C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity is a perfect example of one of the most effective aspects of critical thinking skills: the use of reasoning to build a strong, logical argument. ¶Lewis originally wrote the book as a series of radio talks given from 1942-1944, at the height of World War II. The talks were designed to lay out the most basic tenets of Christianity for listeners, and to use these to make a logical argument for Christian belief and Christian ethics. While Lewis was not an academically-trained theologian or philosopher (specializing instead in literature), his own experience of converting from atheism to Christianity, along with his wide reading and incisive questioning, power a charming but persuasive argument for his own beliefs. ¶Whether or not one agrees with Lewis’s arguments or shares his faith, Mere Christianity exemplifies one of the most useful aspects of good reasoning: accessibility. When using reasoning to construct a convincing argument, it is crucial that your audience follow you, and Lewis was a master at constructing well-organised arguments that are immediately understandable to readers. The beautifully written Mere Christianity is a masterclass in cogently walking an audience through an elegant and well thought-through piece of reasoning.
Table of Contents
Ways in to the Text
Who was C.S. Lewis?
What does Mere Christianity Say?
Why does Mere Christianity Matter?
Section 1: Influences
Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context
Module 2: Academic Context
Module 3: The Problem
Module 4: The Author's Contribution
Section 2: Ideas
Module 5: Main Ideas
Module 6: Secondary Ideas
Module 7: Achievement
Module 8: Place in the Author's Work
Section 3: Impact
Module 9: The First Responses
Module 10: The Evolving Debate
Module 11: Impact and Influence Today
Module 12: Where Next?
Glossary of Terms
People Mentioned in the Text
The Reverend Dr Mark Scarlata is Vicar-Chaplain at the church of St Edward King and Martyr, Cambridge. He holds a PhD in Old Testament studies from the University of Cambridge and is senior lecturer at St Mellitus Theological College in London. The Revd Dr Scarlata is the author of ‘Am I My Brother's Keeper?’: Christian Citizenship in a Globalized Society (Cascade Books, 2013).