Author Topic: C.S. Lewis and RC Liturgical Experimentation - Reason for his non conversion?  (Read 5558 times)

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Offline akimel

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Again, if Lewis was not referring to the Catholic Church, then why did he mention Peter? Do Anglicans refer to the head of their church as St. Peter or a Papal descendant of his?

Maria, Anglicans quote these words of our Lord to the Apostle Peter, "Feed my sheep," all the time.  They do not thereby invoke the Roman Catholic Church, as they believe that the apostolic charge applies to all who are ordained to ministry. 

Offline Maria

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Here is Robb's post with his two links to a YouTube video which documents some of the abuse that started happening during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,36279.msg571950.html#msg571950

These are the two links.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxx1ZRMpfk8


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzjN5Dbr0kA&feature=related

If you ever want to get down to particulars and history, maybe we could have a dialogue, but this historically vague approach is not conducive to doing anything but gathering like minds who thrive on a vague "Oh My God!" approach to anything that is not familiar or that does not pass private muster, and who are eager to bring the fringe to the center and say "There it is!! Let's leave"... well good...bye  :)

Yes, his references are rather vague in the YouTube productions.

And quoting from the Wanderer is not one of the best references.

I did read several books published by Ignatius Press, but I gave them to my Catholic Confessor when I became an Orthodox Christian as I wanted to put all that aside. However, Ebor's signature raised some interesting questions.

Again, if Lewis was not referring to the Catholic Church, then why did he mention Peter?
Do Anglicans refer to the head of their church as St. Peter or a Papal descendant of his?

Do you?

No. All the Apostles, including the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul, were busy ordaining priests and bishops to build the Church. Peter had no exclusivity here.
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Offline James Joseph

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Brethren,

Is it worth a salt to mention that Lewis' entire extended family, for all practical purposes, was Orange Order Presbyterian? The meta-historian Christopher Dawson frequently spoke of social reasons for lack of conversion. I have a brother-in-law raised in an anti-Catholic/anti-Orthdox universalist cult and polluted by Skepticism. He sees that it is too great an obstacle to complete his conversion to the Sacraments/Mysteries until his uncles are in their death. It is quite amazing that he ensures his son makes regular Confession, Penance, & Reconciliation.

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« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 12:16:52 AM by James Joseph »

Offline Maria

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Brethren,

Is it worth a salt to mention that Lewis' entire extended family, for all practical purposes, was Orange Order Presbyterian? The meta-historian Christopher Dawson frequently spoke of social reasons for lack of conversion. I have a brother-in-law raised in an anti-Catholic/anti-Orthdox universalist cult and polluted by Skepticism. He sees that it is too great an obstacle to complete his conversion to the Sacraments/Mysteries until his uncles are in their death. It is quite amazing that he ensures his son makes regular Confession, Penance, & Reconciliation.

+

Welcome to OrthodoxChristianity.net.

Yes, perhaps it was Lewis' love and care for his wife's son that kept him in the Anglican Church.
I was just curious about Lewis' use of Peter as that seems to be a reference to the Catholic Pope.
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Offline Robb

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With all due respect, this is all hokum.  There is absolutely no reason to believe that Lewis had in mind Catholic liturgical experiments, which had hardly begun, when he wrote Letters to Malcolm.  A quick reading of letter 1 (from which the quotation is taken) reveals that he is talking about the movement within the Church of England to create a modern vernacular liturgy.  Lewis was a Prayer Book man and was opposed to all attempts to jettison the Elizabethan language of Cranmer in favor of contemporary substitutes.  I do not doubt that Lewis would have been horrified by the post-Vatican II revisions of the liturgy, but he died well before all of this happened. 
That is my take on the quotation as well, because when the whole letter is read it becomes clear that he is talking about the Anglican liturgy.

I also agree that Lewis would have been horrified by the wholesale revision of the Roman Church's liturgy in the late 1960s.  The whole idea of revising the liturgy in a committee seems alien to his view of tradition and worship.


How did he think that the Anglican Book of Common Prayer he worshiped from came about? 

Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert

Offline Ebor

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That, Peter, is why I started this thread.

