About this title:
C.S. Lewis's famous inspirational work on the nature of love. C.S. Lewis's famous work on the nature of love divides love into four categories: Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity. The first three are loves which come naturally to the human race. Charity, however, the Gift-love of God, is divine in its source and expression, and without the sweetening grace of this supernatural love, the natural loves become distorted and even dangerous.
The Four Loves
About the Author:
summarizes four kinds of human love--affection, friendship, erotic love, and the love of God. Masterful without being magisterial, this book's wise, gentle, candid reflections on the virtues and dangers of love draw on sources from Jane Austen to St. Augustine. The chapter on charity (love of God) may be the best thing Lewis ever wrote about Christianity. Consider his reflection on Augustine's teaching that one must love only God, because only God is eternal, and all earthly love will someday pass away:
Who could conceivably begin to love God on such a prudential ground--because the security (so to speak) is better? Who could even include it among the grounds for loving? Would you choose a wife or a Friend--if it comes to that, would you choose a dog--in this spirit? One must be outside the world of love, of all loves, before one thus calculates.
His description of Christianity here is no less forceful and opinionated than in Mere Christianity
or The Problem of Pain
, but it is far less anxious
about its reader's response--and therefore more persuasive than any of his apologetics. When he begins to describe the nature of faith, Lewis writes: "Take it as one man's reverie, almost one man's myth. If anything in it is useful to you, use it; if anything is not, never give it a second thought." --Michael Joseph Gross
Born in Ireland in 1898, Clives Staples Lewis gained a triple First at Oxford and was Fellow and Tutor at Magdalen College from 1925-54, where among others he was a contemporary of Tolkien. In 1954 he became Professor of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge. C. S. Lewis was for many years an atheist, until his conversion which he memorably described in his autobiography Surprised by Joy: "I gave in, and admitted that God was God ! perhaps the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England." He is also celebrated for his famous series of children's books, the Narnia Chronicles (which have been filmed and broadcast many times), as well as his literary criticism and science fiction. C. S. Lewis died on 22nd November 1963.
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