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Virtue and Vice: A Dictionary of the Good Life Hardcover – 1 Mar 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (1 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060761512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060761516
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.2 x 16 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,409,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

Drawn primarily from C. S. Lewis's classic works, this book provides dictionary-like entries on different virtues-prudence, chastity, faith, hope, charity, and so on. This is a nice summary presentation on something Lewis is famous for: clear, succinct, nonpreachy, erudite definitions of terms that have to do with what it means to live the good life. Even those who have already read the works from which these writings are drawn will enjoy this succinct collection of core concepts for the virtuous life.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
C.S. Lewis was a rare individual. One of the few non-clerics to be recognised as a theologian by the Anglican church, he put forth the case for Christianity in general in ways that many Christians beyond the Anglican world can accept, and a clear description for non-Christians of what Christian faith and practice should be. Indeed, Lewis says in his introduction that this text (or indeed, hardly any other he produced) will help in deciding between Christian denominations. While he describes himself as a 'very ordinary layman' in the Church of England, he looks to the broader picture of Christianity, particularly for those who have little or no background. The discussion of division points rarely wins a convert, Lewis observed, and so he leaves the issues of ecclesiology and high theology differences to 'experts'. Lewis is of course selling himself short in this regard, but it helps to reinforce his point.
This book derives from several of his works: 'Mere Christianity'; 'Miracles'; 'The Problem of Pain'; 'The Great Divorce'; 'A Grief Observed', and even 'The Screwtape Letters'. This book is set up as a kind of glossary of terms that are common to the Christian experience and common to Lewis' writing - it is a very useful text to have handy while reading other of Lewis' work. The terms here can be theological or secular, philosophical or mundane. For example, there is an entry on 'Money' - this leads to a discussion on poverty, economy, and true wealth. There is an entry on 'Despair' that begins in the words of the demon Screwtape. One finds entries on both 'Peer Pressure' and 'Perfection, Attainment of...', 'Sinfulness' and 'Forgiveness'.
This is a good, thought-provoking book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking definitively... 31 May 2005
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
C.S. Lewis was a rare individual. One of the few non-clerics to be recognised as a theologian by the Anglican church, he put forth the case for Christianity in general in ways that many Christians beyond the Anglican world can accept, and a clear description for non-Christians of what Christian faith and practice should be. Indeed, Lewis says in his introduction that this text (or indeed, hardly any other he produced) will help in deciding between Christian denominations. While he describes himself as a 'very ordinary layman' in the Church of England, he looks to the broader picture of Christianity, particularly for those who have little or no background. The discussion of division points rarely wins a convert, Lewis observed, and so he leaves the issues of ecclesiology and high theology differences to 'experts'. Lewis is of course selling himself short in this regard, but it helps to reinforce his point.

This book derives from several of his works: 'Mere Christianity'; 'Miracles'; 'The Problem of Pain'; 'The Great Divorce'; 'A Grief Observed', and even 'The Screwtape Letters'. This book is set up as a kind of glossary of terms that are common to the Christian experience and common to Lewis' writing - it is a very useful text to have handy while reading other of Lewis' work. The terms here can be theological or secular, philosophical or mundane. For example, there is an entry on 'Money' - this leads to a discussion on poverty, economy, and true wealth. There is an entry on 'Despair' that begins in the words of the demon Screwtape. One finds entries on both 'Peer Pressure' and 'Perfection, Attainment of...', 'Sinfulness' and 'Forgiveness'.

This is a good, thought-provoking book. While not really done in a narrative style, it can be read straight through (indeed, should be read through) as each self-contained definition and exposition leads to a further understanding of the other terms - like true dictionaries, it is self-reflexive and self-referential, with each term working to help clarify and refine the other terms.

Lewis probably surprised the listeners of his radio broadcasts by starting a statement, 'When I was an atheist...' Lewis is a late-comer to Christianity (most Anglicans in England were cradle-Anglicans). Thus Lewis can speak with the authority of one having deliberately chosen and found Christianity, rather than one who by accident of birth never knew any other (although the case can be made that Lewis was certainly raised in a culture dominated by Christendom). However, Lewis is not writing exclusively for Anglicans - his writing is meant for the wider Christian audience; in one book, he states that those looking for help deciding between one denomination and another will find little help in much of his writing.

This particular book carries an editor's name: Patricia S. Klein (some of the volumes of this series have no editor specified). In this volume, Klein produced an introduction that sets the stage for the reader of the terms in the glossary, explaining a bit about how Lewis uses language and meaning. This book is part of a pocket-book series being produced by Harper SanFrancisco, several books that highlight the key points of C.S. Lewis' religious/theological writing. Less than 100 pages, with plenty of white space and good-sized print, these books are easily read, but invite contemplation far beyond the scope of their diminutive size.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL LITTLE BOOK TO READ AND TO THINK ABOUT. 29 May 2007
By D. Blankenship - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This work is a small collection, less than 100 pages, of writings by C.S. Lewis. They are taken from other works by the author, and the editor of this particular book, Patricia S. Klein, has formated these writings in the form of a dictionary. The subject, of course, is virture and vice and how it is preceived. I do recommend that the book be read front to cover, just as a normal book would be read, as many of the terms addressed by Lewis, such as ambition, charity, chastity, freedom, and many, many other terms are rather skillfully linked here. This of course is the author's take on the subject matter and many of course will, and most certainly should, take other views. The nice thing about this work though is, that for the most part, the author makes quite good sense. I would suspect that no matter what your religious views are, or nonreligions views, as the case may be, that some very nice bits of wisdom will shine though for you in this one. From a personal view point, I simply enjoy C.S. Lewis' writing style and could quite well read and enjoy it just for the simple delight in following the author's syntax and thought process. Another reviewer here has given us a wonderful oversight, complete with background, to this work, so I will not babble on further. I do recommend this one quite highly.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misrepresentation 28 Jun. 2010
By A. F. Cieszkiewicz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Patricia S Klein has simply taken excerpts, in this case, from various CS Lewis publications, selected a title under the AUTHORSHIP of CS Lewis which is simple misrepresentation as she cashes in on the name of CS Lewis to her own personal benefit. Please read the real CS Lewis and not the excerpts from CS Lewis.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new here 29 Feb. 2016
By Robert S. Mortenson, Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not new CS Lewis; it is CS Lewis repackaged by an editor. I did not find it helpful.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lewis at his best. When you think that you have looked at ... 7 Jun. 2016
By Kelsey Quinn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is C.S. Lewis at his best. When you think that you have looked at Christianity from every perspective, you will find that Lewis will still surprise you. He was a brilliant man, and in this book you will find several "Aha! moments. I got the book from the library, read it,and knew that I wanted a copy of my own to keep.
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