C. S. Lewis’ 1944 book The Abolition of Man is widely considered to be a classic work in the history and philosophy of education. The National Review, in fact, chose it as number seven on their “100 Best Nonfiction Books of the 20th Century.” In this seminar, we will examine the central themes of this important book
and the key arguments Lewis makes throughout it for absolute values and the training of students’ affections, as well as their intellects. We will work sequentially through each of the three chapters of the book, discussing both the progression of Lewis’ thought and the practical educational implications of his treatment of concepts like “men without chests,” “the Tao” and “the abolition of man.”
Dr. David Diener began his post-secondary education at Wheaton College, where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and ancient languages. After putting his philosophical training to work by building custom cabinets and doing high-end finish carpentry for an Amish company, he moved with his wife to Bogotá, Colombia, where they served as missionaries for three years at a Christian international school. He then attended Indiana University, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy, another master’s degree in history and philosophy of education, and a dual doctorate in philosophy and philosophy of education. He has taught at The Stony Brook School on Long Island, served as Head of Upper Schools at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas, and currently is the Head of School at Grace Academy in Georgetown, Texas. He also teaches philosophy courses at Taylor University, is an Alcuin Fellow and offers consulting services through Classical Academic Press. He is the author of Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator and serves as the series editor for Classical Academic Press’ Giants in the History of Education. The Dieners have four wonderful children and are passionate about classical Christian education and the impact it can have on the church, our society and the world.