Chapters 13-15
Chapters 13-15 E-mail

Surprised by Joy

Chapters 13-15


Chapter 13

1.  List some of Lewis's friends at Oxford.  What did he learn from each one?

2.  What was Lewis's "New Look"?

3.  Two of his friends--Harwood and Barfield--became involved with anthroposophism.  What impact did this have on Lewis?

4.  What advantages did Lewis find to believing simply in the Absolute?

Chapter 14

5.  In what way did Nevill Coghill impress Lewis?  What two prejudices broke down as a result of Lewis's friendship with Tolkien?

6.  What did Lewis begin to notice about the authors he read?

7.  Using a chess metaphor, Lewis says that the Adversary (the God from whom he had been running) made moves leading to checkmate.  What was the first Move?

8.  The second Move grew out of Lewis's reading of a philosophy book, which distinguished "enjoyment" (experience) from "contemplation" (analysis).  When you hope, you focus on the object of your hope.  When you stop to examine hope, you shift attention from the object of your hope to study your act of hoping.  It's impossible to continue the activity or emotion while you are simultaneously examining it through introspection.  All that's left is an image or mental tract, much like an animal would leave. 
How did Lewis apply this reasoning to Joy?

Joy is a desire.  But a desire focuses on the object.  Lewis used the process of elimination to find out what Joy desired by trying everything his mind or body desired.  What did he conclude?

9.  What was alarming about the fourth Move?

10.  What happened just before "God closed in on [Lewis]" with respect to a choice he felt was presented to him?  What occurred during Trinity Term of 1929?

Chapter 15

11.  How does Theism differ from Christianity?  What transpired on the way to Whipsnade Zoo?

12.  Lewis states that his belief in an afterlife did not come until later.  What advantage did he see in this?

13.  Describe Lewis's feelings about church?

14.  What became of his search for Joy?


Please see the handout from the website for additional notes.

Henri Bergson (1859-1941):  French philosopher with training in mathematics, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1927.  He was a bit of a cult figure during the decades between the World Wars.  He postulated the existence of an immaterial force, called the élan vital, that guided evolution.  The creative force infused matter and is the source of all life forms.  His view of creative evolution was seen to address shortcomings of Darwin's more mechanistic theory.  Bergson's ideas helped Lewis move away from Schopenhauer's.

Anthroposophism:  lit. the wisdom of humanity, was the teaching of German philosopher Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925).  Mankind is the center of all perceptions in this "spiritual science."  One can deduce the nature of the world from the nature of humanity.

Chronological snobbery:  uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate of one's own age and the assumption that what is out-of-date has no value.

noumenal:  known intuitively only by the intellect and not perceived by the senses

Garden of Hespierides:  the daughters of Atlas, who with a dragon guarded the golden apples given to Hera, queen of gods and sister/wife of Zeus.

Bridges' Testament of Beauty:  Robert Seymour Bridges (1844-1930), Britain's poet laureate from 1913-1930, whose work differed from modern English poetry by its restraint and precision.  Testament of Beauty was a 1929 collection of poems.  Bridges' faith influenced his work, which also included the translation of old hymns.

Gilbert Murray (1866-1957):  a classical scholar originally from Australia and best known for his translations of Greek drama.

Lord Russell's "Worship of a Free Man": refers to an essay by Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, logician and mathematician who won the 1950 Nobel Prize for Literature.  He opposed idealism in the early 20th century and advocated analytic philosophy.  He considered religion a thing of the past, championing what has been called antagonistic atheism.

Dr. Anders Nygren (1890-1978): Swedish Lutheran theologian and professor of systematic theology, best known for his two-volume work, Agape and Eros.  Nygren believed that eros turned a person away from God.  By contrast, Pope Benedict XVI teaches that both eros and agape are aspects of divine love.  C. S. Lewis, in The Four Loves, would later write that any form of love becomes a demon if it takes the place of God. 

philology:  study of literary works to set up accurate texts and determine meaning, esp. comparative and historical

éclaircissement: a clarification; an enlightenment

Hegelianism:  beliefs of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), German philosopher.  In England there was a school of Idealists called the "English Hegelians," including T. H. Green, F. H. Bradley, and Bernard Bosanquet.  Lewis refers to them in The Pilgrim's Regress as the "dynasty" that most shaped his brand of Idealism.  The three built on Hegel's idea that history is a transcendent Reason revealing itself in the material world and human minds. 

George Berkeley (1685-1753): Irish bishop and philosopher.  Berkeley's theory stated that the material things around us are actually objects in the mind of God.  Consciousness, not matter, is the ultimate reality.

Theism:  belief in the existence of God (as opposed to Atheism, which denies the existence of God)

Incarnation:  the act whereby the second person of the Trinity (the Son), without ceasing to be divine, took into union with himself a human nature

de facto;  actually existing, though not legally or officially established

de jure:  by right

© 2012 by Allyson Wieland