Item description for The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life by Armand Nicholi...
Overview Compares and contrasts the beliefs of two famous thinkers, Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis, on topics ranging from the existence of God and morality to pain and suffering.
Publishers Description Throughout the ages, many of the world's greatest thinkers have wrestled with the concept of -- and belief in -- God. It may seem unlikely that any new arguments or insights could be raised, but the twentieth century managed to produce two brilliant men with two diametrically opposed views about the question of God: Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis. They never had an actual meeting, but in "The Question of God, " their arguments are placed side by side for the very first time. For more than twenty-five years, Armand Nicholi has taught a course at Harvard that compares the philosophical arguments of both men. In "The Question of God, " Dr. Nicholi presents the writings and letters of Lewis and Freud, allowing them to "speak" for themselves on the subject of belief and disbelief. Both men considered the problem of pain and suffering, the nature of love and sex, and the ultimate meaning of life and death -- and each of them thought carefully about the alternatives to their positions. The inspiration for the PBS series of the same name, "The Question of God" does not presuppose which man -- Freud the devout atheist or Lewis the atheist-turned-believer -- is correct in his views. Rather, readers are urged to join Nicholi and his students and decide for themselves which path to follow.
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Studio: Free Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.74" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Aug 7, 2003
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 074324785X ISBN13 9780743247856
Availability 0 units.
More About Armand Nicholi
Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr. is an associate clinical professoDr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr. is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Massachuser of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has an active practice as a psychiatts General Hospital. He has an active practice as a psychiatrist and serves as a consultant to government groups, corpotrist and serves as a consultant to government groups, corporations, and professional athletes. He is married, with two rations, and professional athletes. He is married, with two children, and lives in Concord, Massachusetts. children, and lives in Concord, Massachusetts.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life?
A diametrically opposed dialogue Jan 12, 2007
It's probable that Freud and Lewis never met, yet in this volume Dr. Nicholi brings together their writings and turns them into a dialogue between these two men. The topics cover range from creation, to sex, to happiness, and pain. There is a slight hint of Dr. Nicholi tipping his hand and showing where he stands, but overall I think he does a good job of allowing these men to speak for themselves.
A response to David Abraham Jan 4, 2007
actually c.s. lewis has sold more books, and what would be the purpose of a discussion between two members of the same belief system? Another comment I feel compelled to make is that in reading C.S. lewis's fiction works God is not actually mentioned. Along with this (a personal opinion) is that C.S. Lewis is a better writer than Tolkien, Tolkien borrowed his story ideas from Norse Mythology, and others- see Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung. I do however agree that reading the works of the two men for yourself is a much better alternative if you wish to get an accurate view of them. This book's usefulness is mainly in its biographical content, which is substantial, but not enough to make it really worth reading.
Biased But Enjoyable Nonetheless Dec 9, 2006
Nicholi may have given C.S. Lewis more stage time than Freud in this book. In fact, I can easily distinguish, if this were a play, one that had Freud as a series of props glorifying C.S. Lewis in a play dedicated to happiness.
Nonethess I enjoyed this book. Nicoli's cited his sources and knows his stuff. He gets the point acress that in each categorical debate, though Freud preached a certain viewpoint in life, he either did not live it, or was miserable due to it.
I can't say anything that hasn't been said before in reviews, but I enjoyed reading this book, and recommend it to others.
Disappointed Oct 30, 2006
I read the reviews on this book, until it was apparent that they were as biased as the book being reviewed. I was hoping for a study of two blokes I rather admire; I was disappointed to see Nicholi always there, moreso even than his subjects. I confess Lewis was a better writer, and he has most likely sold more books. But after all, he wrote for Everyman. Freud did not and could not. But rightly or not, Freud is the more important of the two men, by miles and miles. A better comparison would have been two friends, Lewis and Tolkien. Lewis wrote Christian fairy tales, Tolkien crafted a mythic world. Tolkien is much the better writer, has sold more books and he does not speak of Christianity. There is little doubt that humans are aided by belief; unfortunatly, that need is not evidence for the reality of a supernatural being whose universe keeps expanding (it was only a 6,000 year old universe a mere 250 years ago). Don't waste your time on this book; read Lewis, read Freud, read Tolkien, read Jung, read the Bible and the Koran, read read read, read Calvin and Hobbes.
Oedipus and the Dinosaur Sep 30, 2006
Sigmund Freud was the quintessential man of his age. He believed the future had arrived and that he was part of ushering it in. C. S. Lewis was a self proclaimed dinosaur. He was a man deeply rooted in an earlier age and mourned the loss of its influence. The difference between Freud and Lewis is much deeper than one was an atheist and another a Christian. They almost could not have believed more differently on what it fundamentally meant to be human. But what makes them such fantastic interlocutors is what they have in common: quick wits, playful spirits, and a clear vision of reality that makes so much sense to so many. If they had actually debated the transcript would be a classic best seller.
But this is the next best thing. Dr. Nicholi (who has taught a Freud/Lewis class at Harvard for 25 years) is a very qualified guide as he leads us through what these two great minds thought and said about the most basic issues of human existence. I wondered if someone could really pull a book like this off without bias. The endnote quote breakdown is pretty close (Lewis had 265 quotes to Freud's, who's quotes tend to be longer, 252) but I detected a slight preference for Lewis' arguments, particularly in the Epilogue (however, I find Lewis's worldview significantly more convincing so this bias might be mine and not his). On the whole Dr. Nicholi serves as a relatively impartial guide to the best arguments of two brilliant men on some of the most important topics of what is real and what it means to be human.