A Different Conversion by a Different C.S. Lewis: An Analysis of Surprised By Joy

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Authors
Knibbe, Stefan
Issue Date
2015-05
Type
Thesis
Language
en
Keywords
Experience , Religious belief , World views , Vollenhoven, D. H. Theodoor (Dirk Hendrik Theodoor), 1892-1978 , Lewis, C. S. (Clive Staples), 1898-1963 , Lewis, C. S. (Clive Staples), 1898-1963. Surprised by Joy , Sorrow , Narrative , Reformed philosophy , Conversion , Surprised by Joy
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C.S. Lewis is perhaps as well known for his life story as his literary accomplishments. Central to that narrative is his shocking conversion from atheism to Christianity. Despite this Surprised by Joy, Lewis's primary work on the subject, has not been the centre of a focused study. This thesis reveals that, prior to writing Surprised by Joy, Lewis developed a growing appreciation for how experiences and story factored in religious belief. Rather than focusing on arguments, Surprised by Joy tells the story of how Lewis came to terms with his fundamental experiences of the world. Tension between these experiences and his worldview drove Lewis onward until they were reconciled by his acceptance of The True Myth. Using Vollenhoven's Reformed Philosophy, I show the implications of Surprised by Joy: that the stories we feel ourselves to be living in circumscribe our experiences and knowledge, and that conversion involves coming to inhabit the biblical story.
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Institute for Christian Studies
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