Sunday, June 21, 2009

Freud and C.S. Lewis on the question of God

If you live in the northeast, you have an opportunity to see Freud duke it out with C.S. Lewis on the question of God:

FREUD'S LAST SESSION Play by Mark St. Germain

Suggested by "The Question of God?" by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi Jr.

Directed by: Tyler Marchant. Set, Brian Prather. Lights, Clifton Taylor. Costumes, Mark Mariani. Sound, Beth Lake.

Presented by: Barrington Stage Company.

At: BSC Stage 2, VFW Hall, Pittsfield, MA, through July 3rd. Tickets, $15-30, 413-236-8888,

I haven't seen it yet - so can't say much about its quality. But Laura (Sizer) and I are planning on going to the show this coming Wednesday (6/24). If you are in the area and are interested in the topic, then join us at the play.

Here is a review of the play from the Boston Globe:
Mark St. Germain has constructed an entire one-act play out of one simple “what if’’: What if Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis had met?

St. Germain got the idea from a book by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi Jr., “The Question of God’’ - a question to which, in the simplest terms, Lewis answered Yes and Freud No. But that exchange wouldn’t take more than a minute, so in “Freud’s Last Session’’ St. Germain embellishes it with a host of arguments, witticisms, and further questions, many of them drawn from the written work of the two men themselves.
The good news is that the talk is often lively, intelligent, and engaging - perhaps even more so for those audience members who have not read widely in either Freud or Lewis. (And it’s hard to imagine many people outside of academe who’ve read deeply in both.) Freud questions Lewis bluntly about his conversion from atheism to Christianity at 33 (about eight years before this encounter would have taken place); Lewis pushes back with equal vigor, refusing to concede that faith and reason cannot coexist.
Read the full review here.


hedge said...

Slightly related... Are you familiar with this book of the correspondence between C S Lewis and Arthur C Clarke regarding the benefits and dangers of our increasing technology?

Salman Hameed said...

No I'm not familiar with it but I hope Arthur C Clarke kicked C S Lewis' butt! :)

From the comments on Amazon, it seems that the conversation was quite polite. But the topic is quite relevant. Thanks for pointing it out.

Ali Kazim Gardezi said...

Hmm.... interesting. Unfortunately I cant watch this show but I have seen one PBS documentary 'The Question of God' which also highlights the views made by these two intellectuals and a discussion between nine individuals and was hosted by an Oxford professor. It was a very engaging four part documentry which I would love to go through again, with my friends to have a discussion of our own :) You can learn more about it at

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