Bookshelf: June 2005 Archives

It was my senior year in high school, and I was browsing through the religion section of B. Dalton Bookseller in Southroads Mall when I came across some books by C. S. Lewis. I remembered the author's name from 3rd Grade -- Father Ralph Urmson-Taylor read Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to us during weekly chapel. For whatever reason, I picked up The Abolition of Man, paged through it, and bought it, the first Lewis book I read for myself.

If you believe that our culture first took a wrong turn in, say, the 1960s, this series of three brief lectures from the '40s will give you a new perspective. The rotten fruit of relativism began to appear in the '60s, but the seeds were planted long before.

Lewis begins with an excerpt from an English composition textbook which subtly plants the idea that a statement of value is nothing more than a reflection of the speaker's emotions and is unimportant. The educators are debunking the idea that our sentiments ought to be ordered in accordance with an objective reality. In the process, the very qualities needed to sustain civilization are being cut out of it.

If you want to see the sad results of that radical surgery, read anything by Theodore Dalrymple. If you want to understand how such a sad state of affairs came about, read The Abolition of Man.

The Abolition of Man can be read online, on the website of the Augustine Club of Columbia University.

Hat tip for the link to Eve Tushnet, who also links today to Lego scenes of the life of Martin Luther -- Luther posting his 95 Theses, Luther at the Diet of Worms, Luther translating the Bible in the Wartburg Castle, Luther throwing his inkwell at the Devil.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Bookshelf category from June 2005.

Bookshelf: January 2005 is the previous archive.

Bookshelf: October 2005 is the next archive.

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