Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C.S. Lewis Paperback – 10 Oct 2010
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About the Author
Louis Markos holds a BA in English and History from Colgate University and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Michigan. He is a Professor of English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University, where he teaches courses on British Romantic and Victorian Poetry and Prose, the Classics, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, and Film. Dr. Markos holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities and teaches classes on Ancient Greece and Rome for HBU's Honors College. He is the author of 9 booksFrom Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics, Pressing Forward: Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the Victorian Age, The Eye of the Beholder: How to See the World like a Romantic Poet, Lewis Agonistes: How C. S. Lewis can Train us to Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World, Apologetics for the 21st Century, Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C. S. Lewis, Literature: A Student's Guide, On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue in Tolkien and Lewis, and Heaven and Hell: Visions of the Afterlife in the Western Poetic Tradition --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Professor Markos in Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C.S. Lewis encourages us convincingly that Nicholos of Cusa was right and that to discover this truth is a matter of putting things in their proper order. To do this we need guides like Professor Markos to lead us to the truths that C.S. Lewis explicates in his wonderful writings.
Teachers and parents alike will find this book of immense value if we can stand the shock of hearing truths that contradict the spirit of our age. We are all on a journey of discovering the Truth by which we are to be consumed if we are to be transformed into the humans we were meant to be. If for nothing else but to better instruct our children, we can trust that Professor Markos will light a fire in our hearts and the desire to read and reread C. S. Lewis' works will grow with our understanding. Don't pass up the chance to learn from these great teachers. Let Professor Markos take you on a journey to a deeper understanding of C.S. Lewis' works that are clearly an antidote to the ills of modern society.
Of particular note in our quest for the Good, True and Beautiful, professor Markos begins with Lewis' space trilogy, moves through the Chronicles of Narnia and then takes us through Lewis' brilliant and much overlooked works that illuminate the true nature of education and very properly illustrates that we have made an idol of knowledge and in most cases missed the mark in our efforts to become educated.
As a final treat, the second to last essay, Screwtape's Millennial Toast- Professor Markos extends the account of Screwtape in an engaging and profound way. Screwtape is very pleased with their progress at the dawn of this new millennium. I highly recommend this book as an edifying and very enjoyable field trip through the mind of C.S. Lewis, and I can assure there are valuable treasures to be discovered through this wonderful book.
The specific point, that there should be taught a definite idea of beauty neglects a problem; that it is far easier to tell what is moral then what is beautiful. While there may indeed be some sort of Platonic form of absolute beauty the fact is that while most cultures and individuals standards of morality have some degree of similarity, the same cannot be said of beauty. For instance I find Japanese armor distinctly ugly but Japanese swords extremely beautiful while Japanese smiths would presumably believe different. But I can understand the things both are supposed to represent, such as valor and loyalty and if the Japanese take on it is sometimes bizarre to my eyes it is not incomprehensible. But the author not only says that we are to desire to find beauty but several times says blatantly that THIS is beautiful and THAT is ugly.
Then too the the writer has an unfortunate hero-worship. Yes C.S. Lewis was a great scholar, writer, and philosopher. No he definitely would not want you to hold to his opinion just because he said to. On several occasions he was wrong or only partially right, or just misread by his admirers-like anyone else like him. But Markos sometimes seems to give what amounts to a prophetic status to Lewis. That is pretty clearly not the intention. But it sometimes seems to be the result.
That said, the book is worth reading. The writer is often a skilled writer and can be both entertaining and insightful. And the book is good as an intro. But don't just read Markos, read C.S. Lewis. And don't just read him but read other writers. C.S. Lewis was great. But one of the reasons he was great was that he knew he was just a man. These are points the author would agree with. But the fact is that he clumsily overstated himself. Arguments that claim more then they should discredit even the truth that is in them.
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