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C.S. Lewis: Imagination and Politics

HNRS 2013 Sec. 900 - Spring 2023

Mr. Thomas Cloud Department of Political Science

M W F 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
218 French House

C.S. Lewis is one of the most widely read authors of the 20th century. Millions have read his children’s novels, The Chronicles of Narnia, and his popular theological books, yet much of Lewis’ thought remains unappreciated. Why did C.S. Lewis say a theocracy was the worst form of government? Why did he support democracy when so many of his time argued for government unaccountable to the people? And why did he think the imagination of Medieval romanticism was more potent than any tract against totalitarianism? These are the themes we will examine as we work our way through some of Lewis’ less familiar works including – Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength, The Abolition of Man, and The Discarded Image among others.

This course will examine many themes. Sometimes this course will bring up very dark topics. That Hideous Strength is a dark and disturbing book by intention. The power of that book, however, is in how Lewis uses his imagination to show us his arguments. Along with exploring his arguments we are going to explore how he makes them. We are going to examine his use of imagination with the goal of improving our own in the aid of our reason.

Fulfills General Education:

English Composition
Social Sciences