Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud

Got a preview copy of the first hour of The Question of God, a four hour series on PBS,Wed Sept 15 and Wed Sept 22.
Here's the blurb

This series explores, in an accessible and dramatic style, issues that preoccupy all thinking people today: What is happiness? How do we find meaning and purpose in our lives? How do we reconcile conflicting claims of love and sexuality? How do we cope with the problem of suffering and the inevitability of death? The series, based on a popular Harvard course taught by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, author of the The Question of God, frames these issues through the eventful lives and challenging ideas of two of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis. In the series , the ideas of Freud — an atheist and lifelong critic of religious belief — and Lewis — a Christian and arguably the most popular and widely read proponent of faith based on reason — are brought together in a debate centering on the central question of human existence: Does God exist? Each episode combines dramatic reconstruction with lively discussion led by Dr. Nicholi and commentary from other experts, and deals with a specific theme related to actual incidents and emotional turning points in the lives of Freud and Lewis.

From the first hour it looks like this will be an interesting and faithful introduction to Freud , Lewis and their ideas. I know a fair bit about Lewis and found his sections very representative of the man and his thinking. I now know I need to read A Grief Observed, where Lewis wrestles with his faith after the death of his wife.

I knew next to nothing about Freud, beyond the occasional cigar reference, and the sections devoted to him presented him as an great thinker and very real person.

I didn't find that the panel of experts added much to the discussion, but it was just the first hour. I'm hoping the discussion will get deeper to really wrestle with the idea, not just defend their entrenched positions.

And if you don't get it taped on the VCR, Amazon will have it on DVD.

BTW a PR firm working on the project has been recruiting us bloggers sending out the preview tape, looks like they're doing a good job: Matt Hall, David Peterson, Mark D. Roberts, Stacy Harp, Neely and Stuart Buck have all blogged it.

- Peace

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