Saturday, September 20, 2014

#532


From the Library of C.S. Lewis: Selections from Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey
Monday, September 22nd – 6:15pm in the Trust Conference Room.

Discussion Question:
As you read the selections note where you see thoughts which influenced Lewis’ writing.  And for extra credit you might even be ready with some quotes from the Lewis work.  Also, bring your favorite devotional quote from C.S. Lewis.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

#531





We discussed this book a year or so ago.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

#530

Hiroshima after the bomb.
In 1947 Lewis wrote as essay titled "Vivisection" for the New England Anti-Vivisection Society.  I have used the quote below previously on this blog.  The last few posts have been about the atomic bomb and Lewis's thoughts concerning it.  As I have been looking through the Lewis letters I found the letter below with Lewis offering a possible tempering of his statement in "Vivisection."  I have not found anything else  from his pen to shed light on his opinion of the morality of dropping the atomic bomb, but I will keep looking; not because I am an American looking for Lewis justification.  I previously posted the "Vivisection" quote with my full support, but it is a discussion worth having.


"The victory of vivisection marks a great advance in the triumph of ruthless, non-moral utilitarianism over the old world of ethical laws; a triumph in which we, as well as animals, are already the victims, and of which Dachau and Hiroshima mark the more recent achievements."


From a letter Lewis sent to Belle Allen on the 28th of December of 1950:

"The whole question of the atomic bomb is a very difficult one: the Sunday after the news of the dropping of the first one came through, our minister asked us all to join in prayer for forgiveness for the great crime of using it.  But, if what we have since heard is true, i.e. that the first item on the Japanese anti-invasion programme was the killing of every European in Japan, the answer did not, to me, seem so simple as all that."


Follow this link to a letter from Harry Truman to a journalist justifying his decision to drop the bombs.

Thinking as I write, I still think Lewis is right in that the dropping of the bomb and the Holocaust and a myriad of other actions by modern man "marks a great advance in the triumph of ruthless, non-moral utilitarianism."

Sunday, September 7, 2014

#529

Little Boy, the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

Lewis wrote a poem 'On The Atomic Bomb: Metrical Experiment'
First published in The Spectator, December 28, 1945, and today can be found in Poems.

So; you have found an engine
Of injury that angels
Might dread.  The world plunges,
Shies, snorts, and curvets like a horse in danger.

Then comfort her with fondlings,
With kindly word and handling,
But do not believe blindly
This way or that.  Both fears and hopes are swindlers.

What's here to dread?  For mortals
Both hurt and death were certain
Already; our light-hearted
Hopes from the first sentenced to final thwarting.

This marks no huge advance in
The dance of Death.  His pincers
Were grim before with chances
Of cold, fire, suffocation, Ogpu, cancer.

Nor hope that this last blunder
Will end our woes by rending
Tellus herself asunder --
All gone in one bright flash like dryest tinder.

As if your puny gadget
Could dodge the terrible logic
Of history!  No; the tragic
Road will go on, new generations trudge it.

Narrow and long it stretches,
Wretched for one who marches
Eyes front.  He never catches
A glimpse of the fields each side, the happy orchards.


Lewis sent two variant versions of this poem to Owen Barfield and Cecil Harwood in letters dated December 19 & 26, 1945, and today found in Volume II of The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis.

Each offer different words and phrases.  One version with the sixth stanza being the last.  Leaving the seventh, more hopeful?? stanza out.  It goes as follows:

Alas!, no mortal gadget
Will dodge the terrible logic
Of history.  The long, tragic
Tale ends not till the Master comes to judge it.

Friday, September 5, 2014

#528

Picture of Nagasaki bombing from the Truman Library


The previous post is a creative presentation of a Lewis essay: "On Living in an Atomic Age."  The essay was first published in 1948 and can currently be found in the essay collection Present Concerns.

I am cleaning out my Draft Box of possible blog posts and found this from a few years ago.  Follow this link for an interesting presentation on CSPAN concerning the Atomic Age in America.

The other thing that brought this to my mind is that we are currently in National Preparedness Month and the Department of Homeland Security would like to make sure you are ready to survive a disaster, be it hurricane, tornado, flood, or nuclear explosion.  While there is nothing wrong with being prepared, I think the CSPAN lecture and the thoughts of Lewis help us to honestly access the situation, especially in the light of eternity.




#527

Thursday, September 4, 2014

#526

Photo Found Here

Boethius' Tomb - see the end of the previous post.


Interesting Fact of the Day:
It seems Saint Augustine's tomb is in the same church as Boethius' - San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro in Pavia (a town near Milan - ITALY).