Item description for C. S. Lewis in a Time of War: The World War II Broadcasts That Riveted a Nation and Became the Classic Mere Christianity by Justin Phillips...
Overview A behind-the-scenes look at the four remarkable BBC radio broadcasts during World War II that became Lewis?s classic Mere Christianity.
C. S. Lewis is universally recognized as one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century. A noted scholar, Lewis was able to reach a vast popular audience during his lifetime and continues to attract thousands of new readers every year. But how did Lewis first become a popular public figure? During the most desperate years of World War II, Lewis was asked by the British Broadcasting Corporation's recently created Home Service to give radio addresses on Christianity to a nation shaken by war. The choice was controversial. At first dismissed by critics as a layman who was unqualified to tackle such weighty issues, Lewis proved to be enormously persuasive. These radio talks were eventually published as Mere Christianity, which now ranks as one of the great classics of religious literature.
This rich chapter in Lewis's life, which deals with his love-hate relationship with the "new" medium of broadcasting, has received little attention from biographers and commentators. Yet it was Lewis's work on the radio that made him a household name. By combining narrative skill and adroitly quoting from correspondence, Phillips captures Lewis's reservations, vexations, achievements, and, finally, his enormous success.
C. S. Lewis in a Time of War is a fascinating look at how these talks were created and the enthusiastic response they generated at a time when bombing in London caused many radio stations to be evacuated. This book reveals a rich, previously untapped vein of Lewis's life and work that will intrigue his millions of fans.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.32" Width: 5.84" Height: 1.11" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Jan 24, 2006
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 0060881399 ISBN13 9780060881399
Availability 0 units.
More About Justin Phillips
Justin Phillips was a radio journalist for the BBC for over twenty years. He worked in the World Service and was deputy editor of "The World Tonight". He was an elder at his local church and a frequent speaker and preacher about Christianity, the media, and the relationship between the two. Phillips died in 2000, just before his fiftieth birthday, soon after submitting this finished manuscript. His oldest daughter, Laura Treneer, acted as his editor and brought the manuscript forward to publication.
Reviews - What do customers think about C.S. Lewis In A Time Of War?
This books is about the BBC, Not CS Lewis Feb 19, 2007
I was very disappointed in this book. I was expecting to read about what Lewis said in those historic broadcasts. And why. But the book is filled with the "how". Not even the "how" from Lewis' point of view, but the "how" of the BBC staff. The story is well written and the book flows well. It just wasn't about a subject I found very interesting, or I should say, it wasn't about the subject I wanted to read about - What Lewis said in those war time broadcasts. Why he said what he said and What impact the broadcast had. A little of the "how" would have been interesting too.
Great History of Mere Christianity & an Interesting Look at the BBC Oct 29, 2006
An enjoyable read, almost a page turner, if you have an interest in C.S. Lewis and Mere Christianity.
A seminal contribution towards understanding a masterpiece Oct 2, 2006
As a lifelong and devoted student of Lewis -- and one who has read, re-read, written about, and lectured on Mere Christianity -- I was startled and deeply gratified to learn that the master conceived his touchstone idea, composed the masterpiece that conveys it, and perfected his popular, lean, direct apologetic style under what can only be regarded as the tutelage of the BBC. The late Justin Phillips (who died before completing his book: the manuscript was edited and brought to publication by his daughter Laura Treneer) first provides a genuinely riveting war-time context as only a lifelong BBC-man could. He then captures, with ample narrative skill and astonishingly adroit quotations from correspondence, the "Beeb's" persistence and scalpel-like judgment, as well as CSL's reservations, vexations, achievement, and finally his overwhelming success. Along the way the reader gets a concrete feel for Lewis's travel, work-habits, friendships and homelife which, though not entirely new, are utterly fresh (for example, the contributions of Jill Freud . . . ) And as a bonus we are treated to a chapter on Dorothy L. Sayers and the BBC: The corporation was sorely overmatched! From now on, Richard Baxter + CSL = Mere Christianity must become Baxter + Lewis X the BBC = Mere Christianity and a good deal of the master's pellucid style.
intriguing story Jun 25, 2006
If you want a book that is just about C. S. Lewis this will disappoint, but if you are interested in a broader story of the history of the BBC and the path up to Lewis' Broadcast Talks (as well as a parallel journey by Dorothy Sayers) you will find this book enjoyable reading.
The first section of the book tells the story of the development of the BBC, the political structures it operated under and the development of religious programming. This section does an excellent job of drawing the situation into which Lewis is injected with his talks that eventually became Mere Christianity. The second section is the story of Lewis broadcast talks.
Perhaps most intriguing was viewing the process of developing the talks and the role of the BBC in "encouraging" Lewis to shape his talks to their needs. Just as importantly we see how he might change structure, but he had a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish with the talks. In addition we see how the talks and religious programming in general were a part of the war effort. The book concludes with their divergent paths in the post war era.
It's intriguing to see how many times over the years Lewis turned down the BBC, rejecting both half-baked ideas and a few that look quite promising. Also it's interesting to note that due to the authors archive searches, there is no doubt that virtually none of this material survives in recorded form-a real tragedy.
Radio's Power and Politics Jun 4, 2006
This book is as much about C.S. Lewis as it is about the BBC and its internal workings, politics with the government, and its effective, or sometimes, not so eefcetive use of its medium.
Th first 60 pages or so deal mostly with the BBC and the internal workngs and government external forces in producing programs for the population. It is interesting in its relation to the war as well as its relation to religious programming. The censorship chapters are intersting, yet, not surprising and in the context of the situation at hand, over understood.
The archives and letters about C.S. Lewis and the interactions with producing his talks, changing items for teh BBC and making the "Talks" and their effect is interesting from arealistic and pragmatic standpoint more than a theological one.
Phillips also touches on the work Dorthy Sayers and her BBC production of "The Man Born to be King." Her and Lewis' radio work left a lasting legacy, for good or ill (after all, most religious procasting isn't up to their level whether in theological discussions or plays).