The same book

January 10, 2010

C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man and Walker Percy’s Lost in the Cosmos are both superb books, worth reading and re-reading regularly.  According to Peter Kreeft, there’s a good reason for contemplating them together: they are the same book.  Both are inquiries into the nature of the spiritual malady that plagues modern man. The Abolition of Man proceeds irenically, and Lost in the Cosmos ironically.

Kreeft’s lecture about the books, linked below, illustrates his usual clarity and good sense (not to mention his good sense of humour).  If you know both books, I expect you will find his comments enlightening, as I did.  If you know just one or the other, the lecture is tailored to you.  (It is intended, he says, to introduce Lewis to Percy fans and Percy to Lewis fans.)  If you’ve not read either of these books, you should take a critical look at how you’ve been spending your time.

The rest of the lecture can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here.  It is worth the time.

(Hat-tip: Korrektiv)

4 Responses to “The same book”

  1. Janet Says:

    That was great, Craig. Hopefully sometime this weekend I can listen to the rest.


  2. cburrell Says:

    Here’s a carrot: there’s a hilarious section on Jewish humour, which Kreeft connects to the Gospel and the very structure of the Christian faith. Very nice.

  3. Very interesting. I hope I can find time to listen to some more. On the face of it the ideas in The Abolition of Man seem to me a subset of those in Lost in the Cosmos, and not necessarily the most crucial part. But it’s been a while since I read either.

  4. Wes Says:

    Thanks for passing this along. My college experience could be summed as a reading tour of Lewis and Percy, but I never–on a conscience level–consider the two together. Like putting chocolate and peanut butter together, Kreeft is on to something.

    The idea that Percy’s work reflects a world that refused to heed Lewis’s message is something I will continue to ponder.

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