Understanding The Screwtape Letters
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Understanding The Screwtape Letters

A comprehensive analysis of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.
4.8 (9 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
214 students enrolled
Last updated 4/2013
English
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Includes:
  • 4.5 hours on-demand video
  • 34 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
To expand the student's knowledge of The Screwtape Letters
Give a starting point for students to come to their own conclusions about the text
Help students to analyze other works in the future
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • High School Freshman Reading Level
  • Access to The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Description

The Screwtape Letters is one of C.S. Lewis’s most popular works. In this course, Lewis scholar Dr. Arthur Hippler analyzes each letter written by Screwtape, a senior devil, to Wormwood, a junior devil and Screwtape’s apprentice. In more than four hours of high quality video lectures and companion text, Dr. Hippler helps you understand Lewis's insight into the the diabolical world of the spirits of darkness. This course also provides a unique perspective which will help you understand yourself and the weaknesses of human nature. 

Who is the target audience?
  • Secondary and College Undergrads
  • C.S. Lewis Enthusiasts
  • Book Clubs
  • Christian Studies
  • Theologians
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 68 Lectures Collapse All 68 Lectures 07:51:49
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Preface: Introduction and C.S. Lewis Biography
4 Lectures 17:30
This lecture provides an introduction to this companion to The Screwtape Letters.
Preview 02:13

This lecture provides a brief biography of the author of The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis.


Important dates and events from the life of C.S. Lewis

1898 Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Baptized in the Church of Ireland. (Anglican communion)

1908 Lewis's mother dies of abdominal cancer.

1913 Lewis abandons the Anglican faith of his childhood, and soon after becomes an atheist.

1916 Lewis begins his college studies at University College, Oxford

1925 Lewis accepts a Fellowship in English Literature from Magdalen College, Oxford. He teaches there until 1954, when he accepted the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

1927 Lewis befriends J. R. R. Tolkien, who is a Professor of Anglo-Saxon Literature at Merton College, Oxford. 

1931 After two years of being a “theist,” Lewis “reconverts” to the Church of England.

1940 Lewis publishes his first apologetic work, The Problem of Pain.

1941 Lewis publishes The Screwtape Letters. He also gives the talks on BBC radio that will later be collected as Mere Christianity.

1950 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first of the “Chronicles of Narnia” is published.

1957 Lewis marries Joy Davidman Gresham. Shortly before this, Joy was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. The cancer goes into remission, but then returns. Joy dies in 1960.

1963 Lewis dies of kidney failure on Nov. 22 (the same day that John F. Kennedy is assassinated). 

C.S. Lewis Biography
03:30

Quiz is based on the C.S. Lewis Biography lecture.

Biographical Introduction Quiz
3 questions

This lecture provides a preface to this companion to The Screwtape Letters.
Preview 04:00

This video lecture provides a preface to this companion to The Screwtape Letters.
Preview 07:46

Quiz based on the Preface text and the Preface video lecture.

Preface Quiz
3 questions
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Letter 1: Diabolic Subtlety
2 Lectures 13:45

Main Points in Letter One

  • The devils’ terms: Patient, The Enemy, Our Father Below, Lowerarchy
  • Subtlety of the devil – he doesn’t have to offer something explicitly wicked
  • Keeping the patient immersed in sense experience
  • Emotional side of atheism
Letter One Text
04:05

Main Points in Letter One

  • The devils’ terms: Patient, The Enemy, Our Father Below, Lowerarchy
  • Subtlety of the devil – he doesn’t have to offer something explicitly wicked
  • Keeping the patient immersed in sense experience
  • Emotional side of atheism
Letter One Video Lecture
09:40

Quiz based on the Letter One text and the Letter One video lecture.

Letter One Quiz
3 questions
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Letter Two: The Patient Converts
2 Lectures 14:57

Main Points in Letter Two

  • Lack of disappointment at the patient's conversion
  • Spiritual side of faith versus visible side of Church
  • God loves man, and hence wants free lovers and servant “sons”
  • Devils hate human beings – one cannot stress this enough!
Letter Two Text
04:53

Main Points in Letter Two

  • Lack of disappointment at the patient's conversion
  • Spiritual side of faith versus visible side of Church
  • God loves man, and hence wants free lovers and servant “sons”
  • Devils hate human beings – one cannot stress this enough!
Letter Two Video Lecture
10:04

Quiz based on the Letter Two text and the Letter Two video lecture.

Letter Two Quiz
3 questions
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Letter Three: Life with Mother
2 Lectures 12:17

Main Points Letter Three

  • Young man lives with his mother
  • Charity, love of neighbor begins at home. If he is not charitable to his own mother, his ability to love neighbor in God is gravely undermined
  • Praying in ways that emphasize people’s bad traits, instead of allowing genuine sympathy
  • Self-deception about one’s own vices.
Letter Three Text
05:10

Main Points Letter Three

  • Young man lives with his mother
  • Charity, love of neighbor begins at home. If he is not charitable to his own mother, his ability to love neighbor in God is gravely undermined
  • Praying in ways that emphasize people’s bad traits, instead of allowing genuine sympathy
  • Self-deception about one’s own vices.
Letter Three Video Lecture
07:07

Quiz based on the Letter Three text and the Letter Three video lecture.

