- John Lewis (philosopher)
John Lewis (
February 1, 1889- February 12, 1976) was a British Unitarianminister and Marxist philosopherand author of many works on philosophy, anthropology, and religion.
Lewis's father, a successful builder and
architect, came from a Welsh farming family, and was a very religious Methodist. Young Lewis's social and political views clashed with those of his father. Their quarrels eventually led to his father disinheriting him.
Education and religious work
Dulwich Collegeand University College, London, where he earned his B.Sc. Having been raised a Methodist, he soon left that church to become a Congregationalist. He studied for the ministry at Cambridge, and in 1916 was appointed to a Presbyterianchurch in Gravesend; in 1924, he moved to a church in Birmingham. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Birmingham, specialising in the philosophy of Karl Marx, and becoming a Marxist himself.
By 1929, his left wing views were too strong for the church he was in and he moved to
Ipswichas a Unitarian minister. Here, his leftist political sermons attracted a large youth following, but upset a group of older, more conservative members. Their complaints led Lewis to offer his resignation, to be put to a vote of the membership. In a packed and charged meeting, he received the support of the majority of church members.
Political and social activism
Lewis participated in anti-war political activity starting in 1916. On one occasion, he had to be rescued from an angry crowd. He also became involved in work to support the unemployed, and served on the local
Trades Union Council. On one occasion, at Christmas, he led a group of unemployed men who marched to the Town Hall, where the Mayor was holding his formal Christmas dinner. They walked in and sat down, demanding to join the feast.
He also was involved with the Boy Scout movement, running a Scout troop, and authoring training booklets. He acted as a guide for outdoor holidays organised by the
Holiday Fellowship. He often went to Switzerland, and took parties up the Matterhorn.
In the 1935 General Election he stood unsuccessfully as Labour candidate for
Bolshevik Revolutionhad a great effect on Lewis, and he studied Russian. He became a Christian Socialist, and later a Marxist.
In 1936 the
Left Book Club, started by the publisher Victor Gollancz, was very popular. Lewis quit his ministry in Ipswich to take on the task of building a national network of discussion groups. The groups brought together in a progressive movement intelligent, literate people who had not found rewarding political action in leftwing parties. Soon there were groups in every town. In effect, the Left Book Club and its groups had become a quasi-political party.
He also became the editor of the British Marxist journal, "The Modern Quarterly", from 1946-1953. He was very interested in polemical writing, and authored many books and articles in a polemical vein on topics of philosophy, social issues, and Marxism. In one exchange of polemics, he took on the French Marxist philosopher
World War IILewis was a lecturer for the British Army, working with the Army Education Corpsand the Army Bureau of Current Affairsand lecturing on, among other things, Britain's wartime ally, the Soviet Union.
He also taught at several different schools, including a stint teaching biology at
* "The Old Testament in the 20th Century"
* "A Faith to Live By"
* "Christianity and the Social Revolution" (Ed.)
* "Textbook of Marxist Philosophy" (Ed.)
* "Douglas Fallacies: A Critique of Social Credit"
* "The Philosophy of the Soviet State"
* "An Introduction to Philosophy"
* "The Case Against Pacifism"
* "Marxism and Modern Idealism"
* "The Basis of Soviet Philosophy"
* "Marxism and the Open Mind"
* "Religions of the World"
* "Science, Faith, and Scepticism"
* "Socialism and the Individual"
* "A History of Philosophy"
* "Man and Evolution"
* "The Life and Teaching of Karl Marx"
* "Bertrand Russell: Philosopher and Humanist"
* "Naked Ape or Homo sapiens?"
* "The Left Book Club: An Historical Record"
* "The Marxism of Marx"
* "Marxism and the Irrationalists"
* "The Uniqueness of Man"
* "Max Weber and Value Free Sociology: A Marxist Critique"
* "The Anglo-Marxists: A Study in Ideology and Culture", by Edwin A. Roberts, New York: 1997. A chapter is devoted to Lewis.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
John Lewis — can refer to:Business* The John Lewis Partnership, a major British retailer operating supermarkets and department stores * John Lewis (department store), a business run by the John Lewis PartnershipPeoplePolitics* John Lewis (politician) (born… … Wikipedia
David Lewis (philosopher) — For other people named David Lewis, see David Lewis (disambiguation). David Kellogg Lewis Full name David Kellogg Lewis Born September 28, 1941 Oberlin, Ohio Died October 14 … Wikipedia
Lewis (surname) — Family name name = Lewis imagesize= caption= pronunciation = Lewis meaning = region = origin = related names = Lewes, Louis footnotes = [ [http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/names files.html 1990 Census Name Files ] ] Lewis is a surname. It… … Wikipedia
John Minor Wisdom — This article is about the U.S. court of appeals judge. For the philosopher, see John Wisdom. John Minor Wisdom Judge on United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit In office 1957 – 1977 (senior judge, 1977 1999) … Wikipedia
Lewis's trilemma — (or the Lewis Triumvirate) is a syllogism intended to demonstrate the logical inconsistency of both holding Jesus of Nazareth to be a great moral teacher while also denying his divinity. It was popularised by C. S. Lewis in a BBC radio talk and… … Wikipedia
John M. MacEachran — John Malcolm MacEachran (January 16, 1877 1971) was a Canadian philosopher and psychologist, whose most notable credentials involved the development of the Psychology and Philosophy Department at the University of Alberta. He was a co founder of… … Wikipedia
John Hurt — en 2009 au Festival du film de TriBeCa. Données clés Naissance … Wikipédia en Français
John Cleese — Cleese in 2008 Birth name John Marwood Cleese Born 27 October 1939 (1939 10 27) … Wikipedia
John William Miller — (1895–1978) was an American philosopher in the idealist tradition. His work appears in six published volumes, including The Paradox Cause (1978) and most recently The Task of Criticism (2006). His principal philosophical ambitions were 1) to… … Wikipedia
John Caldwell Calhoun — (* 18. März 1782 Calhoun Mills bei Abbeville im Abbeville County, South Carolina; † 31. März 1850 in Washington D. C.) war der 7. Vizepräsident der Vereinigten Staaten von 1825 bis 1832 u … Deutsch Wikipedia