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Author Topic: Chronicles of Narnia
mrs.hi-c clown fishies
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I saw that Disney is remaking the series last night when DH drug me to the Star Wars movie. It's aways been a favorite of mine, however, when I was younger and in a parochial school, the teachers made no qualms about the Chronicles being allusions to different facets of Christianity. Aslan was like Jesus, Ice Queen was Satan...etc.

Did C.S. Lewis intend the Chronicles to be Christian?

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Elwood
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There's been another lengthy thread is this forum about it in the past. I think Lewis, unlike Tolkein, was open about the allegory and enjoyed it as a form of teching. From my perspective, there's no way that the first and last installments could be anything but Christian allegory. To me Aslan is so obviously a picture of Christ that it's pretty hard to miss. For a couple of quick examples, Mr Beaver says that Aslan is not safe but that he is good. Aslan takes the fall and dies a brutal death to save another, before rising again from the "grave."

The middle installments, though, just strike me as pretty regular stories about the adventures of thd characters.

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Gibbie
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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CS Lewis was a Christian theologian and has written many theological works, it's logical to me that these are indeed intended to be theological works for children. He did the same in a sci-fi series for adults that did not become popular in the same way.

Frankly I'm always surprised to hear that people question it. Even when I was in fourth grade (the first time I read the books) the allegory was clear to me.

Gibbie

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Syllavus
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Agreed Elwood, I was raised Catholic and I immediately recognized, even though I was a child when I read the books, that Aslan was definitely meant to come across as a Christ-like figure. Aslan's sacrificing himself on the stone table to the White Witch and resurrection the following day is so blatantly similar to the crucifixion that if you are familiar with the stories, I can't see how you wouldn't recognize it.

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moonfall86
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Yeah, there was a thread about this, and I was the one who started it, actually.
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mrs.hi-c clown fishies
Happy Holly Days


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I recognized it in the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. However, I wasn't sure if it was an intent of C.S. Lewis.

Them parochial schools tend to tell ya a lot of B.S. [Smile]

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Crono
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It is widely recognized that The Chronicles of Narnia were meant to be a Christian allegory. That doesn't automatically mean that they were (after all, there are still some people who insist that The Lord of the Rings is a Christian allegory as well), but given that Lewis was a well-known Christian theologian with a fondness for allegory and the fact that the Christian message seems rather obvious, I would say that the Chronicles probably are allegorical. For what it's worth, at the college I attended, a person who was a double major in English and Religious Studies did his senior recital on The Chronicles of Narnia, and he made the claim that they were allegorical. I doubt that the teacher would have let him slip that by if it weren't true.

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Silas Sparkhammer
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Also, isn't "The Silver Chair" a version of the often-seen Christian allegory about who should sit in the seat of self?

I've seen this in small, friendly tracts -- much nicer than Chick's material! -- left in public places. You have a picture of a chair, with "Ego" or sinful self on the throne, and all around it is disorder. But in the second picture, there is a cross, representing Christ, on the seat, and all around it is orderly and neat.

So: question 1: is that what Lewis was getting at?

and question 2: is he the one who originated that particular allegory?

Silas

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Eve MG
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
Also, isn't "The Silver Chair" a version of the often-seen Christian allegory about who should sit in the seat of self?

(snip)

So: question 1: is that what Lewis was getting at?

and question 2: is he the one who originated that particular allegory?

Silas

1. No - I don't think that's possible. The Silver Chair was first published in 1953 (according to the insides of the version I have), and (to answer question 2) Bill Bright wrote The Four Spiritual Laws, which contains that image, in 1956. (Biography of Bill Bright.)

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Chronicles of Narnia, complete with allegory references.

Lewis's Space Triology continues with the allegory, although it is much more explicit -- Maleldil is God and the eldils are angels, etc. At one point, one character (can't remember which) tells Ransom that his name is Ransom, too -- as he gave his life in ransom for others (that is, he's Jesus).

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MisterGrey
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No, no, no-- Narnia was all about Satanism, devil-worship, and defiling Christ. At least these people think so.
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MisterGrey
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No, no, no-- Narnia was all about Satanism, devil-worship, and defiling Christ. At least these people think so.
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Bela Lugosi's Dead
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quote:
Originally posted by MisterGrey:
No, no, no-- Narnia was all about Satanism, devil-worship, and defiling Christ. At least these people think so.

thats the first time I've ever heard anyone call Satan Worship "Luciferianism"...makes me picture them smoking weed.
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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies
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Here is more information, with references:
Into the Wardrobe :: a C. S. Lewis web site

A short excerpt:

Rather than planning to write a fictional book that succeeded in using apologetics, Lewis admits that the "element" of Christianity, "as with Aslan," entered "of its own accord" (Hooper, Walter. Past Watchful Dragons: The Narnian Chronicles of C. S. Lewis. New York: Collier Books, 1979. p 31). Walter Hooper, C. S. Lewis' biographer, describes Lewis as being the most religious man he ever met (Schakel, Peter J. Reading with the Heart: The Way Into Narnia. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979. p 132). For this reason, no matter what Lewis wrote, his religion would greatly impact all of his works.

Edited to add:

From a faq:

3.22 Is Narnia an allegory?
All readers of Narnia must realise that Aslan the Lion, who is the Son of the Great Emperor Across the Sea, who breaks the power of the White Witch by his death and resurrection - and who, as C.S. Lewis pointed out to one of his young readers 'arrived at the same time as Father Christmas' - is a picture of Jesus Christ. Does it follow that the books as a whole are allegories?

C.S. Lewis used a very strict definition of the word 'allegory' - after all, one of his most important academic books was a study of this subject. He wrote to some Maryland fifth graders in 1954:

'I did not say to myself 'Let us represent Jesus as He really is in our world by a Lion in Narnia'; I said 'Let us suppose that there were a land like Narnia and that the Son of God, as he became a Man in our world, became a Lion there, and then imagine what would happen'.

James Powell

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ASL
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quote:
Originally posted by mrs.hi-c sucks at geometry:
I recognized it in the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. However, I wasn't sure if it was an intent of C.S. Lewis.

Them parochial schools tend to tell ya a lot of B.S. [Smile]

My parents tried to raise me Catholic, but I went to public schools and also became a devout agnostic. Even I picked that up. It's not the parochial schools brainwashing you (this time at least).

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