Professor Lewis was not a parochial ostrich as he was an academician who was sincerely interested in people.
He understood very well that one culture could affect another.
Have you read his Space Trilogy? His background in linguistics and archeology are evident.
That is why I think that he probably met Father Chardin.

I have done a bit of looking about (and I'm trying to recall where the copies of the first two volumes of Lewis' collected letters) and I have found no indication that Lewis met Fr. Teilhard de Chardin or had any communication with him.  Why would he have, one wonders?  They were in different fields entirely Fr. T d C spent little time in England and from what I've found it was neither at Oxford or Cambridge. He was a geologist and paleontologist as well as an R.C. priest.  His work took him to far parts of the world for the paleontology digs and he died in New York City in 1955. 

Lewis was a scholar and professor in England and did not travel much.  I have read the "Space Trilogy" many times. Linguistics was part of his work, after all, but what level of knowledge of archeology to you see in the books that would indicate some connection to Teilhard please? Have you read anything of Teilhard's work?

May I ask what other works of Lewis you have read?  While I would not count myself as a scholar of Lewis, I am familiar with much of his life and work and I have a number of books by/about him on the shelves.

As to the reference to St. Peter in my sig I can answer that as an Anglican just as Lewis was.  The focus of the passage is on the words of Our Lord, the instructions to "feed my sheep" that is to care for the people, those who trust and follow Him.  Peter happened to be the one to whom he was speaking.  It is not in any way some kind of subtle reference to the RCC or the Bishop of Rome or anything like that.  Why would Lewis have taken it on himself to comment in such a way about something that wasn't happening in his Church?   

With respect,

Ebor

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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Offline Ebor

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Brethren,

Is it worth a salt to mention that Lewis' entire extended family, for all practical purposes, was Orange Order Presbyterian? The meta-historian Christopher Dawson frequently spoke of social reasons for lack of conversion. I have a brother-in-law raised in an anti-Catholic/anti-Orthdox universalist cult and polluted by Skepticism. He sees that it is too great an obstacle to complete his conversion to the Sacraments/Mysteries until his uncles are in their death. It is quite amazing that he ensures his son makes regular Confession, Penance, & Reconciliation.

+

Welcome to OrthodoxChristianity.net.

Yes, perhaps it was Lewis' love and care for his wife's son that kept him in the Anglican Church.
I was just curious about Lewis' use of Peter as that seems to be a reference to the Catholic Pope.

No, it was not because of Joy Davidman's two sons that C. S. Lewis remained Anglican to the day of his death, I think it's pretty safe to write. 

Ebor

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.

Offline Ebor

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Well, Egor is usually a boy's name

Just for information's sake, "Ebor" is the abbreviation for "Eboricum" which is the old Latin/Roman name for York in England.  It is the second Arch-episcopal see in Great Britain after Canterbury (the Roman name of which was "Durovernum Cantiacorum" and which is shortened to "Cantuar").  So my handle here is a reference to Anglican not to any other kind of name or misspellings or the like.  :)

Yours shortened,

Ebor
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

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Offline Ebor

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Do Anglicans refer to the head of their church as St. Peter or a Papal descendant of his?

Not that I have ever known, no.  When we do get into the start of Christianity in the British Isles, there's the first proto-martyr St. Alban, the Romano-British Christians where St. Patrick of Ireland came from and then the "re-start" as it were in Anglo-Saxon times with St. Augustine of Canterbury

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Alban
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/journals/EHR/11/Early_British_Christianity*.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Canterbury

Ebor
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.

Offline Ebor

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Lewis was close to converting to Orthodoxy. So were Chesterton and Tolkien. You all are so blinded by jealousy it's horrifying!  :police:

Along with the ideas that Lewis would have become RC or EO or was 'really' Evangelical, I have a book that maintains that he was close in belief/thought to being LDS.

He was Anglican.  and I'm trying to recall were in his works is a passage about how we cannot know what might have been...  ;)

Ebor
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.

