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The Abolition of Man Book Study

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  1. Introduction
    Lesson 1: Introduction (Preview Content)
    6 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  2. Discussion of Lecture 1 (Preview Content)
    5 Topics
  3. Lessons & Discussions
    Lesson 2: The Abolition of Man in Context
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  4. Discussion of Lecture 2
    3 Topics
  5. Lesson 3: Men without Chests
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  6. Discussion of Lecture 3
    1 Topic
  7. Lesson 4: Moral versus Modern Education
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  8. Discussion of Lecture 4
    1 Topic
  9. Lesson 5: The Abolition of Man
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  10. Discussion of Lecture 5
    1 Topic
  11. Lesson 6: Lewis's Predictions Fulfilled in Three Ways
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  12. Discussion of Lecture 6
    1 Topic
  13. End of Course Test
    End of Course Test: The Abolition of Man
    1 Quiz
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In The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis critiques the modern education system for redefining knowledge solely in terms of scientific facts, with no moral significance or objective meaning. He feared that a world taught as inherently meaningless would hurt children’s formation of virtue, leaving a new generation of young thinkers bereft of an understanding of the value systems God created. This fear echoes the concerns of other writers and thinkers who came before Lewis. For example, in Dr. Turley’s Introduction to AOM, he quotes John Ruskin, a prominent Victorian art critic and social thinker:

“The entire object of true education is to make people not merely do the right things, but enjoy the right things – not merely industrious, but to love industry – not merely learned, but to love knowledge – not merely pure, but to love purity – not merely just, but to hunger and thirst after justice.”

John Ruskin (1819-1900)


Perhaps you remember Charles Dickens’ character of Mr. Thomas Gradgrind, the deplorable Superintendent of the boarding school in Hard Times? Gradgrind made his approach to education perfectly clear in the opening lines of Chapter 1:

“NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”

‘The Schoolmaster of the Future’, 1887.

It is interesting to note that Gradgrind associates the learning of facts with the teaching of reasoning animals. As C. S. Lewis wrote in The Abolition of Man, a world in which knowledge is understood through mere scientific facts and biological processes will become, itself, nothing more than mere nature.