C. S. Lewis was concerned about an aspect of the problem of evil he called subjectivism: the tendency of one's perspective to move towards self-referentialism and utilitarianism. In C. S. Lewis and a Problem of Evil, Jerry Root provides a holistic reading of Lewis by walking the reader through all of Lewis's published work as he argues Lewis's case against subjectivism. Furthermore, the book reveals that Lewis consistently employed fiction to make his case, as virtually all of his villains are portrayed as subjectivists. Lewis's warnings are prophetic; this book is not merely an exposition of Lewis, it is also a timely investigation into the problem of evil.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Few people know Lewis as well as Jerry Root, and few ideas were more central to Lewis's thought than his critique of subjectivism. Particularly valuable in this study is Root's insistence that Lewis considered fiction and poetry as key venues for developing that critique and throughout his career saw literature as a tool of thought."
--Alan Jacobs, author of The Narnian: the Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis
"The Greeks knew it as the flaw of Narcissus. Luther termed it curvatus in se. To C. S. Lewis it was 'the poison of subjectivism,' and throughout much of his corpus he attended to its various dangers, guises, and cures. Jerry Root carefully analyzes this pervasive theme in Lewis's work and in so doing provides a timely and challenging stimulus to think afresh about the limits of personal perspective."
--Michael Ward, author of Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis
"Students of the life and writing of C. S. Lewis sometimes wonder if there is anything new or important that can be published on the celebrated Oxford Christian. Jerry Root's new book not only makes a brilliant and original contribution to our understanding of the wide sweep of Lewis's works, it is also important and quite timely because it helps us--through Lewis's mind--examine the core of the problem of evil that plagues us as much as it infected Lewis's time. Anyone with a serious interest in Lewis or the problem of evil will be fascinated by this major contribution to Lewis studies." --Lyle W. Dorsett, author of Seeking the Secret Place: The Spiritual Formation of C. S. Lewis
"Few people in the world have a richer knowledge of C. S. Lewis's works or a more energetic intellectual curiosity than Jerry Root. Both qualities inform this unique exploration of evil through genres ranging from literary criticism to theological fantasy. What were Lewis's ideas on audience and how did he propose to connect with his readers? How did his rhetorical approach square with his theological understanding and life experience of pain and evil? Dr. Root will take you on an extended exploration of these questions and more." --Wayne Martindale, author of Beyond the Shadowlands: C. S. Lewis on Heaven and Hell
Jerry Root is Assistant Professor of Evangelism and Associate Director of the Institute for Strategic Evangelism at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. He is also visiting Professor at Biola University and Talbot Graduate School of Theology, La Mirada, California.