What you read goes a long way toward shaping the kind of person you become. At the same time, the kind of person you have become goes a long way toward determining how you read what you read, what you think about and how, and the ways in which you interpret the world around you. This mutual shaping of what and how you read, and the kind of person you become is fundamental to C. S. Lewis’ theory of education, especially but not only in regard to the education of children. His classic philosophical work on education and moral formation is The Abolition of Man, but my guest on this episode also wants to show us how Lewis’ understanding of a truly human education forms and animates especially one of his seven Chronicles of Narnia –– namely, The Silver Chair.
Dr. Rebekah Lamb is a lecturer in theology and the arts at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland. She is one of the four principal faculty members in the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts. She is also a contributor to a new volume from Ignatius Press for which I served as editor––that title is The Chronicles of Transformation: A Spiritual Journey with C. S. Lewis. Dr. Lamb’s chapter is called, “Out of the Shadows: C. S. Lewis and the Idea of Education in The Silver Chair.” That chapter is accompanied by six other chapters from other scholars, treating the rest of six Chronicles of Narnia, as well as by seven original illustrations, seven original poems, and an introductory chapter about arriving at Narnia. This volume is primarily intended for adult and young adult readers, to help you rediscover the childlike wonder that is absolutely necessary to enjoy the deep spiritual treasures of these beloved children’s stories… which, as it turns out, are not just for children.
We first recorded this episode a few years ago when Dr. Lamb visited Notre Dame to give a lecture on The Silver Chair, which served as the basis for her chapter in The Chronicles of Transformation.
As for me, I’m Leonard DeLorenzo, this is Church Life Today, a production of the McGrath Institute for Church Life. I’m glad you’re here.