The Neglected C.S. Lewis: The Personal Heresy and an Experiment in Criticism

Date(s) - 10/24/17
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Marion E. Wade Center

Hosted by
Wheaton College

The Neglected C.S. Lewis: The Personal Heresy and an Experiment in Criticism

Wheaton College

Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 7:30 – 9pm

The Marion E. Wade Center presents a series of dual lectures on C.S. Lewis’s lesser known works of literary criticism by Dr. Jerry Root and Mr. Mark Neal. There will be four lectures during the 2017-2018 academic year with the first beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 covering Lewis’s The Personal Heresy and An Experiment in Criticism.

In The Personal Heresy, C.S. Lewis debated E.M.W. Tillyard in print. Their debate wrestled with whether or not understanding an author’s personality was necessary to understanding the author’s work. In an age where discourse is so uncivil, this is a model for us. It is an academic debate that produces light, not heat.

An Experiment in Criticism, written towards the very end of Lewis’s life, may be considered his magnum opus to literary critical investigation. It represents Lewis’s mature literary critical thought. He analyzes a book based on how it is read rather than simply judging it to be good or bad. He divides readers into two categories: receivers and users. The work examines why some books are more likely to produce receivers whose lives are enriched forever because of their encounter with these texts. This book shows how literary experience can widen our views and enrich our understanding of the world.

These lectures will take place in the Wade Center’s Bakke Auditorium. The Wade Center is located at 351 Lincoln Ave. on the northwest corner of campus at the intersection of Washington St. and Lincoln Ave. For more information, contact the Wade Center at 630.752.5908 or