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4.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0156329301
Manufacturer : Harvest Books|
Release data : 29 September, 1971
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Not my most favorite Lewis book
I think most of the people who purchase Lewis' non-fiction do so because they are interested in his take on Christianity. One of the odd things about this book is that Lewis doesn't make it clear how he decided on these four Greek words. It turns out that the New Testament doesn't use the word eros or storge. This means that the New Testament usage is actually closer to colloquial English usage that you might guess from this book. I assume he chose these words because classical Greek philosophers classified love in this four-fold way.
When Lewis discusses friendship in this book, he gives it a rather odd definition that no longer seems appropriate in today's world, and probably even in his time almost no one except a university professor have. Lewis' concept is that a friend is someone with whom you share an arcane interest. It is an interest so rare that when you meet someone with a similar interest, your reaction is "What? You too?" Now that most people live in large cities and many have access to the internet, finding someone with an interest in say Wagnerian Opera isn't nearly so hard as it might have been for Lewis, who hated London and large cities. I think for most urban dwellers today, the people whom we consider friends are not so much those with whom we share a rare hobby, but people whose company we like and whose lives we are interested in hearing about.
If you are a hard core Lewis fan, you will probably enjoy this book, but if you are new to Lewis, you might have more fun reading something else like Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, or The Great Divorce.
We need this today, more than ever before.
Supposedly this is the only existing audio of the voice of C.S. Lewis. Originally, I was hoping to find audio of his famous radio talks which later became his book "Mere Christianity". Even though this wasn't exactly what I was looking for, it is phenomenal to hear the voice of C.S. Lewis. The Four Loves should be recommended reading/listening for every engaged couple. For those of us who have been married for some time, his book sheds beautiful light on what our relationships should look like.
like being one of his students at Cambridge
One of the things I like most about college are the lectures of a really erudite professor. It's such a joy to hear someone with a dazzling array of experiences and insights speak on his subject of expertise. These 4 talks are the closest most of us will ever come to sitting in a Cambridge classroom and hearing the one and only C.S. Lewis talk and talk about a subject of intense and intimate interest to just about all of us: love. While perhaps of lesser aesthetic quality than Plato's "Symposium", it is, nonetheless, far more insightful and USEFUL (That's not to say Plato is not useful; far from it! It is precisely BECAUSE Plato is so eminently insightful and useful that I consider this to be just about the highest compliment one could pay Lewis's work, and a compliment which is richly deserved!). Lewis's unparalleled understanding of human nature; his ability to illustrate the true significance of often overlooked, seemingly trivial things; his use of disparate and always apt illustrations from literature, history, psychology, life, philosophy, and religion; the way in which the highest and the lowest are always placed in right relation in his account of things; all these hallmarks of Lewis's genius are on full display in these lectures on the four types of love: domestic affection, friendship, erotic love, and Christian charity.
In fact, Lewis's understanding that these various types of love differ not only in degree but in kind enable him to avoid many of the apparent problems of Plato's account. I would recommend that Lewis's "Four Loves" and Plato's "Symposium" be read back-to-back and then criticized in light of each other, and then reread back-to-back again. Listening to them both (there is an excellent line of dramatic readings of Plato's works by Naxos audio-books) is very helpful, for one gets something different from hearing a lecture than from just reading notes (even if they are an exact transcript of the lecture). Also, Lewis's talks differ slightly in content from the book, and the differences, while slight, are somewhat instructive.
One can truly listen with rapt interest and amazement to these talks over, and over, and over, and over, and...