Loading...

C. S. Lewis and the Craft of Communication

by Steven Beebe (Author)
Textbook XXXII, 304 Pages

Summary

C. S. Lewis, based on the popularity of his books and essays, is one of the best communicators of the twentieth century. During his lifetime he was hailed for his talents as author, speaker, educator, and broadcaster; he continues to be a best-selling author more than a half-century after his death.
C. S. Lewis and the Craft of Communication analyzes Lewis’s communication skill. A comprehensive review of Lewis’s work reveals five communication principles that explain his success as a communicator. Based on Lewis’s own advice about communication in his books, essays, and letters, as well as his communication practice, being a skilled communicator is to be holistic, intentional, transpositional, evocative, and audience-centered. These five principles are memorably summarized by the acronym HI TEA. Dr. Steven Beebe, past president of the National Communication Association and an internationally-recognized communication author and educator, uses Lewis’s own words to examine these five principles in a most engaging style.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1 The Case for C. S. Lewis as Master Communicator
  • A Popular Communicator
  • A Professional Communicator
  • A Professor of Communication
  • HI TEA: A Preview of Lewis’s Communication Lessons
  • Effective Communicators Are Holistic
  • Effective Communicators Are Intentional
  • Effective Communicators Are Transpositional
  • Effective Communicators Are Evocative
  • Effective Communicators Are Audience Centered
  • 2 The Making of a Master Communicator
  • His Family: Flora, Albert, and Warnie
  • The Education of a Master Communicator
  • Boarding Schools
  • Arthur Greeves: First Friend and Intimate Confidant
  • The Great Knock
  • Oxford and the Dreaming Spires
  • The Great War
  • Mrs. Moore and Lewis’s Audience
  • J. R. R. Tolkien: Oxford Friend and Colleague
  • A Most Reluctant Conversion
  • Surprised by Marriage: Finding Joy and Observing Grief
  • A Well-Read Mind Awake
  • 3 C. S. Lewis’s Big Ideas
  • Longing: The Quest to Find Home
  • The Tao: Universal Truth
  • Christianity: Lewis’s Primary Sense-Making Lens
  • Language: Metaphorical Shaper of Thought and Meaning
  • Summary: Lewis’s Big Ideas
  • Longing
  • The Tao
  • Christianity
  • Language
  • 4 Holistic
  • Principle One: Effective Communicators Are Holistic
  • One Style: Communicating for Both the Eye and the Ear
  • Two Lewises: The Integration of Reason and Imagination
  • Three Methods: The Integration of Rhetoric, Dialectic, and the Poetic
  • Rhetoric
  • Dialectic
  • Poetic
  • Summary: The “H” of HI TEA: The Principle of Being Holistic
  • 5 Intentional
  • Principle Two: Effective Communicators Are Intentional
  • The Meaning of Meaning
  • Evidential Meaning
  • Psychological Meaning
  • Empirical (Symbolic) Meaning
  • Master of Invention
  • Clarity
  • Style
  • Summary: The “I” of “HI TEA”: The Principle of Being Intentional
  • 6 Transpositional
  • Principle Three: Effective Communicators Are Transpositional
  • Translation: A Prelude to Transposition
  • Transposition: Communicating from Higher to Lower, Richer to Poorer
  • Visual Metaphor: The Technique of Transposition
  • Summary: The “T” of “HI TEA”: The Principle of Transposition
  • 7 Evocative
  • Principle Four: Effective Communicators Evoke Emotions
  • Evoke by Selecting the Right Word
  • Evoke by Using Comparison
  • Evoke by Placing Us in the Middle of Things
  • Evoke by Telling Stories
  • Evoke by Using Myth
  • Summary: The “E” of “HI TEA”: The Principle of Evoking Emotions
  • 8 Audience Centered
  • Principle Five: Effective Communicators Are Audience Centered
  • Misanalysing His Audience: Learning from Communication Failures
  • Editing for the Audience
  • Relating to the Audience
  • Speaking to an Audience
  • Being a Good Audience Member
  • Summary: The “A” of “HI TEA”: The Principle of Being Audience Centered
  • 9 How to Communicate Like C. S. Lewis
  • How to Be Holistic
  • Communicate for the Eye and the Ear
  • Use Interesting and Varied Supporting Material
  • Communicate to the Whole Mind
  • How to Be Intentional
  • Have Something to Say
  • Develop a Clear Communication Objective
  • Use Language Precisely
  • How to Be Transpositional
  • Use Comparisons Skillfully
  • Communicate for the “Mind’s Eye”
  • Craft Effective Visual Metaphors
  • How to Be Evocative
  • Tell Stories
  • Get Messages Out of People
  • Master Nonverbal Communication Skills
  • Maximize Eye Contact
  • Use Appropriate Gestures and Movement
  • Maintain Effective Posture
  • Use Appropriate Facial Expressions
  • How to Be an Audience-Centered Communicator
  • Enhance Your Credibility
  • Select the Appropriate Communication Channel
  • Analyze and Adapt to Your Audience
  • For Receptive Audiences,
  • For Neutral or Apathetic Audiences,
  • For an Unreceptive Audience,
  • Remember HI TEA
  • Be a Holistic Communicator
  • Be an Intentional Communicator
  • Be a Transpositional Communicator
  • Be an Evocative Communicator
  • Be an Audience-Centered Communicator
  • Index

