What I am reading…

Miracles: A Preliminary Study (1947, revised 1960)   C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters (1942)  C.S. Lewis

I have reread the book and now listened to one of the early radio readings of The Screwtape Letters.  The last tiem  read it I was very young and I don’t really think I got it then.  This time through I am far more awake.  The book is a compilation of written correspondence from a senior devil to a  junior devil mostly in answer to the latter’s questions regarding how to work more successfully with his ‘patient’.  It is not interned to be a doctoral thesis on thee workings of evil spirits among us.  It is a metaphor  a parable if you will, of how you and I are influenced by the subtleties of temptation and evil.  I found it a very practical book, challenging me to be more eyes open towards myself and my own motivations.  If nothing else, grab a  copy and read the forward.  it is worth it just for that.

The Great Divorce (1945)  C.S. Lewis

Have you ever wondered what Hell is like?  CS Lewis draws a picture of Hell and that is far removed from the Dante’s Inferno type of picture that most Christians have swallowed uncritically.  While his picture is noticeably without the hell-fire and brimstone of Dante it is, none the less, a profoundly scary concept.  It is certainly something to make you think, probably more so that the mere ‘demons with pitchforks’ fairytale we have been sold.

Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street  (2011)   Tomas Sedlacek

What a  good, if long and difficult read.  Sedlacek is a Czech an an economist.  He brings the Czeck sense of morality to a field that has, of recent generations, thought to have moved beyond morality.

The Economics of Good and Evil is a  sort of who’s who and history of economics, with a  particular focus on the anthropology of economics; who are we who practice this form of societal organisation?  He states that economics was originally (and the origins go way back!) part of moral philosophy but has lost its moral roots and where utility and maximisation have become ends in themselves.  He puts forward a good argument that we, and economists in particular, need to go back to basics, without giving up the good and useful insights we have gained in the field, and have a bit of a rethink.

In the historical overview there is a  chapter on the economics of Christianity.  This is a section worth reading by most Christians.  It is insightful and very challenging.

Thanks to Andrew Jones for recommending this book.

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (2008) Oliver Sacks

Muddy Spirituality: Bringing It All Back Down To Earth  (2011)  Jon Owen

Make Poverty Personal: Taking the Poor as Seriously as the Bible Does  (2009)   Ash Barker

A Skeptic’s Guide To Faith (2003)  Philip Yancey – a loaner from a neighbour

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