Book 9 of 50 – The Abolition of Man

C. S. Lewis gave three lectures at Cambridge about the philosophy of education as he understood it. These lectures became The Abolition of Man. Many commentators put this book on a short list of books that can save Western Civilization.

Lewis starts out by criticing an English high school textbook of his time. From there, he builds a case for education in morality and absolute values. Honestly, at times, I had no idea what he was saying. He lost me about the middle of the first chapter, Men Without Chests. I got the main idea, but when he got into the details of The Way (which he calls the Tao), my poor mind did not comprehend him anymore.

I persevered and read the other two chapters, The Way and The Abolition of Man, but I understoond less and less. At times, I felt he was speaking against post-modern attitudes and against wokism. Apparently, I was right. Lewis, with his brilliant mind, looked into the future and predicted what society would become if we continued with the wrong kind of education. In this way, Lewis sort of became the precursor/prophet of the modern homeschooling movement.

I had to go read this interview to make sure I understood what I was reading. There are professors who wrote entire books dedicated to unpacking The Abolition of Man.

One of them suggested we should read Mere Christianity first in order to lay the foundation for The Abolition of Man. This made me add Mere Christianity to my list for this year – the sooner the better.

I own a copy of The Abolition of Man, so I can go back to it after reading Mere Christianity and see if I can understand Lewis a bit more. At least, that is the plan right now.

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