cover

About the author

Steven A. Beebe (Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia) is Regents’ and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Texas State University. He is an internationally recognized communication educator and prolific author and co-author of best-selling communication books used at universities throughout the world. He served as president of the National Communication Association and was named Outstanding Communication Professor in America by the National Speaker’s Association.

About the book

C. S. Lewis, based on the popularity of his books and essays, is one of the best communicators of the twentieth century. C. S. Lewis and the Craft of Communication uses Lewis’s own words to unlock the secrets that explain Lewis’s success as a communicator so that you, too, can communicate like C. S. Lewis.

“I envy Dr. Beebe because he has learned from C. S. Lewis what it is like to be able to say exactly what he means. But I'm getting beyond the envy, thanks to Dr. Beebe’s C. S. Lewis and the Craft of Communication. He wants us to be as clear in what we say, as in what we hear. And his book provides us with a framework and advice for how to do this well.”

Walter Hooper, former secretary to C. S. Lewis, Literary Advisor of the C. S. Lewis Estate, and author of C. S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide

“When Beebe turns his attention to C. S. Lewis, the combination is unbeatable: Lewis the master communicator, and Beebe the master teacher.”

Jerry Root, co-author of The Quotable C. S. Lewis

“…a thoughtful, insightful, delightful book that informs, instructs and illuminates.”

Michael Ward, Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford, co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis and author of Planet Narnia

“This important book offers clear and surprisingly practical insight into a truly remarkable communicator.…I look forward to reading it again and again.”

Diana Pavlac Glyer, author of The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community

“Here indeed we find a great treasure…Beebe has brilliantly answered a question readers have long felt but perhaps never formed: How did Lewis communicate so clearly?”

Andrew Lazo, co-editor of Mere Christians: Inspiring Stories of Encounters with C. S. Lewis

“This is a must-read for all who study the craft of communication.”