Letter Three Quiz
3 questions
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Letter Four: Sabotaging Prayer
2 Lectures 13:58

Main Points in Letter Four

  • Ultimate goal of devils is to keep the patient from praying altogether
  • If patient continues to pray, have him  pray to a God of his own making
  • Make patient belief success in prayer is depth of feeling
  • Parroted prayers aren’t bad – the Bible gives us prayers!
Letter Four Text
04:59

Main Points in Letter Four

  • Ultimate goal of devils is to keep the patient from praying altogether
  • If patient continues to pray, have him  pray to a God of his own making
  • Make patient belief success in prayer is depth of feeling
  • Parroted prayers aren’t bad – the Bible gives us prayers!
Letter Four Video Lecture
08:59

Quiz based on the Letter Four text and the Letter Four video lecture.

Letter Four Quiz
3 questions
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Letter Five: Life during Wartime
2 Lectures 12:12

Main Points in Letter Five

  • Screwtape Letters was written during WWII. Many of Lewis’s works have this background.
  • Why Screwtape isn’t enthusiastic about the war
  • Misconception about devils – they are not “monsters” looking to eat people
  • Love of the world over God
Letter Five Text
04:39

Main Points in Letter Five

  • Screwtape Letters was written during WWII. Many of Lewis’s works have this background.
  • Why Screwtape isn’t enthusiastic about the war
  • Misconception about devils – they are not “monsters” looking to eat people
  • Love of the world over God
Letter Five Video Lecture
07:33

Quiz based on the Letter Five text and the Letter Five video lecture.

Letter Five Quiz
3 questions
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Letter Six: Telescopic Benevolence
2 Lectures 13:34

Main Points in Letter Six

  • Thy will be done – resignation to God’s will in time of trouble
  • Law of Self-Consciousness
  • You cannot get rid of the patient’s benevolence, but you can make it worthless
  • Malice towards distant people is ineffective, but malice towards neighbors is effective
Letter Six Text
03:57

Main Points in Letter Six

  • Thy will be done – resignation to God’s will in time of trouble
  • Law of Self-Consciousness
  • You cannot get rid of the patient’s benevolence, but you can make it worthless
  • Malice towards distant people is ineffective, but malice towards neighbors is effective
Letter Six Video Lecture
09:37

Quiz based on the Letter Six text and the Letter Six video lecture.

Letter Six Quiz
3 questions
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Letter Seven: Pacifism or Patriotism?
2 Lectures 13:58

Main Points in Letter Seven

  • Whether devils should make themselves known
  • Materialist Magician
  • Divisions within Christianity- not just denominational differences, but divisions within the denominations themselves
  • The pattern for corrupting the patient through extreme pacifism or extreme patriotism
Letter Seven Text
04:42

Main Points in Letter Seven

  • Whether devils should make themselves known
  • Materialist Magician
  • Divisions within Christianity- not just denominational differences, but divisions within the denominations themselves
  • The pattern for corrupting the patient through extreme pacifism or extreme patriotism
Letter Seven Video Lecture
09:16

Quiz based on the Letter Seven text and the Letter Seven video lecture.

Letter Seven Quiz
3 questions
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Letter Eight: The Law of Undulation, Part I
2 Lectures 13:04

Main Points in Letter Eight

  • The Law of Undulation
  • How humans are amphibians, half spirit and half animal
  • How God uses peaks and troughs
  • God cannot “ravish” he can only woo
  • Lack of spiritual consolation
Letter Eight Text
04:42

Main Points in Letter Eight

  • The Law of Undulation
  • How humans are amphibians, half spirit and half animal
  • How God uses peaks and troughs
  • God cannot “ravish” he can only woo
  • Lack of spiritual consolation
Letter Eight Video Lecture
08:22

Quiz based on the Letter Eight text and the Letter Eight video lecture.

Letter Eight Quiz
3 questions
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Letter Nine: The Law of Undulation, Part II
2 Lectures 16:09

Main Points in Letter Nine

  • How devils uses peaks and troughs
  • Definition of pleasure
  • The best time for devils to use sensual temptation
  • Problems when the patient suspects the Law of Undulation
  • How devils want us to believe the trough is permanent
Letter Nine Text
04:37

Main Points in Letter Nine

  • How devils uses peaks and troughs
  • Definition of pleasure
  • The best time for devils to use sensual temptation
  • Problems when the patient suspects the Law of Undulation
  • How devils want us to believe the trough is permanent
Letter Nine Video Lecture
11:32

Quiz based on the Letter Nine text and the Letter Nine video lecture.

Letter Nine Quiz
3 questions
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About the Instructor
Dr. Arthur Hippler
4.5 Average rating
17 Reviews
241 Students
2 Courses
Doctorate in Philosophy, C.S. Lewis Scholar

Dr. Arthur Hippler is chairman of the Religion Department and teaches religion for Providence eLearning. Since 2001, he has been Visiting Professor with the Institute for Pastoral Theology of Ave Maria University. Before coming to Providence eLearning, he served the Catholic Diocese of La Crosse (Wisconsin), teaching moral theology and social ethics in the diocesan programs for lay formation and continuing education for teachers. He is the author of Citizens of the Heavenly City: A Catechism of Catholic Social Teaching, published by Borromeo Books. He received his bachelor's in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in California, and his doctorate in Philosophy from Boston College.