Georgia, we're bringing our regional conference your way!
Eternity in Our Hearts: Socrates, Augustine, and Lewis


Wes Callihan


Presented at the CiRCE National Conference 2023.

Socrates argues in the Phaedrus that eros is the best gift of the gods and he explains why, in a brilliant discussion that includes the function of rhetoric and his hostility to writing. Augustine’s Confessions and Lewis’ Surprised by Joy illustrate precisely what Socrates argues in their own spiritual autobiographies, in which eros plays the dominant role. The ancient writer Longinus describes the real motivating power of words in terms of eros and the church fathers themselves describe eros as the only true motivation to move toward God. But Augustine and Lewis and their parallel stories will be the focus of this talk which will argue, with Socrates, that eros is God’s gift to the thick-headed and benumbed human race.