LEEDS PROFESSOR SPEAKS ON C.S. LEWIS AS EDUCATOR
Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 10, 2014) – Dr. Mark A. Pike believes that C.S. Lewis was one of the great educators of our time. Pike, the recently appointed head of the School of Education at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, spoke to students, faculty and staff at California Baptist University Nov. 6. His topic was "C.S. Lewis on Post-Christian Culture and Faith."
Pike is the author of Mere Education: C. S. Lewis as Teacher of Our Time; Citizenship and Moral Education: Values in Action; and Spirituality, Literature and Literacy.
"The idea behind Mere Education was to try to draw from (Lewis') literature, his ethics, his theology … all his references to education and to see in fact if there is a distinctive coherent philosophy of education," he said.
He described Lewis' philosophy of teaching.
"Lewis has recourse to natural law and moral law as the basis for character education," Pike said. This philosophy of character education requires the educator to be honest or, in Lewis' case, brutally honest. Pike believes students deserve a correct response from the educator.
He discussed life in a post-Christian western culture. He also explained how Christianity shifted from being common in the 1700s to being an exception in the 1950s.
"There are three phases in the history of the west, the pre-Christian, the Christian, and the post-Christian. Lewis was living in the post-Christian era," Pike said. "De-Christianization is happening faster than Christianization."
"In (Lewis' book) Mere Christianity, Lewis says ‘we never follow the advice of the great teachers.' There has never been any lack of advice for the last 4,000 years," Pike said, "but the point is that in the 20th century, even the advice is changing."