Lecture Reflects on C.S. Lewis’ Legacy

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

MacSwain, photo courtesy of The School of TheologyOn Nov. 20, the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies (AEHS) at Duke Divinity School sponsored a public lecture, “Rational and Imaginative Persuasion:  Reflections on C.S. Lewis on the 50th Anniversary of His Death.” The event featured the Rev. Dr. Robert MacSwain, assistant professor of theology and Christian ethics at The School of Theology, The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis.

MacSwain’s lecture focused on three main questions: Why was and is Lewis so successful in persuasively communicating the basic content of the Christian faith to millions of readers? Why does Lewis so sharply polarize those who encounter him? And finally, what if anything can we appropriate from Lewis today, fifty years after his death? Video, below, and text (pdf) of the lecture are available. 

The following day, the Goodson Chapel worship service also commemorated Lewis’ death. The Rev. Dr. David Marshall, AEHS director and associate professor of the practice of Christian-Muslim relations, presided, and MacSwain delivered a sermon (pdf) about Lewis, saying that he offers contemporary readers a “an intense articulation of ourselves as essentially incomplete desirers who are radically confused about our true good, and who thus need help in finding it.”