C.S. Lewis and Human Suffering: Light Among the Shadows

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9781587680441: C.S. Lewis and Human Suffering: Light Among the Shadows
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For Christians who believe in the limitless goodness of God, the reality of human suffering remains a troubling mystery. C.S. Lewis wrote with unflinching honesty about his own overwhelming sorrow at the death of his wife Joy Davidson in A Grief Observed. But few realize that this powerful work represents only the final stage of the development of Lewis' perspective on suffering. In C.S. Lewis and Human Suffering: Light among the Shadows Marie Conn traces the evolution of Lewis' thought and demonstrates how this Oxford don can help us more deeply understand the place of grief in our lives. As a young atheist who witnessed the horror of trench warfare, Lewis simply accepted suffering as a grim fact of life. After his midlife conversion to Christianity he confidently declared in The Problem of Pain that suffering was the "chisel" by which God perfected us. But his wife's death from cancer compelled him to admit to his own despair and doubt as he tried to reconcile his loss with his faith. By placing Lewis' ideas about suffering within the context of his life, Marie Conn provides a refreshing view of a popular and influential theologian who, like all human beings, was no stranger to personal tragedy. This book inspires the grieving heart to go through its seasons, without platitudes or easy answers, but with courage, honesty, and faith.

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Marie A. Conn, PhD, is professor of religious studies at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. She has published two books, as well as numerous articles on topics including sacramental theology, social justice, the ethics of health care reform, and women's issues.

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