Offline Maria

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Brethren,

Is it worth a salt to mention that Lewis' entire extended family, for all practical purposes, was Orange Order Presbyterian? The meta-historian Christopher Dawson frequently spoke of social reasons for lack of conversion. I have a brother-in-law raised in an anti-Catholic/anti-Orthdox universalist cult and polluted by Skepticism. He sees that it is too great an obstacle to complete his conversion to the Sacraments/Mysteries until his uncles are in their death. It is quite amazing that he ensures his son makes regular Confession, Penance, & Reconciliation.

+

Welcome to OrthodoxChristianity.net.

Yes, perhaps it was Lewis' love and care for his wife's son that kept him in the Anglican Church.
I was just curious about Lewis' use of Peter as that seems to be a reference to the Catholic Pope.

No, it was not because of Joy Davidman's two sons that C. S. Lewis remained Anglican to the day of his death, I think it's pretty safe to write.  

Ebor



Thanks for the information you have shared.

I did study Lewis in depth as I did a graduate research paper comparing his work to that of James Blish, the American writer who spent his final days in Britain. Blish wrote A Case of Conscience with won the Hugo Award. Linguistically and stylistically, there is a lot of similarity between the two writers. BTW, Blish contributed original stories to the Star Trek saga.

Incidentally, there is a short documentary on C.S. Lewis that I watched in which it is claimed that Lewis had great respect and love for one of Joy Davidman's sons, but the other son appears to have remained quite distant and perhaps even hostile to Lewis. I will see if I can find a link to that site.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 02:20:53 AM by Maria »
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Offline Peter J

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Lewis was close to converting to Orthodoxy. So were Chesterton and Tolkien. You all are so blinded by jealousy it's horrifying!  :police:

Along with the ideas that Lewis would have become RC or EO or was 'really' Evangelical, I have a book that maintains that he was close in belief/thought to being LDS.

He was Anglican.  and I'm trying to recall were in his works is a passage about how we cannot know what might have been...  ;)

Ebor

Do you mean what Aslan said to Lucy in Prince Caspian?
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Offline Ebor

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Thanks for the information you have shared.

I did study Lewis in depth as I did a graduate research paper comparing his work to that of James Blish, the American writer who spent his final days in Britain. Blish wrote A Case of Conscience with won the Hugo Award. Linguistically and stylistically, there is a lot of similarity between the two writers. BTW, Blish contributed original stories to the Star Trek saga.

Incidentally, there is a short documentary on C.S. Lewis that I watched in which it is claimed that Lewis had great respect and love for one of Joy Davidman's sons, but the other son appears to have remained quite distant and perhaps even hostile to Lewis. I will see if I can find a link to that site.



I am glad to be of service and that you found (I hope) what I wrote helpful.  The paper comparing Lewis to Blish sounds quite interesting. I know about Blish's work and I may still have copy of his Star Trek book(s) somewhere in the stacks. (Well, I 55 after all and watched the original series the first time it aired and have been an SF fan since I was about 10, which come to think on it is the year that ST started.  ;D )  So I'm familiar with both writers and the Hugo and more. Are you a science fiction fan as well?   Was the paper ever published or do you have a copy or a link so that it might be read?

Re Lewis, Joy and her sons, have you read Lenten Lands an autobiography by Douglas Gresham?  If not, you might find it interesting.  His brother, from what I have read returned to the Judaism of his mother's family.  Here is a link to an article in an Australian publication: http://www.theage.com.au/news/books/at-home-in-narnia/2005/12/03/1133422143366.html


Ebor
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.

Offline Ebor

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Lewis was close to converting to Orthodoxy. So were Chesterton and Tolkien. You all are so blinded by jealousy it's horrifying!  :police:

Along with the ideas that Lewis would have become RC or EO or was 'really' Evangelical, I have a book that maintains that he was close in belief/thought to being LDS.

He was Anglican.  and I'm trying to recall were in his works is a passage about how we cannot know what might have been...  ;)

Ebor

That could be it.  Thanks.  It's just in my mind that there could be something else.  My "mind librarian" needs to keep riffling through the card catalogue I guess.   :)

Ebor

Do you mean what Aslan said to Lucy in Prince Caspian?
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.