Will Vaus, author of Mere Theology: A Guide to the Thought of C. S. Lewis

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Contents

Foreword by Jerry Root

Preface

Acknowledgements

1 The Case for C. S. Lewis as Master Communicator

A Popular Communicator

A Professional Communicator

A Professor of Communication

HI TEA: A Preview of Lewis’s Communication Lessons

2 The Making of a Master Communicator

His Family: Flora, Albert, and Warnie

The Education of a Master Communicator

Boarding Schools

Arthur Greeves: First Friend and Intimate Confidant

The Great Knock

Oxford and the Dreaming Spires

The Great War

Mrs. Moore and Lewis’s Audience

J. R. R. Tolkien: Oxford Friend and Colleague

A Most Reluctant Conversion

Surprised by Marriage: Finding Joy and Observing Grief

A Well-Read Mind Awake

3 C. S. Lewis’s Big Ideas

Longing: The Quest to Find Home

The Tao: Universal Truth

Christianity: Lewis’s Primary Sense-Making Lens

Language: Metaphorical Shaper of Thought and Meaning

Summary: Lewis’s Big Ideas

4 Holistic

Principle One: Effective Communicators Are Holistic

One Style: Communicating for Both the Eye and the Ear

Two Lewises: The Integration of Reason and Imagination

Three Methods: The Integration of Rhetoric, Dialectic, and Poetic

Rhetoric

Dialectic

Poetic

Summary: The “H” of “HI TEA”: The Principle of Being Holistic

5 Intentional

Principle Two: Effective Communicators Are Intentional

The Meaning of Meaning

Evidential Meaning

Psychological Meaning

Empirical (Symbolic) Meaning

Master of Invention

Clarity

Style

Summary: The “I” of “HI TEA”: The Principle of Being Intentional

6 Transpositional

Principle Three: Effective Communicators Are Transpositional

Translation: A Prelude to Transposition

Transposition: Communicating from Higher to Lower, Richer to Poorer

Visual Metaphor: The Technique of Transposition

Summary: The “T” of “HI TEA”: The Principle of Transposition

7 Evocative

Principle Four: Effective Communicators Evoke Emotions

Evoke by Selecting the Right Word

Evoke by Using Comparison

Evoke by Placing Us in the Middle of Things

Evoke by Telling Stories

Evoke by Using Myth

Summary: The “E” of “HI TEA”: The Principle of Evoking Emotions

8 Audience Centered

Principle Five: Effective Communicators Are Audience Centered

Misanalysing His Audience: Learning from Communication Failures

Editing for the Audience

Relating to the Audience

Speaking to an Audience

Being a Good Audience Member

Summary: The “A” of “HI TEA”: The Principle of Being Audience Centered

9 How to Communicate Like C. S. Lewis

How to Be Holistic

Communicate for the Eye and Ear

Use Interesting and Varied Supporting Material

Communicate to the Whole Mind

How to Be Intentional

Have Something to Say

Develop a Clear Communication Objective

Use Language Precisely

How to Be Transpositional

Use Comparisons Skillfully

Communicate for the “Mind’s Eye”

Craft Effective Visual Metaphors

How to Be Evocative

Tell Stories

Get Messages Out of People

Master Nonverbal Communication Skills

How to Be an Audience-Centered Communicator

Enhance Your Credibility

Select the Appropriate Communication Channel

Analyze and Adapt to Your Audience

Remember HI TEA

Be a Holistic Communicator

Be an Intentional Communicator

Be a Transpositional Communicator

Be an Evocative Communicator

Be an Audience-Centered Communicator

Index

←x | xi→

Foreword

When the Nobel Prize winning poet, Seamus Heaney, came to the door of The Kilns, C. S. Lewis’s home in Oxford, he shouted, “I want to see the house where the Irishman lived!” Heaney grew up in North Ireland not all that far from where Lewis was raised. Ireland is a country that seems to have a disproportionate number of great writers, given the comparatively small population. Lewis thought it was in the genes to be a communicator. He once wrote, “I am an Irishman and a congenital rhetorician”1 Perhaps that is it. The Irish are simply great at communication, and there is nothing more to it: great storytellers; great at spinning a yarn, and great at holding the attention of an audience. Perhaps it is something in the water. Perhaps, it is the island’s unique combination of extraordinary beauty. The landscapes take one’s breath away. However, the beauty also coexists with the history of a people who have endured centuries of suffering. Beauty and sorrow weave the texture unique to Irish literature. Is this what Lewis had in mind when he connected his rhetorical skill to his being Irish? Whatever the case, Lewis was a brilliant communicator.

Professor Steven Beebe reveals that nobody can fully appreciate the genius of Lewis without seeing the brilliance of Lewis’s skill as a communicator. Lewis’s scholarly books like The Allegory of Love and English Literature in the Sixteenth Century: Excluding Drama are masterpieces for their ability to follow a narrative thread through such a wide fabric of material. They hold a reader’s attention for ←xi | xii→their clarity, their imaginative depiction, and their delightful winsomeness. He was certainly a master communicator as an academic. Furthermore, The Chronicles of Narnia are stories admitted into the very canons of classical children’s literature, next to likes of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Anderson. Lewis the master communicator could tell a story to delight the hearts of children. His storytelling skills also classify his science fiction among some of the best of that genre, such as Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. How was it possible that he could communicate with such skill across such wide territory?

Details

Pages
XXXII, 304
ISBN (PDF)
9781433172359
ISBN (ePUB)
9781433172366
ISBN (MOBI)
9781433172373
ISBN (Softcover)
9781433172342
ISBN (Hardcover)
9781433172335
Language
English
Publication date
2020 (April)
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2020. XXXII, 304 pp.

Biographical notes

Steven Beebe (Author)

Steven A. Beebe (Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia) is Regents’ and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Texas State University. He is an internationally recognized communication educator and prolific author and co-author of best-selling communication books used at universities throughout the world. He served as president of the National Communication Association and was named Outstanding Communication Professor in America by the National Speaker’s Association.

Previous

Title: C. S. Lewis and the Craft of Communication