YIMC Book Club – Mere Christianity Syllabus

YIMC Book Club – Mere Christianity Syllabus January 15, 2010

Wow, I don’t think I’ve seen the word syllabus since I graduated from college. Unlike our previous selection (G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy which has 9 chapters for 9 weeks of reading), our next one isn’t as conveniently organized. Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis, is a bit more complicated in structure. But no worries! I think I’ve come up with a plan to read our new selection in as simple a way as possible over the course of the next 9 weeks. Subject to change, the plan is as follows.

Mere Christianity (MC) consists of four sections or “books” with 5 to 12 chapters in each one.

We will be tackling them as follows:

Week 1 (to be read by 1/21/10) Preface, Forward, Book 1: Chapters 1 & 2 (27 pages)

Week 2 (1/28/10) Book 1: Chapters 3, 4 & 5; Book 2: Chapters 1 & 2 (33 pages)

Week 3 (2/04/10) Book 2: Chapters 3, 4 & 5; Book 3: Chapter 1 (26 pages)

Week 4 (2/11/10) Book 3: Chapters 2, 3, 4, & 5 (28 pages)

Week 5 (2/18/10) Book 3: Chapters 6, 7, 8 (25 pages)

Week 6 (2/25/10) Book 3: Chapters 9, 10, 11, 12; Book 4: Chapter 1 (29 pages)

Week 7 (3/04/10) Book 4: Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 (23 pages)

Week 8 (3/11/10) Book 4: Chapters 6, 7, 8 (23 pages)

Week 9 (3/18/10) Book 4: Chapters 9. 10, 11 (21 pages)

And there you have it. Head to your favorite bookstore, public library, or here to get your copy of the book. It is, in my humble opinion, imperative that you read both the preface and the foreword as a part of the first week’s reading. There you will find Mr. Lewis’s plan for the book as well as an explanation of what is included, and left out, and why.

This is a high-level look at Christianity, and as such, we won’t be answering the question Why I Am Catholic here. I hope, however, that it proves to be an enjoyable exploration of the of the question Why I Am Christian.

The format for our discussions is simple: I’ll provide a very brief summary of that week’s readings and then offer some personal comments, reflections, and so on. Then you’ll use comments to keep the discussion going until the following week. No mid-term exams, and no final exam either. Sound good? Get your copy of Mere Christianity and get cracking!

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  • Warren Jewell

    Though I did scan several and recommend none, there are some online study guides for 'Mere Christianity' available via Google. They may be good for stirring our own questions in our minds about what we have read. Anwering such question(s) may help make clear what we get out of any of what we read.I beg to notify others beforehand that I have started a file in my 'Reading – Book Notes' folder in which to store all the blog reviews and comments made. The first doc I put there records Frank's initial blog here; at least, I wanted the reading schedule somewhere offline for me to refer to. If we progress as I hope and anticipate, I might just decide to track down all the 'Orthodoxy' blogs for a file for that book.Let's have some jolly good reading and growing together in faith. God bless us, every one.

  • Sandy

    This is great. I adore CS Lewis and this is one I missed along the way.

  • Webster Bull

    Thanks, Warren and Sandy. I especially want it put on record for the Annals of the Pickwick Club, or I should say the YIMC Book Club, that the selection of Mere Christianity is one of a growing list of debts the great YIMC community owes to Warren Jewell. It was his idea! So I think it is appropriate that he has the first comment in the next round of discussion. Thanks again, Warren!

  • EPG

    I am very happy to have an occasion to re-read "Mere Christianity" again. This will be the first time in the context of a book group, and getting a perspective from a bunch of Catholics is a great opportunity.Happy reading.

  • Warren Jewell

    Ah, ah – no, no, now.Yes, my fingers on my keyboard; however, I but yield the Spirit's words and His gentle, sweet, loving urgings.What I offer are my prayers to Him to give me a hand. And, I count on Him to continue to do so through 'Mere Christianity', and onward, and upward.

  • Jessica Westberg

    I look forward to this. I tried reading this book years ago and gave up. I'm excited to give it another go.

  • Hi,I don't have the book yet but will catch up with the reading as soon as possible. I was unable to participate for the ending chapters of Orthodoxy since my computer stopped working Dec 30. It has just returned from the repair shop. I plan to send a few comments for this book barring any computer problems.Sincerely,Mary R

  • Mary: Ok, also, there is an electronic version (see link above). Happy reading!