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ISBN/ASIN : 0156904365
Manufacturer : Harcourt Brace & Company|
Release data : 09 July, 1980
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Why must holy places be dark places?
In his masterpiece address, "The Weight of Glory," Lewis says, "if our religion is something objective, then we must never avert our eyes from those elements in it which seem puzzling or repellent; for it will be precisely the puzzling or the repellent which conceals what we do not yet know and need to know."
Through the retelling of an ancient myth, Lewis deals with the uncomfortable issue of God's justice in light of what seems a very unjust world. Why have the gods always seemed indifferent to the afflictions of man? Why must holy places be dark places? Why can't the gods just answer us without all the guesswork and riddle?
If these questions bother you, you will be able to relate to the book's protagonist, a woman named Orual. That is the great thing about this work, if we are honest, we shall see ourselves in Orual. And while admittedly not answering all the questions that arise along these lines, the book, I feel does succeed in giving us a glimpse of at least that part of the problem that we can control and at some level understand.
The main issue that is dealt with in this book is perhaps the most puzzling aspect of faith. There are clearly those things that go far beyond our ability to control, and each of us shall leave this world in ignorance and most assuredly in wonder, why this, why that? But to his credit, Lewis does an amazing job of taking these tough questions and once again through myth, helping his readers to understand a bit more clearly perhaps, the most mysterious of all things, the human heart.
Once we understand (in some measure) our own hearts, perhaps we too will agree with another of the book's characters, The Fox, when asked by Orual, "are the gods not just?" He answers, "Oh no, child. What would become of us if they were?"
The Blackstone Audio of this book is excellent by the way. I read the book once and found (as I do with most of Lewis's works) that I enjoyed it even more upon the second reading. I hope you will enjoy it as well.
through a glass, darkly
[[ASIN:0156904365 Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold]] is the most novelistic of the many books by C. S. Lewis. But don't expect it to satisfy on that level. All of Lewis' fiction is an allegorical exploration of man's relationship to God. Till We Have Faces deals particularly with the question of why God seems so distant.
The story is a carefully crafted version of the Greek myth of Psyche, a mortal woman who has a difficult romance with the god Eros. The point of view is that of a homely sister, Orual, who is consumed by unrecognized jealously at being ignored (as she supposes) by the gods. Over time, experience develops in her an independent spirit - a "face" of her own - that qualifies her to converse with God.
I enjoyed this book much more 30 years ago, when the pleasant narrative and the dream-fantasy sequences were enough to carry the allegory. But in my latest reading, the relatively weak characterization and the lack of real challenge in the protagonist's life detracts from the effect.
I respect C. S. Lewis highly as a clear-minded Christian theologian. But like princess Orual, his life experience was hardly rich enough to support the weight of his message.
According to Lewis...
this book was his favorite of all of the books he wrote. I'm right there with him.
9th grade English class, the last day of discussion, from the back of the room, "I am so mad I didn't finish reading this before today's class!!"
I think that says it.