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The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Nerd42 » 29 Apr 2010, 20:58

Hey everybody! I'm interested in starting up a detailed discussion and analysis of C. S. Lewis's incredible, revolutionary and occasionally controversial vision of the afterlife, The Great Divorce. As we go through it, I would encourage everyone to listen to and discuss Phil Woodward's concept album "Ghosts & Spirits" alongside the book. Woodward's deeply philosophical lyrics which directly connect to the book give great insight into the characters and adds another dimension to how we experience the work in my opinion. You can stream all the tracks on his web site or buy the CD but if you like The Great Divorce, definitely give it a listen.

I am coming at this from a perspective that Lewis got it mostly right. Not that the details of the afterlife will resemble The Great Divorce in any literal sense, but that he really nailed the stark contrast between good and evil, heaven and hell and the nature of choice. I'm not interested in getting into a huge debate over the existence of purgatory or prison but would like us to stay focused on what the book is really saying and what meaning we can draw from it for our lives and how we look at the world today. I am very interested in discussing how The Great Divorce connects with other works not only by the same author but also other works dealing with the afterlife like Dante's Divine Comedy.

I don't think we need to go at any particular pace, like a chapter a week or anything. We can go at our own pace I think

Please introduce yourself here and say what makes you interested in studying this book. Has it changed your life or your views in any way? Are you just now reading it for the first time? No ticket is required, just get on the bus! All aboard!! :)
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Matthew Whaley » 01 May 2010, 20:42

Hi, I'm Matt. I' ve read and reread TGD a few times in the last twenty years. When I started attending college after I got out of the Air Force, I got really interested in great literature; not from teachers at college, but from the Christian rock band Daniel Amos. Not only did they have scripture references in the liner notes, but also mentioned authors who inspired them: C.S.Lewis, William Blake, T.S. Eliot, Dostoyevsky,and many others. So I am really looking forward to this study using music and lyrics by Phil Woodward in discussing the meaning of TGD. I don't know Phil, or have have ever heard his music, but have just purchased the CD. I also just bought Dante's Divine Comedy which I've never read before. As you can see I just found this web site recently; discussing books by Lewis or anyone connected with him makes being in the wardrobe an absolute pleasure! Also, I've found the Wardrobians the friendliest and most fun to interact with than on any other web-site I've ever been on.
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in." -Robert Frost
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Nerd42 » 02 May 2010, 00:37

Matthew Whaley wrote:Hi, I'm Matt. I' ve read and reread TGD a few times in the last twenty years. When I started attending college after I got out of the Air Force, I got really interested in great literature; not from teachers at college, but from the Christian rock band Daniel Amos. Not only did they have scripture references in the liner notes, but also mentioned authors who inspired them: C.S.Lewis, William Blake, T.S. Eliot, Dostoyevsky,and many others. So I am really looking forward to this study using music and lyrics by Phil Woodward in discussing the meaning of TGD. I don't know Phil, or have have ever heard his music, but have just purchased the CD. I also just bought Dante's Divine Comedy which I've never read before. As you can see I just found this web site recently; discussing books by Lewis or anyone connected with him makes being in the wardrobe an absolute pleasure! Also, I've found the Wardrobians the friendliest and most fun to interact with than on any other web-site I've ever been on.
Awesome. I've never met Mr. Woodward either but I guess this makes me his new street team. :) For a second there, I thought you were saying you'd bought the video game of Dante's Inferno. Having not read Dante for myself I don't know how much the game is close to the story but I was so curious as to how they made that into a video game I had to try it out. It was weird
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Nerd42 » 04 May 2010, 22:04

We've gotta figure out how to get more people involved here. I don't think it would be wise to just launch into the first chapter with just two people. Surely there are more people around who'd like to do a book study of this book
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby paminala » 04 May 2010, 22:18

I'm sorry, must one sign up? I was waiting for the discussion to begin. oops. Perhaps I am not the only one?
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Paul F. Ford » 04 May 2010, 22:29

The Great Divorce: A Dream is my first C. S. Lewis book and still my favorite. I read it when I was a teenager and it gave me hope; it made me want to go to heaven. The book inspired by master's thesis (on Lewis's eschatology) and I have been interested in eschatology ever since.

I teach theology at a Roman Catholic seminary. Occasionally I teach an elective on Lewis. To help my students read the book, I prepared this chart, which helps them keep track of the “ghosts” on holiday from hell and what they are clinging to that keeps them in hell. This might help you too. http://www.pford.stjohnsem.edu/ford/cslewis/documents/notes/Great%20Divorce%20Chart.pdf

I would be happy to engage in a discussion of this book.
Paul Ford—self-appointed president of the "245-3617 Club" and proud member of the "245-6317 Club"; author of the Companion to Narnia and the Pocket Companion to Narnia.
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby JDMalament » 04 May 2010, 22:40

Before we go too far into the book, I was hoping to maybe discuss how this book relates to William Blake. Lewis writes in the Preface to TGD that "Blake wrote the Marriage of Heaven and Hell. If I have written of their Divorce, this is not because I think myself a fit antagonist for so great a genius, nor even because I feel at all sure that I know what he meant." Has anyone read William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell? If so, could you provide those of us who have not read it some insight into how it relates to TGD?

- Jared
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Paul F. Ford » 04 May 2010, 23:10

Jared, there is a reliable presentation about Blake's book at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marriage_of_Heaven_and_Hell.
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Nerd42 » 06 May 2010, 19:08

paminala wrote:I'm sorry, must one sign up? I was waiting for the discussion to begin. oops. Perhaps I am not the only one?
No, you don't have to sign up. I just wanted to gauge interest. Obviously, there is enough interest. We will get started very soon. Welcome everybody! :)
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Nerd42 » 06 May 2010, 20:54

All right, let's get things started. I began a thread about the book's preface.
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Kanakaberaka » 09 May 2010, 04:40

Greetings. I'm also doing a book study on these forums about That Hideous Strength, on and off again. The Great Divorce is another one of my favorite novels by Lewis. I read it shortly after finishing The Screwtape Letters which was the first of his books that I read.
so it goes...
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Victoria » 11 May 2010, 03:26

My copy of TGD is unreadable...will have to go get another. Will look up Blake's "Marriage.." also. You guys get started without me and I'll catch up!
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby Nerd42 » 17 May 2010, 15:47

Victoria wrote:My copy of TGD is unreadable...will have to go get another. Will look up Blake's "Marriage.." also. You guys get started without me and I'll catch up!
Don't worry about feeling "late" cause this is really casual and you still can comment on any of the already-covered chapters anytime. :)
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Re: The Bus Stop. Welcomes & Introductions

Postby agingjb » 03 Jun 2010, 07:44

It may be just chance, but the Inklings as a group wrote several what I would call "purgatorial" stories: The Great Divorce, Tolkien's "Leaf by Niggle", Charles Williams' "All Hallow's Eve". Dorothy Sayers, of course, translated Dante's Divine Comedy.
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