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The Four Loves Hardcover


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 0151010676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151010677
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,855,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a fellow and tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics, the Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.


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God is love,"" says St. John." Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Peaches on 16 May 2005
Format: Paperback
I initially bought this book out curiosity and a desire to read something outside my academic work. However, now as I read the book, what I am getting is a real deep insight into 'the four loves', something that as human we all want, acquire and at certain points in our lives just need. In dividing love into four main areas; Charity, Affection, Eros and Friendship, Lewis shows how all these are interrelated, their beauties, dangers when handled wrongly and in the Christian context ordained/created by Love Himself.
What this book discusses is nothing new, yet the tremendous insight into which CS Lewis gives is invaluable (especially as a young person in a world where, it can be argued that love has lost meaning and reduced to mere physical lust.) Thus in reading this book, what the reader is really getting is something that s/he knows to be truth but never contemplated.
Beautifully written and often comical with his examples (usually literary), CS Lewis, in this book does really offer inspiration and fresh perspectives on love which is truly worthy of the attention of any reader, regardless of age, gender or religious beliefs.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By johngoodridge@callnetuk.com on 7 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
A younger C S Lewis, before his own experience of love and marriage, could not have written 'The 4 Loves'. First published in 1960 this book marries Lewis' highly developed rational faculties and his passion for the revelance of theory to experienced reality. Humbly he digs at the roots of love: what's the difference between loving surfing, Monet's "haystacks", your brother, your best friend, your partner, or God? Lewis identifies archhuman patterns and causality in each of these areas and draws a distinction between loves as gift, love as need and love as appreciation.
His most valuable contribution lies beyond his classification of the hearts mechanics. Firstly, he clearly reveals some of the complexity of love; For instance he asserts, and explores too briefly, that love as gift can be love as need when we need to give. Secondly, the dynamic boundaries of the classification are traced: why deep friendship between man and woman can become "being in love", for instance. This slim volume wipes rather than scratches the surface of these movements and changes. Thirdly, the unmasking of loves pretenders preoccupies Lewis. Their resemblance commands our attention but their shortfallings are our undoing, why love without context, as a god devours its disciples. All this territory is surveyed in Lewis' familiar and convincing style of popular philosophy. Yet here he is more human and at least as clear sighted as in his other work. Although never mentioned explicitly the experience of his marriage to Joy Davidman waltzes and weeps between each line trailing the authority of love and grief understood and at rest. This book is so rich and contemporary; only on occasion, in its choice of subject matter, does it sound like a forty year old work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Person on 8 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
The Four Loves was not what I expected. Having been brought up on the Chronicles of Narnia I anticipated page after page of "Aha!" moments and warm nostalgic fuzzies. Surprisingly I found myself disagreeing time and again. His misguided notions of women and homosexuality grated on my liberalist views. He sometimes leans towards the anecdotal and sentimental. This is meant as disclaimer, but if you can overlook his sometimes less politically correct views I sincerly encourage you to read this essay. In the beginning some of his points seem mere common sense, not the profound insights we expect from Dr C.S. Lewis. Yet the reader who bears with him will be richly rewarded. C.S. Lewis builds his argument slowly and deftly weaves his tapestry until the full picture is revealed in epilogue. Despite my initial criticism, his simplicity of style is in fact a strength of this piece. His non-fiction is just as accesible as is his childrens fiction- and just as pleasing. Overal a fulfilling read.
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Format: Paperback
The Four Loves were originally recorded as broadcasts for the radio, and because of Lewis's frankness on the sexual nature of Eros, some of the supporters of the company did not want to advocate this. Lewis told George Sayer it is very surprising that a nation who peddles such voluminous pornography, and here Lewis speaks of America, that they would object to a Christian discussion on sexuality.

Sexuality makes an essential part of human nature, and God intended it as one of his most blessed, and highly unusual, gifts to two people who are very deeply in love and wish to express this love in a very intimate way. That is why a person must be married for sexual activity to be divinely approved of, for anything else lessens the activity's purpose and makes a mockery of it. Tim Lahaye has found in surveys conducted by him that religious people are generally the most sexually satisfied individuals. Lewis is quite consistent in the portrayal of the sexual nature of men and women and God's purpose for it. The whole institute of marriage, like any other gift of pleasure of God's, shows us God's love for mankind.

Charity, or agape love, stands as the most intense and the deepest kind of love, because it is the love between humanity and God.

Lewis goes on to deal with the other two types of love, friendship and effect, and each of these four types of love are presented with such clarity of thought that after a reader is finished with this book he/she has a much deeper understanding of the loves in general.

Affection, one that is not generally counted as a love, is a necessary requirement for happy living, for if one has no affection then their life will be utterly miserable.
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