Forrest E. Baird, M.A., M.Div., Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Office Hours: Monday 8-9; 1-2; Wednesday 1-5 (Lindaman Basement)
Office Phone: 777-4380
A study of the thought of C.S. Lewis as found in his philosophical, theological
and imaginative works.
- 1. Academic Content:
COURSE OBJECTIVES IN RELATIONSHIP TO WHITWORTH'S EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
A. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to see the connections
between the expository and imaginative works of Lewis and begin to understand the
relationship between reason and imagination.
B. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to acquire knowledge of
the life and writings of an important 20th Century Christian thinker.
C. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to summarize, and
comment upon various types of texts.
2. Methodologies and Assumptions:
Students who successfully complete this course will develop critical reading skills (while the
college has writing intensive classes, this is a reading intensive class), and to understand and
critically evaluate C.S. Lewis's ideas.
3. Christian Worldview Perspectives:
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to express one's ideas and
critically evaluate the ideas of others in a positive manner; to work effectively in a small group
and accept responsibility for grading and being graded by peers. They will also encounter the
works of a "thinking Christian" and begin to develop a Christian world view.
4. Ethical Issues and Commitments:
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to experience other students'
perspectives and recognize one's own assumptions and apply Lewis's ideas to contemporary
issues and to connect insights gained in class to personal life
Electronically posted reading responses and multiple choice/short answer quizzes at the
beginning of each class session will assess if students have done the reading. A small group
presentation on an additional book by Lewis will allow the instructor to assess how well
students are interacting with the text and their ability to translate that for their peers. Finally,
two essay examinations will provide evidence that the students have learned the content of the
All class sessions (except the first) will begin with a short objective quiz over the readings
for the night. It is the intention of the instructor that these quizzes be impossible to pass if a
student has not carefully done the reading and impossible to fail if he or she has. Following
the grading of the quiz, there will be lecture, discussion, and a small group report on one of
Lewis's books that we have not read.
David C. Downing, The Most Reluctant Convert: C.S. Lewis's Journey to Faith
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
__________, A Grief Observed
__________, Till We Have Faces
__________, Selections from Preface to Pilgrim's Regress
(you need not buy this book)
(The following are part of the set, Six by Lewis.)
__________, Mere Christianity
__________, The Problem of Pain
__________, The Great Divorce
__________, The Abolition of Man
(The following are part of the set, The Chronicles of Narnia)
__________, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
__________, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
__________, The Silver Chair
__________, The Last Battle
Plus a book for a small group presentation.
ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING:
20% Weekly Quizzes
A multiple choice/short answer quiz will be given at the beginning of each class session. Missed
quizzes cannot be made up for any reason (including arriving late). At the end of the semester the
two lowest quiz grades will be dropped. (Related to goals of Intellectual Breadth and Intellectual
20% Weekly Internet Postings
Each student will electronically post a response to the upcoming reading by Sunday at 5 p.m. This
response will include thoughtful reflection on what Lewis wrote, some ideas on how this connects or
does not connect to other things the student has learned, and at least one question the reading raises
for the student. (In the case of multiple readings, students may choose to respond in depth to one
selection or in a more cursory way to both assigned readings.) Each student will read 2 responses
posted by his/her classmates and electronically post a brief response by Monday at 12 noon.
Students are also encouraged to email the professor (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any question they
may have that they would like covered in the Tuesday night class. Each complete set of
responses (individual response and 2 responses to classmates) will be worth 2% for a total of 20%.
(No partial credit here.) This means each student will be able to miss 2 weeks worth of responses
due to computer problems, etc.
10% Group Presenstation
Students will work with a small group to give a presentation on a book by Lewis not read by the
whole class. These presentations are to be no more than 10 minutes and should cover the key points
of the given book in an interesting manner. Half the group presentation grade will be determined by
the other members of the class using a criteria sheet distributed by the instructor (the other half will
be determined by the instructor).
25% each Two Examinations (October 24 & Dec. 12)
Please note that the time for the second (final) examination can only be changed by petitioning the
Academic Dean. (Related to goals of Intellectual Breadth, Intellectual Depth, Critical Thinking, and
Attendance is mandatory. After two absences the intense suffering begins.
SCHEDULE (click on titles to go to lecture outlines):
- September 12: Introduction to the Course; Basic Presuppositions
Selections from Preface to Pilgrim's Regress
- September 19: Lewis the Person, Part 1
- ASSIGNMENT: Downing, The Most Reluctant Convert
- September 26: Lewis the Christian Apologist, Part 1; Introduction to Narnia
- ASSIGNMENT: Mere Christianity, I & II; The Lion, the Witch, and the
- October 3: Lewis the Christian Apologist, Part 2; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- ASSIGNMENT: Mere Christianity, III & IV; The Voyage of the Dawn
- October 10: Lewis the Essayist; The Theme of the Quest
- ASSIGNMENT: The Weight of Glory, selected essays; The Silver Chair
- October 17: The Question of Moral Absolutes
- ASSIGNMENT: The Abolition of Man
- October 24: EXAMINATION #1
- October 31: The Problem of Evil I; Perelandra
- ASSIGNMENT: The Problem of Pain; Perelandra
- November 7: The Problem of Evil II; The Great Divorce;
- ASSIGNMENT: The Problem of Pain; The Great Divorce
- November 14: Lewis the Literary Critic
- ASSIGNMENT: TBA
- November 21: Lewis the Person, Part 2
- ASSIGNMENT: A Grief Observed
- November 28: Lewis the Novelist
- ASSIGNMENT: Till We Have Faces
- December 5: Conclusion
- ASSIGNMENT: The Weight of Glory, "The Weight of Glory"; The Last Battle
- December 9: EXAMINATION #2
RETURN TO Main C.S. Lewis Class Page