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The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis

The Four Loves (original 1960; edition 1971)

by C. S. Lewis

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4,078211,246 (4.03)1 / 30
Title:The Four Loves
Authors:C. S. Lewis
Info:Mariner Books (1971), Edition: 2nd Printing, Paperback, 156 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis (1960)



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Lewis is generally wise about how humans behave and what obstacles they tend to put in the way of being good to one another, even if you don't share his Christianity. The places where he fails to convince, however, are spectacularly large, because his social conservatism and his bigotry against other faiths can't help but come out, being much of what define his thinking. But he belongs to a small group of English conservative writers--Evelyn Waugh and Saki are the others--whose levels of insight and talent keep me reading them, even if their condescension (extending, of course, towards "liberated" women) is unpalatable. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
Lewis' work on the nature of love divides love into four categories; Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity. The first three come naturally to humanity. Charity, however, the Gift-love of God, is divine, and without this supernatural love, the natural loves become distorted and even dangerous.
  Priory | Jan 22, 2014 |
As it can be expected by C.S Lewis, a rarely thoughtful and profound book. ( )
  ivinela | Dec 10, 2013 |
Gli affetti umani possono essere gloriose immagini dell'amore divino; niente di meno, ma anche niente di più: solo affinità che derivano dalla somiglianza e che, per un verso, possono favorire, ma per un altro impedire un'affinità che sia invece il risultato di un avvicinamento. A volte, essi possono non avere nulla a che vedere con questa affinità, né in un senso, né in un altro. Un testo "difficile" e equilibrato. Toccante. ( )
  Kazegafukuhi | Aug 10, 2013 |
I'm having trouble getting into this book, but I needed a book with the number "four" in it for TNBBC's Spring Challenge, to go along with "Three Junes" and "Slaughterhouse-Five".

If you can recommend another book with the number four in it, spelled out, I'd love to read something more...more...I don't know, entertaining?
  Cather00 | Apr 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nieminen, TaistoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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That our affection kill us not, nor dye. -- Donne
to Chad Walsh
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"God is love," says St. John. When I first tried to write this book I thought that his maxim would provide me with a very plain highroad through the whole subject.
But very few modern people think Friendship a love of comparable value or even a love at all.
(p. 87)
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In this, one of his most popular books, C. S. Lewis sheds light on the eternally provocative subject of love.

With his characteristic insight, humor, and acute judgment, Lewis categorizes and describes all the natural loves. Affection binds parents and children, neighbors who have nothing in common, humans and their pets; it is love owed, rather than earned; it grows out of familiarity; it "is indeed the least discriminating of loves." Eros - not pure physicality but the more complex feeling of being "in love" - may inspire great sacrifice, but to potentially destructive ends. Friendship is "the least biological of our loves," the most spiritual in nature, but also the most inclined to snobbery. Each of these loves has its particular joys, and each its own proximity to hatred.

For Lewis, no natural love can prosper except in the presence of the Fourth Love, Charity, which is both the love of God and the selfless love of others. And though every kind of love carries its particular risks, Lewis exhorts us not to avoid them, for "hell is the only place outside of heaven where we can be safe from the dangers of love."

"The Four Loves [is] a modern mirror of souls ... of the virtues and failings of modern loving. Lewis combines a novelist's insight into motives with a profound religious understanding of our human nature." -Martin D'Arcy, The New York Times Book Review

C. S. Lewis was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1898 and died in Oxford, England, in 1963. He held the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University and was the author of numerous books on Christianity, a science fiction trilogy, a novel, three volumes of poetry, and many works of literary criticism. He was also the author of the much-loved children's series The Chronicles of Narnia.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156329301, Paperback)

The Four Loves summarizes four kinds of human love--affection, friendship, erotic love, and the love of God. Masterful without being magisterial, this book's wise, gentle, candid reflections on the virtues and dangers of love draw on sources from Jane Austen to St. Augustine. The chapter on charity (love of God) may be the best thing Lewis ever wrote about Christianity. Consider his reflection on Augustine's teaching that one must love only God, because only God is eternal, and all earthly love will someday pass away:
Who could conceivably begin to love God on such a prudential ground--because the security (so to speak) is better? Who could even include it among the grounds for loving? Would you choose a wife or a Friend--if it comes to that, would you choose a dog--in this spirit? One must be outside the world of love, of all loves, before one thus calculates.
His description of Christianity here is no less forceful and opinionated than in Mere Christianity or The Problem of Pain, but it is far less anxious about its reader's response--and therefore more persuasive than any of his apologetics. When he begins to describe the nature of faith, Lewis writes: "Take it as one man's reverie, almost one man's myth. If anything in it is useful to you, use it; if anything is not, never give it a second thought." --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:34 -0400)

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Analyzes the feelings and problems involved in different types of human love, including familial affection, friendship, passion, and charity.

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Legacy Library: C. S. Lewis

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