seven Narnia books, The Silver Chair was easily my favorite. Many years later, this is still the case, and for several reasons. In it we find the Marsh-wiggle Puddleglum, who (rivaled only by Repicheep the mouse) is perhaps the most memorable character in the entire series. It has [...]

Abolishing the Moral Order

In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis argued that all the celebratory talk about man’s increasing ability to control nature had a dark side in which some men took control over other men with nature as the instrument. But, so long as the Judeo-Christian understanding of man was dominant, it would be difficult for tyrants [...]

The Babble of Babel

“Noise — Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile … We will make the whole universe a noise in the end.” – Screwtape Perhaps it was providence (or editorial insight) that led to two particular articles being published in Crisis Magazine on the same day. On the [...]

C. S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength

Published in 1945 as the third volume of a series with Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, Lewis’ novel portrays the clash of two world views that reflect the cultural wars of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries—the civilization of love versus the culture of death. Set in the quiet, rural village of Edgestow [...]

Lessons from Lewis: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

A mark of excellent children’s literature is that it appeals to adults. My children insist that I read to them on a daily basis and I insist on reading them books that I too enjoy. Fortunately, it is not very difficult to find such books: ones that I genuinely enjoy reading and that they genuinely [...]

What Christian Education is Not

A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.  ∼ G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908). Christian education cannot be utilitarian. In fact, it will only be Christian in as much as it ceases to be utilitarian. One of the most destructive myths in recent decades has been [...]

Looking to Heaven Brings Blessings to Earth

In Catholic tradition, three senses of Scripture—the allegorical, the moral, and the anagogical—are built upon the foundation of the literal sense. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church 117, in the anagogical sense we “view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us to our true homeland: thus the Church on [...]

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Believe it or not, there really is a religious movement called “Chrislam.” It began in Nigeria in the 1980s as an attempt to foster peace between Muslims and Christians by blending elements of Islam and Christianity. Its followers stress the commonalities between the two faiths and they recognize both the Koran and the Bible as [...]

Friendship: A Pillar of Catholic Education

Editor’s note: The following address by Bishop James Conley was delivered to teachers of the Diocese of Lincoln, at a day of prayer and formation, on February 15, 2016. This morning, I’d like to talk with you about the virtue of friendship, as it relates to the mission of Catholic schools, and especially your work [...]

The Church Has Been Right on Divorce All Along

I would like to weigh in on Ross Douthat’s on-going dialogue with theologians employed at nominally Catholic institutions. Like Douthat, I am not a theologian. However, we don’t have to be theologians in order to be good Catholics or people of good sense. I think us “amateurs” can contribute two very solid points that the [...]

Laudato Si’ and the Selling of Body Parts

The recent revelations surrounding the selling of fetal body parts by Planned Parenthood highlight a crisis in contemporary society depicted in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’. With uncanny insight, Pope Francis had written, “the culture of relativism is the same disorder which drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects…. Is [...]

“Mere Marriage”

In his recent essay, A Thicker Kind of Mere, Timothy George reminded us that the kind of faith C.S. Lewis argued for in the last century is not necessarily the same thing suggested by similar terminology today. As George noted, Lewis borrowed his famous phrase from Richard Baxter, a Puritan minister who preceded Lewis by [...]

Society Suffers when Means Become Ends

Several years ago, a friend of mine told me a story about an interaction he had with his father one night after playing in a high school basketball game. In that game, my friend’s team was losing badly and he committed a lazy foul, scowled at the referee as if he hadn’t done anything, then [...]

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

Till We Have Faces takes up with shocking clarity a grim problem as old as Job: man’s complaint against a seemingly inscrutable God. Oft forgotten amid the fanfare for The Chronicles of Narnia and his sci-fi trilogy, C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces was the last novel he wrote; and it is an unforgettable fiction that feels, in some ways, a [...]

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