Camden Theological Library

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Restoring Beauty

Posted on 20 February 2014 Gavin Glenn

The good, the true, and the beautiful in the writings of C.S. Lewis

We've long heard that truth is under attack in our postmodern society. But what about beauty? Think of Shrek . . . was it a feel-good movie that celebrates the fact that even the "ugly" can be themselves and love? Or was it a masterful deconstruction of an ancient tradition of tales where truth and beauty prevail in the end? How can we rejuvinate the ideas of truth and beauty in our culture?

More and more these twin concepts of beauty and truth have been separated from each other and from their individual connection to the divine source of Beauty and Truth. Restoring Beauty draws from C.S. Lewis's deep well of insight on these topics and offers a refreshing sip on the way to rehabilitating our culture's damaged notions of truth and beauty. Lewis is the ideal guide in this endeavour because he is both an effective advocate for truth-based education and a sub-creator of his own beauty-enhancing fiction.

Restoring Beauty analyzes Lewis's eleven novels, showing how Lewis counters the growing cult of the ugly and helps restore a clearer understanding of the nature of good and evil. It then turns to Lewis's non-fiction works to hear what advice he can give educators at all levels concerned with steering their students away from feeling superior to those who came before and from values-free education, toward a true re-engagement with the past. The book concludes with an updating of Screwtape's letters that exposes what Satan's main temptation tactics have been since the 1960s and a detailed bibliographical essay of books by and about C.S. Lewis

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