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Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (Harcourt Brace Modern Classic)
Synopses & Reviews
"A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere . . . God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous." This book is not an autobiography. It is not a confession. It is, however, certainly one of the most beautiful and insightful accounts of a person coming to faith. Here, C.S. Lewis takes us from his childhood in Belfast through the loss of his mother, to boarding school and a youthful atheism in England, to the trenches of World War I, and then to Oxford, where he studied, read, and, ultimately, reasoned his way back to God. It is perhaps this aspect of Surprised by Joy that we—believers and nonbelievers—find most compelling and meaningful; Lewis was searching for joy, for an elusive and momentary sensation of glorious yearning, but he found it, and spiritual life, through the use of reason. In this highly personal, thoughtful, intelligent memoir, Lewis guides us toward joy and toward the surprise that awaits anyone who seeks a life beyond the expected. "Lewis tempered his logic with a love for beauty, wonder, and magic . . . He speaks to us with all the power and life-changing force of a Plato, a Dante, and a Bunyan."—Christianity Today "The tension of these final chapters holds the interest like the close of a thriller."—Times Literary Supplement C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis (1898-1963), one of the great writers of the twentieth century, also continues to be one of our most influential Christian thinkers. He wrote more than thirty books, both popular and scholarly, including The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Screwtape Letters, The Four Loves, Mere Christianity, and Till We Have Faces.
An unfailingly honest and acutely perceptive observer of self, C. S. Lewis vividly recounts the spiritual journey that led him from a conventionally Christian childhood in Belfast to a youthful atheism and, finally, back to an assured Christianity. Lewis describes his early schooldays, his experiences in the trenches during World War I, and undergraduate life at Oxford - where he found himself drawn back to God. Yet it is perhaps the rational aspect of his conversion that makes Lewis's story so compelling, especially to contemporary readers. He is, most persuasively, a modern man who has thought his way to God. Initially published in 1955, Lewis's journey - his "surprise" - continues to be of first importance to admirers of his work and today, more than ever, to anyone concerned with the compatibility of the rational and the spiritual.
A candid autobiography by C. S. Lewis that recollects his rational path to God
An unfailingly honest and perceptive observer of humanity, C. S. Lewis embarked on a spiritual journey that led him from a traditional Christian childhood in Belfast to a youthful atheism and, finally, back to a confident Christianity. With no pretense, Lewis describes his early schooldays, his experiences in the trenches during World War I, and his undergraduate life at Oxford, where he reasoned his way to God. Since its first publication in 1955, Surprised by Joy continues to be deeply important to Lewis's admirers and to those concerned with the compatibility of the rational and the spiritual.
In this book Lewis tells of his search for joy, a spiritual journey that led him from the Christianity of his early youth into atheism and then back to Christianity. This book, together with his early diary All My Road Before Me, form the closest thing we have to an autobiography.
About the Author
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) gained international renown for an impressive array of beloved works both popular and scholarly: literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature, and numerous books on theology. Among his most celebrated achievements are Out of the Silent Planet, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, The Four Loves, and Surprised by Joy.
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