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The Business of Heaven: Daily Readings from C. S. Lewis [Paperback]

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Item Description...
Selections from the writings of C.S. Lewis provide meditations for each day of the year, including special religious holidays

Publishers Description
"Morals are the 'ropes' and 'axes' necessary for climbing those great heights from which a greater journey begins. That journey leads to the 'happy land of the Trinity.' It is there that joys, almost unimaginable in this world, begin. Begin--not end." "--from the preface"
In "The Screwtape Letters," C.S. Lewis's famous devil derides the Christian year as "The Same Old Thing." To combat this, Walter Hooper has drawn from Lewis's vast bibliography, accumulating short meditations that correspond to each day of the Christian calendar. Hooper has chosen passages that emphasize Lewis' illuminatingly matter-of-fact approach to religion, with each entry focused on themes such as "Nearness to God," "Heaven and Sexuality," or "Two Kinds of Good and Bad." In addition to providing food for thought, these bite-sized excerpts facilitate a yearlong journey towards achieving the joy that Lewis wrote is "the serious business of heaven."
"The point about reading C. S. Lewis is that he makes you sure, whatever you believe, that religion accepted or rejected means something extremely serious, demanding the entire energy of the mind." --"Harper's"
"A potent anthology." --"Los Angeles Times"

Community Description
The church year, as described by C.S. Lewis' infamous devil, Screwtape, is always "The Same Old Thing." In answer to this, Father Walter Hooper, editor of this edition, draws from the rich canon of Lewis's work and presents these eloquent, clear readings as meditations appropriate for every day of the Christian year. Each entry, other than those for saints' days and holy days, is given a title to set the theme, such as "Half-Hearted Creatures," "Two Kinds of Good and Bad," and "The Humblest Love."

Hooper illuminates his belief that C.S. Lewis was "one of the most realistic Christians we are ever likely to meet" by choosing readings that explore faith and morality with joy, which, as C.S. Lewis wrote, "is the serious business of Heaven."
Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.

Item Specifications...

Pages   349
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 1984
Publisher   Harcourt Brace
ISBN  0156148633  
EAN  9780156148634  

Availability  0 units.

Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > 20th Century   [304  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Lewis, C. S. > General   [61  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Lewis, C. S. > Paperback   [26  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Nice Collection of Dailing Readings . . . But . . .  Nov 27, 2003
This is a nice collection of readings from C.S. Lewis, edited by Walter Hooper. However, it suffer from the same "illness" that most, if not all, daily readings text suffer - lack of total context.

The topics of the readings range from 'Aquinas' to 'When the World Drama Ends.' As he always, Lewis writes with precision clarity; most Latin scholars do.

As far as merely a readings text, it is hard to go wrong with Lewis: he is one of the greatest thinkers from the 20th century. However, if you purchase this text with the intention of having a devotional work, then you might be disappointed. Don't misunderstand me, Lewis' writings are quite devotional in one sense, but are quite rigorous, which runs contrary to most if not all devotional work. This would be more of a serious food for thought work.

However, if you are wanting a broad spectrum of Lewis' thought wrapped up in small 'tidbits' then you will love this work - but keep the lack of context in mind (it is always best to read the whole and not just a part to gain a full grasp of what any writer is trying to say). I would also recommend Lewis' "Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories."

A pleasant change  Jan 30, 2003
I have tried assorted "devotional" books before, but I have never been satisfied. All too often, commentaries on specific Bible passages seem to conflict with the very passage they are trying to explain or illustrate, and devotional works which are intended to stand on their own tend to be too sickly-sweet for me, or have questionable theology from time to time.

But of course, this is C.S. Lewis. Walter Hooper has arranged some of Lewis' pithier passages into a series roughly paralleling the Church Year as observed by Anglicans. I read it in parallel with my own Bible reading, and was somewhat bemused to find how often what Lewis wrote meshed with what I was reading in the Bible, even though I made no attempt to coordinate or harmonise the two. This is a "devotional book" with which I can be satisfied.
A Good C.S. Lewis Sampler  Dec 6, 2002
This is a very good sampling of C.S. Lewis' writings on many different topics, from various previously published sources, broken up into digestible pieces. If you've read most of Lewis' work and want to refresh your memory and meditate variously on their insights, this book might be helpful. It might also be helpful for those who have very little exposure to Lewis and want to start with a shallow sampling before deciding where to dive in deeper. Each selection has its source listed in the back. Please do go on to read some of the original sources. A sampling like this doesn't really do them justice.

The only criticism I have of this book is about its format. It's intended to be a devotional calendar with a reading for each specific date of a year with appropriate readings for special days in the church year. I don't think it succeeds very well in this format. For one thing the selections for the special days don't always seem relevant. The feast of St. Andrew, for example, on November 30 doesn't have anything to do with that particular Apostle. But the main reason it doesn't seem to work well as a devotional calendar is that long passages are often broken up into a sequence of separate sequential readings that span several days. If you stick to reading each selection one day at a time, you could easily lose the train of thought and have to pick it up again each day. There is no hint as to where one broken up passage ends and another begins unless you look at the list of sources in the back. I think the book would work much better if it were simply organized by topic into series of passages of varying lengths without trying to fit them in a daily calendar template.

deep concerns about this book...  Nov 14, 2000
Let me be up front with my feelings about this book...I have a serious lack of trust for the editor.

After reading Kathryn Lindskoog's book "Light in the Shadowlands, Protecting the Real C.S. Lewis" (see my review on October 30, 2000), I have deep concerns about Mr. Hooper. My consequent suggestion is that you skip the introduction if you use this book.

The real attraction here is the ability to read short excerpts from C.S. Lewis' works every day. As a whole this book is great for fulfilling that purpose.

I believe that I have lamented elsewhere that Christianity suffers from a plague of superficial and shallow "devotionals." In spite of Mr. Hooper having had a hand in its creation (and the lion's share of its profits no doubt) "The Business of Heaven" suffers from neither malady.

These passages are excellent to reflect upon. Sometimes they stand alone. Sometimes several days reflect upon the same subject. They follow the Anglican Church Calendar for the year (Mr. Lewis was himself a member of the Church of England.)

As a person who is unfamiliar with the "Church Year," I found this collection an education of sorts. The book contains charts for folks like me who need to figure out where the movable feasts fall on the calendar (They have their own readings in the back.)

"The Business of Heaven" is an interesting volume. I give it my recommendation in spite of my reservations...there are clearly better devotionals out there. I would suggest Brennan Manning's "Reflections for Ragamuffins" as a more worthy first choice.

Overall, a Good Read  May 12, 2000
Of course, in an ideal world, where we all had tons of free time to read, a book of C.S. Lewis excerpts like this would be useless. But, in the actual world, where sometimes reading has to come next to things like working, grocery shopping, and sleeping, a book like this one is quite helpful. It doesn't compare to reading each of his great works in their entirety, but the excerpts are organized very well, often by theme and/or work taken from, so there's a feeling of continuity and thoroughness. Another great thing about this book is that often with C.S. Lewis' works, the density of things to think about within the pages is so great that a lot of the cool thoughts and ideas get missed in a normal read-through. But generally in this book, each daily reading expresses a singular idea, so there is more time to really let the weight of the thought sink in, and to spend some time intellectually and emotionally digesting his words. So if you're a C.S. Lewis fan, or even just a fan of filling your brain with interesting concepts and insightful analogies, this is a must-have.

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