Many scholars and organization have rated C.S. Lewis’s book The Abolition of Man as one of the top-ten, most important books written in the twentieth century. Lewis himself considered this book his favorite out of all his works. Any classical educator or leader should be familiar with Lewis’s criticism of modern education (particularly its relativism and rejection of objective value) and his argument for the preservation of the traditional, classical model of education that seeks to cultivate just virtues and affections in the souls of students so that they become fully human and men with—rather than without—chests.
In this concise course, Dr. Steve Turley (humanities educator at Tall Oaks Academy in Delaware and professor of aesthetics at Eastern University) introduces and explains Lewis’s insights into education, beginning with a clear overview and then taking us chapter by chapter through the book. He concludes with a lecture showing how many of Lewis’s predictions about education have proved prescient and accurate. Turley also notes how the renewal of classical education is a reason for optimism, as many classical educators, schools, and homeschools are returning to the older way of education that Lewis advocates.
This is a fitting course for any educator or leader who wants to more deeply understand the philosophy of the classical approach to education while also grasping the ways in which so much of modern education has deteriorated by rejecting the ideals of knowable and universal truth, goodness, and beauty. Viewers will also enjoy the discussions that follow each lecture featuring Dr. Christopher Perrin and Dr. Turley.
This course is also available on Dr. Turley’s own teaching website, www.TurleyTalks.com.
Students of this course should secure and read a copy of The Abolition of Man. We encourage you to read each chapter in the book prior to Dr. Turley’s corresponding lecture.
Instructional Hours: 4.10, CEU Credits: .67
- Lecture 1: Introduction to The Abolition of Man
- Lecture 2: Men without Chests
- Lecture 3: The Way
- Lecture 4: The Abolition of Man
- Lecture 5: Illustrations of the Tao
- Lecture 6: Conclusion: The Continuing Pertinence of Lewis’s Insights into Education
C. S. Lewis remains one of the most prominent intellectuals, writers, and theologians of the twentieth century. Born in Belfast on November 29, 1898, Lewis spent much of his childhood and young adulthood immersed in reading, education, and the fantastical worlds of his imagination. He experienced World War I and II first hand, both as an infantryman and lieutenant, and later as a BBC broadcast host reaching out to the British public. He attended Oxford University as a student and went on to teach English and literature at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. It was during his time in Oxford that Lewis converted from atheism to Christianity. He made his home at The Kilns in Oxford, living there with his wife, Joy Davidman, until her death in 1960. Lewis died on November 22, 1963, at the age of 64.
Images from the Life of C. S. Lewis
Books by C. S. Lewis
Lewis wrote over thirty books during his lifetime. Several of these developed from his famous university lectures and radio broadcasts, such as The Abolition of Man and Mere Christianity, respectively. Lewis is known world-wide as the author of his classic children’s fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. To others, he is best known as an author of theological books concerning Christianity, faith, love, and sorrow; these include The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Four Loves, and A Grief Observed. He is also the author of a science fiction trilogy including Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.
To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete each presentation lesson or discussion in the course (by marking it complete or by taking the quiz) and then also take the certification test at the end of the course. The quizzes are designed to ensure that you have understood the essential content of each presentation, and they can be taken more than once if necessary. The cumulative certification test at the end of the course is given as a pass/fail test and requires that you upload one or more essays demonstrating your understanding of the course. (Please note that essays are simply evaluated by word count.) When you have completed the course, a certificate that you can print or email will become available within “My Courses” (accessible under “Courses” in the main menu when you are signed in as an active subscriber).
We recommend previewing the essay question within the end of course test before starting the course. This will help in guiding your note taking as you progress through the course. Please allow approximately 2 weeks for essay submissions to be reviewed.
Lesson 2: The Abolition of Man in Context Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Discussion of Lecture 2 Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 3: Men without Chests Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Discussion of Lecture 3 Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 4: Moral versus Modern Education Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Discussion of Lecture 4 Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 5: The Abolition of Man Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Discussion of Lecture 5 Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 6: Lewis’s Predictions Fulfilled in Three Ways Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Discussion of Lecture 6 Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Test: End of Course Certification Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.