Posted tagged ‘individualism’

C. S. Lewis on Individualism, Equality and the Church

July 9, 2015

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Thoughts and excerpts from Membership, published in the Weight of Glory and other addresses (by Harper One) by CS Lewis.

C. S. Lewis, the 20th Century English Literature professor, author and thinker, wrote Membership as a speech given at Oxford during World War II. In this speech, Lewis addressed the popular societal trend toward collectivism and the concomitant effort to relegate religion to private, individual belief.

His address was meant to be an encouraging call to Christian hope in a world threatened to be torn apart by war. We find ourselves in different circumstances, and the world as changed in many ways. We can no longer assume a Christian ideal as a collective rallying point, but is address remains stubbornly relevant in our modern world.

Lewis found irony in the dichotomy of exalted individualism in Western society that was, at the same time, becoming more collective in its political direction – individual rights and equality for all. In his typical style, he unravels the uneasy tension of this secular dualism at the seams, exposing the inherent incongruities and turning them on their heads, as he contrasts them to Christian paradoxes that, while seemingly inapposite, hold together in a more harmonious tension. (more…)


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