The Trinity in Narnia

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

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The Trinity in Narnia

Postby Ithilwen » Oct 18, 2010 12:40 am

C.S. Lewis in HHB wrote:"Who are you?" asked Shasta.
"Myself," said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again "Myself," loud and clear and gay: and then the third time "Myself," whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all round you as if the leaves rustled with it.


It's an interesting quote, isn't it? Three different voices, all belonging to Aslan.

Here's a discussion on C.S. Lewis, Narnia, and the Trinity. Did C.S. Lewis believe in the Trinity, and if so, did he put elements in his book referring to it? Were passages in the books -- such as the one I just stated -- a reference to the Trinity? And if so, how many of these references are there?

In my opnion, that passage is a reference to the Trinity. The first voice is deep and powerful and earth-shaking, representing God who (especially in the Old Testament) poured out his wrath on those who were disobedient. The second, a more cheerful voice, could be the Son who showed kindness toward us and took our place for Punishment. And the third, like the wind, could be the Holy Spirit, like the small quiet voice God uses to speak to us.

Discuss! :D


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Re: The Trinity in Narnia

Postby Valiant » Oct 18, 2010 4:10 pm

I believe it is reference to the trinity as well. I'm not sure denomination of Christianity Lewis belonged to (was it The Church of Ireland?) However I think most Christians believe in the Trinity (I might be wrong.) So if Lewis agreed with his religion I would expect he believed in the Trinity.

I don't know if Aslan by himself is the Trinity. The Emperor over the Sea has been mentioned as Aslan's father suggesting that he is God the Father. In that case maybe Aslan is suggesting that he belongs to the Trinity but doesn't make isn't the whole Trinity himself. In anycase I do believe it is reference to the Holy Trinity. :)

Does anyone else have any other theories?
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Re: The Trinity in Narnia

Postby Ithilwen » Oct 19, 2010 4:56 pm

Valiant wrote:I'm not sure denomination of Christianity Lewis belonged to (was it The Church of Ireland?) However I think most Christians believe in the Trinity (I might be wrong.) So if Lewis agreed with his religion I would expect he believed in the Trinity.


Wasn't he Anglican? :-\ I'm not sure what they believe. Does anyone know of any references Lewis made to the Trinity in his religious writings?


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Re: The Trinity in Narnia

Postby Valiant » Oct 19, 2010 7:00 pm

^^ Argg..I can't believe I don't know this. Let me wiki it......


It says he was Baptised into the Church of Ireland. However after his fall away from Christianity and eventual return he joined the Church of England. (But this is Wikipedia, so it might be wrong.)

Yes, I think the Church of England believes in the Trinity. I'm not sure about Lewis personally, but I would assume he would follow such teachings and believe in them.

I did read somewhere that the triple 'I am' is in reference to the Trinity...I forgot where though.
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Re: The Trinity in Narnia

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 20, 2010 3:15 am

Yes the three 'I am's' of Aslan on the mountain when he talked to Shasta was in reference to the Trinity.

Valiant wrote:Yes, I think the Church of England believes in the Trinity. I'm not sure about Lewis personally, but I would assume he would follow such teachings and believe in them.


Of course C.S.Lewis would have believed in the Holy Trinity. As an Anglican myself, I can tell you there is a relationship between the Church of England, the Church of Scotland and the Church of Ireland. The Church of Scotland, known elsewhere as the Presbyterian church, doesn't go in much for bishops and things. Ditto the Church of Ireland. Whereas the Church of England, including its Evangelical or Low Church arm, has the whole career structure, as is also the case in the Catholic Catholic and Orthodox churches. The highest churchman in the Anglican church is the Archbishop of Canterbury (UK) and the head of the church is Queen Elizabeth II. Apart from arguing about head honchos and other organisational matters they all profess the same faith and have similar orders of service.

Do you recite the Nicaean Creed if you attend church? This creed was formulated at the first Council of Nicaea, convened in Bithynia in 325 AD by Constantine 1 the Great. It was where the basic tenets of most Christian faiths were hammered out. The Nicaean creed which we recite at Holy Communion goes like this:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen
.

When being prepared for confirmation I needed to learn all this, the answers to a catechism and the Lords Prayer. This is what I profess and believe. I hope that answers your question.

PS I have had to edit this post several times due to noticing typos & bad spelling. I think bad spelling would be disrespectful to the Nicaean creed.
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Re: The Trinity in Narnia

Postby Valiant » Oct 24, 2010 1:04 pm

^ I didn't want to sounds so sure about myself because I don't know too much about the Anglican Church. Thanks for clarifying. :)
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Re: The Trinity in Narnia

Postby Lirenel » Dec 09, 2010 10:20 pm

Lewis was definitely Anglican - it was one of the points of contention between him and Tolkien who wanted him to become Roman Catholic. And the Anglican church - at least at that time - was definitely Trinitarian (I don't know really anything about the present-day Anglican church, so Anglicans on the board will have to speak to that). Actually, just a few decades before Lewis's time, the Anglican church was in talks with the Orthodox Church about the possible reintegration of the Anglican church into Orthodoxy, which shows you how traditionally Christian they were then (they would have had to drop that the Holy Spirit proceeds 'from the Son' from the Nicene Creed, though. Ah, the filioque: such a little word and caused so much trouble).

Anyway, I don't have quotes on me, but I'm almost positive Lewis believed in the Trinity. As for how the Trinity is portrayed in Narnia, I find the HHB quote very intriguing. To me, the fact that Aslan is separate from the Emperor Over the Sea, and yet also inextricably linked to all three voices, shows a belief that Christ is "of one essence" with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but also a distinct Person - the great paradox of the Trinity. There's unfortunately not a great presence of a type of Holy Spirit in the Chronicles, unless you count Aslan's breath, but that's more common in Western theology, so understandable (and we're back to the filioque).

And wow, that's probably reading waaay too deep into the theology of Narnia. Apologies in advance if it all makes no sense, because it's late and I'm ignoring my last take-home test.
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Re: The Trinity in Narnia

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Dec 13, 2010 12:46 am

Hmm... I never thought of that scene as being the Narnian 'Trinity' but The Chronicles of Narnia definitely convey the three persons of God in one. Most of the books illustrate the person of Jesus, others the person of God, while The Horse and His Boy illustrates the nature of the Holy Spirit.
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Re: The Trinity in Narnia

Postby Ithilwen » Dec 13, 2010 1:17 am

Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:The Horse and His Boy illustrates the nature of the Holy Spirit.


Which parts in HHB? :-\ :)


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Re: The Trinity in Narnia

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Dec 13, 2010 8:13 am

Where Aslan is heard and felt rather than seen (much of the book). It's really the equivalent of how God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, in the background of our lives.
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