Archive for the 'Essays' Category

The Structure of “Learning in War-Time”

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford

I think I’ll make the outline for “Learning in War-Time” available much sooner this week. I’ve gone paragraph-by-paragraph, just like I did for “The Weight of Glory” last week.

What is so lovely about this piece is that it’s hardly about “Learning in War-Time” at all. It seems like the war (WWII in this case) was just a good stopping point for a scholar to consider life’s meaning, and how his own vocation fits into that. I’m very excited to hear about everyone’s thoughts on this one.

Here’s the outline:
learninginwartime outline


The Structure of “The Weight of Glory”

I wanted to offer some really brief thoughts on the structure of “The Weight of Glory” – the essay we’re discussing this week in class (5/6). And though it might seem forced or tedious, I’d like to go through the entire essay together in class. (UPDATE 5/7 – see outline below)

Pulpit at St. Mary's

Pulpit at St. Mary's

I’ll spend the first 20-30 minutes chatting about Lewis’ conversion (really, it was a “reversion”) to Christianity, which was really just a hop skip and a jump away from his decade-long dive into theism.

Then, we’ll spend the rest of the class on this essay, which some have found a little challenging for our first piece out of the gates.

Here are some ideas to consider if you’re interested:

  • 1. Lewis is a man driven by reason and logic; his addresses are structured and his arguments are ordered.
  • 2. “The Weight of Glory” can be divided into two main sections: pages 1-8 are about “desire”; pages 8-15 are about “glory”.
  • 3. In both of these sections, the themes are developed gradually. At each paragraph, he’s furthering his point in an important way. Try summarizing each paragraph for your self and recording it to make a basic outline – then read through your outline, and you’ll get a high-level perspective of his message here.
  • 4. The thought he starts with is not left unanswered; the thought he ends with brings the sermon full circle.
  • After having gone through it patiently, taking note of the ordered progression in thought, I am even more compelled by his beautiful message in this address. I’m looking forward to what everyone else is thinking as well. Maybe after class we can continue discussion here on the blog…
    structure of the weight of glory