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3283Re: [mythsoc] Re: CS Lewis in Christianity Today

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    Apr 12, 2001
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      In a message dated 4/12/01 7:32:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      tedsherman@... writes:

      > It seems to me, Wendell, that you have rather maligned Markos with your
      > comments
      > below, yet you don't give any reasons or evidence for your offhand
      > dismissal of the course.

      I'm going to go ahead now and write that review and post it (or at least a
      summary of it) within the next few days in order to give my reasons.
      "Maligned" strikes me as a rather strong way to put my objections. I'm not
      accusing him of any moral faults. "Offhand" isn't a term I'd use for my
      objections either. I've listened to the entire course twice so far and I
      plan to listen to it a third time on a tape player when I can start and stop
      it at will, marking down my comments as I go.

      When I call it "not a good course," I'm comparing it to the level of courses
      I expect in The Great Courses on Tape, where course sets cost about $10 to
      $14 per hour's worth of lecture. I expect them to be better than average
      courses in their subject. Most of them are. If I were to compare Markos's
      course with an average course at most colleges, it's no better or worse than

      He's so enthusiastic in his presentation that I wish I could praise the
      course more. Unfortunately, I don't think he's made a good choice of topics
      to discuss about Lewis. At times, he doesn't know Lewis's works quite as
      well as he should. At times he drifts off the subject of Lewis's works and
      seems to be just discussing his own ideas. He spends too much time on
      certain things and neglects others. At times his enthusiasm leads to an
      exaggerations about Lewis that I suspect would turn off someone new to
      Lewis's works. But all this is just an outline of my objections. I'll be
      writing a full review in a few days.

      If I wanted to malign someone, I'd malign the people at The Teaching Company
      (which produces The Great Courses on Tape). Their publicity more or less
      claims that they only offer the best course offered anywhere in the U.S. on a
      particular subject, as if they had people flying around the country recording
      lectures by many different professors before choosing the one that's the best
      for that subject. In fact, they operate in a much more haphazard fashion,
      getting recommendations from customers and occasionally flying in professors
      to test their lecturing styles. In some cases when they have already done
      one series with a professor, they ask him if he has any other courses he'd
      like to do.

      That's what happened in this case. Markos isn't even a Lewis scholar. His
      specialty is the Romantic poets. He'd already done a course in literary
      criticism and several lectures in another huge course on the Western
      intellectual thought when he suggested to them that he do this Lewis course.
      He'd never done a course in Lewis at his college. I object to this course
      not because it's terrible (it's certainly not terrible) but because I think
      they could have found a better course on Lewis somewhere than this. Why
      didn't they check out Diana Glyer speaking on Lewis, or Joe Christopher, or
      Ted Sherman?

      Wendell Wagner

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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