OSWEGO — The Church of the Resurrection in Oswego has selected an allegorical tale about a bus ride from hell to heaven as the focus of its Lenten study series. Discussions of “The Great Divorce” by C. S. Lewis will take place at 4:30 p.m. Fridays, from Feb. 5 to March 26, on Zoom.
The eight weekly sessions will be open to anyone who wishes to participate. “All you need is the book and a telephone or internet connection,” said the Rev. Anne Wichelns, rector of the Episcopal church.
The British scholar C.S. Lewis is best known nowadays as the author of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” which have sold more than 100 million copies. His works of fiction, like Narnia, entertainingly reflect on Christian themes.
In “The Great Divorce,” which takes off from the Romantic poet William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” Lewis writes of the yawning divide between good and evil.
First published in 1945, “The Great Divorce” continues to find an audience. Writing for the Catholic World Report in 2016, Bishop Robert Barron recommended “this little but powerful book.”
The story has been adapted for the stage several times in recent years. A traveling production in 2019-20 was praised by the Washington Post as “Christian fantasy without the sermonizing,” and Broadway World promised it “will delight, challenge and entertain all.” That production is tentatively scheduled to return to the stage at the Harmon Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C., later this year.
The Oswego discussions of the book will be steered by a study guide to “The Great Divorce” by Alan Vermilye. Participants are encouraged to obtain the study guide, but it is not required.
The book itself and the study guide may be purchased through the river’s end bookstore in Oswego by contacting the store no later than Jan. 25. The book and guide are also available through online bookstores.
Those wishing to take part in, or listen in on, the discussions of “The Great Divorce” should call the Church of the Resurrection at 315-343-3501 or email email@example.com and provide their contact information so that they may receive instructions on joining the Zoom sessions.