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The Four Loves [Hardcover]

By C. S. Lewis (Author)
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Item description for The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis...

Examines human love, including affection, friendship, erotic love, and the love of God, and uses sources ranging from Jane Austen to St. Augustine to argue that none of the types of love can prosper without the love of God.

Publishers Description
A candid, wise, and warmly personal book in which Lewis explores the possibilities and problems of the four basic kinds of human love- affection, friendship, erotic love, and the love of God. "Immensely worthwhile for its simplicity...a rare and memorable book" (Sydney J. Harris).

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages   141
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 7, 1991
Publisher   Harcourt
ISBN  0151329168  
ISBN13  9780151329168  

Availability  0 units.

More About C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis C.S. Lewis was a professor of medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge universities who wrote more than thirty books in his lifetime, including The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Mere Christianity. He died in 1963.

C. S. Lewis was born in 1898 and died in 1963.

C. S. Lewis has published or released items in the following series...
  1. C.S. Lewis Signature Classics
  2. Chronicles of Narnia
  3. Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
  4. Scribner Classics
  5. Shepherd's Notes
  6. Space Trilogy (Paperback)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Inspirational
4Books > Subjects > Romance > Contemporary > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Four Loves?

A Wonderful Overview  Apr 24, 2008
This is in my opinion C.S. Lewis's best nonfiction work. The premise has been done before, but rarely with the sort of insight given here. His overviews of Affection and Friendship are much too often overlooked and glossed over as unimportant, but here they're given a status they really deserve.

The section on friendship, and the idea that people are bonded through mutual passions, and his grim statement that people who are just looking for a friend will never find one, was spot on. Friendships are formed as an extension of a passion for something bigger than the individual. A mutual cause drives people, whether they be sports fanatics, a tribe pining for survival, or art critics.

The pitfalls he explains for the loves such as lust, bigotry, elitism, etc. are self explanatory, but it's also practical. Friendships are exclusive by their very nature, and there's nothing intrinsically wrong with such a thing. Eros is most certainly exclusive. He emphasizes that we can't be friends with everyone, love everyone with Eros, but we can love everyone with Charity, the final section of the book.

One could write a book three times longer and not come close to the depth portrayed in this little book. Strongly recommended.
If You Love Anyone, Read This  Feb 24, 2008
CS Lewis does a wonderful job defining the four Greek words for Love. I would recommend this book most highly to the man (women are less likely to make this error) who thinks he needs no friends. Lewis shows the importance of friendship to a good life.
A Must Read  Feb 8, 2008
It Is One of those books that should be sitting on a coffee table. It defines the various types of pure love: agape, venus, and storge to name some. It truly defines where the 'heart' is and perhaps defining the brotherly love, the parental love, or the true love...

Susan Saige
All loves in Love  Jan 19, 2008
Within this work, Mr. Lewis is quick to point out the inherent difficulty with regard to the concept of love facing individuals whose native tongue is English. That is, it is easily recognized that there exists an extreme deficit when one applies the same word to describe the sentiment shared with one's spouse, as well as their favorite food. In such extreme cases of difference in terms of the word's application, clarification is hardly needed and might be written off as an embellishment about that which one feels about, say, strawberries or chocolate. However, other instances are more difficult to write off as a poor choice of words; such as, love for friends, family, a spouse, and God. One must surely agree that the sentiment in each of these instances of love can exist and be experienced in significantly different ways. While love is the umbrella under which all of these sentiments rest, they are, as far as most people can tell, very different things. That being said, it is lucky for the reader that Mr. Lewis, almost immediately, circumvents the language barrier and begins to illustrate the foundational understanding which must be apparent for further exploration of the concepts of love to proceed. For those who have struggled with this, even the simplest concept of love's significance, as this reviewer has, the first chapter alone is worth the price of this work's purchase.

Building upon a necessary base of knowledge, Lewis begins to explore the nature of love beginning with that love which might be the gray area between the words love and like, or either of the two, as spoken in the English language. Lewis continues his endeavor by tackling what people often consider the more significant forms of love such as friendship, erotic love, and the love of and for God. While no attempt will be made here to convey the significance of the final chapter regarding actual Love in fear of diluting a brilliant message, each of the chapters leading up to that point share common threads. That is, Mr. Lewis illustrates the difficulty which can be had with love in any form if left to our own devices. This illustration is achieved in the author's typical fashion of profound analogies and appeals to common experiences. One can be certain that while this recognition of the volatility of human love is of extreme importance, it is the overriding concept that only by surrendering these loves to Love that one can achieve happiness, solace, and purity in Love which makes this work unquestionably valuable to those that are fortunate enough to read it.
Not my most favorite Lewis book  Oct 18, 2007
I think most of the people who purchase Lewis' non-fiction do so because they are interested in his take on Christianity. One of the odd things about this book is that Lewis doesn't make it clear how he decided on these four Greek words. It turns out that the New Testament doesn't use the word eros or storge. This means that the New Testament usage is actually closer to colloquial English usage that you might guess from this book. I assume he chose these words because classical Greek philosophers classified love in this four-fold way.

When Lewis discusses friendship in this book, he gives it a rather odd definition that no longer seems appropriate in today's world, and probably even in his time almost no one except a university professor have. Lewis' concept is that a friend is someone with whom you share an arcane interest. It is an interest so rare that when you meet someone with a similar interest, your reaction is "What? You too?" Now that most people live in large cities and many have access to the internet, finding someone with an interest in say Wagnerian Opera isn't nearly so hard as it might have been for Lewis, who hated London and large cities. I think for most urban dwellers today, the people whom we consider friends are not so much those with whom we share a rare hobby, but people whose company we like and whose lives we are interested in hearing about.

If you are a hard core Lewis fan, you will probably enjoy this book, but if you are new to Lewis, you might have more fun reading something else like Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, or The Great Divorce.

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