Study guides for C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce

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I just finished leading a course on C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce. In the book, he imagines that a busload of people take a trip from hell to heaven and are given the opportunity to stay if they wish. The only requirement is that they let go of the pride that keeps them focused on themselves and yield to the love and joy that God offers. It might sound simple, and it is, but as you might imagine, most of the vacationers to heaven choose to return to hell.

Lewis drives home the point that we create our own hell by being selfish and self-centered. The most important question a person faces, he emphasizes, is whether to yield to God’s love or rebel against it.

The title of the book was chosen to counter that of William Blake’s book, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Blake maintained that people need both to be human, that hell sparks creativity and heaven brings order to the creative process. Lewis maintained that there can be no mixing of the two and that all good, including creativity, comes from God.

Here are links to the three guides, which cover each chapter of the book. When you click on one of the links, it will download to your computer:

The Great Divorce Preface through 6

The Great Divorce 7 through 10

The Great Divorce 11-14

Here are links to other C. S. Lewis study guides that might interest you:

Mere Christianity

The Problem of Pain

Miracles

And here are study guides for Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship.

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