The Inner Ring
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"The Inner Ring"

December 14, 1944

The occasion for this address was the annual "Commemoration Oration" at King's College, University of London.

1.  How does Lewis characterize himself in the opening paragraphs of this essay?  How does Lewis distinguish this advice from other types of advice he might give the students?

2.  Lewis alludes to "the World, the Flesh, and the Devil" (a common phrase used to refer to the sources of temptation) in paragraph 3.  Why does he decide not to address the Flesh or the Devil?

3.  What are some of the marks of an Inner Ring?  What does Lewis contend is a dominant element in every person's life at some time or another?

4.  What do people hope the Inner Ring will provide them? 

5.  What two reasons does Lewis give for thinking it is better not to be driven by the Inner Ring? 

6.  In paragraph 16, Lewis gives two examples of circles that do not constitute Inner Rings.  Describe them and explain how they differ from the "genuine Inner Ring"?

7.  What Inner Rings have you observed over the years?  In your high school experience (or your child's)?  In the business world?  In academia?  In churches?  How do you think Jesus might respond to Inner Rings?

8.  Think of an Inner Ring in your current sphere of acquaintances.  How do you feel toward those on the inside of this ring?  Those on the outside?

© 2011 by Allyson Wieland