So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

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

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So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby D-T » Aug 21, 2011 4:43 pm

I wonder if any of the cast or crew of the films know that this is all about God
and Jesus. I mean when C.S. Lewis wrote the books, he didn't make it very apparent (I will misspell stuff but try to work with me)
anyone have any thoughts?
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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby Ithilwen » Aug 21, 2011 5:09 pm

D-T wrote:I wonder if any of the cast or crew of the films know that this is all about God
and Jesus. I mean when C.S. Lewis wrote the books, he didn't make it very apparent (I will misspell stuff but try to work with me)
anyone have any thoughts?


Welcome to NarniaWeb. :)

I think he made it pretty apparent. A lion who creates worlds, with a nature much like Jesus, who is the Son of a much greater being, dying to save Edmund because of his sin, and defeating evil, and then saying He has another name in our world, and then revealing himself to be "much more than a lion" in the afterlife?

I'm pretty sure everyone knows Narnia is about Christianity. People who are not Christians know this (though some don't acknowledge it). People who don't want to view it that way will simply view it in the way they like. But everyone knows Lewis's intention.


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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Aug 21, 2011 5:33 pm

I would also agree that he made it pretty darn apparent. Of course, several of the Hollywood people know nothing about the Bible, so it wouldn't surprise me that it would kind of blind-sight them. (Which causes them to over correct, which is another discussion entirely :P )
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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby JohnBrownsage » Sep 03, 2011 10:10 am

Actually, the heavy-handed Christianity in the later books (as written -- include The Magician's Nephew here even though chronologically it's the first) is something I don't like at all. C.S. Lewis was of course a devout Christian, but in many ways he had a pagan soul, and it came out in the earlier Narnia books, especially LW&W and Prince Caspian, and to a lesser extent in Dawn Treader. Aslan in the earlier books is a powerfully pagan deity, a kind of solar god or (of course) King of Beasts. Of course Lewis always intended him for a Christ figure, but that was subtle in the earlier books and his personal inclination ruled things more. Later, especially in The Last Battle, it became overt and IMO ruined a lot of the writing.
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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby Lilygloves » Sep 03, 2011 10:25 am

I think that it would be pretty obvious if they read the books, but if they haven't read the books they may not realize how much of an influence Lewis's faith had. But The Chronicles of Narnia are very well known for being "Christian allegories", even though they really aren't allegories.
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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby Ithilwen » Sep 05, 2011 2:02 am

JohnBrownsage wrote:Actually, the heavy-handed Christianity in the later books (as written -- include The Magician's Nephew here even though chronologically it's the first) is something I don't like at all. C.S. Lewis was of course a devout Christian, but in many ways he had a pagan soul, and it came out in the earlier Narnia books, especially LW&W and Prince Caspian, and to a lesser extent in Dawn Treader. Aslan in the earlier books is a powerfully pagan deity, a kind of solar god or (of course) King of Beasts. Of course Lewis always intended him for a Christ figure, but that was subtle in the earlier books and his personal inclination ruled things more. Later, especially in The Last Battle, it became overt and IMO ruined a lot of the writing.


I think the Christian influences are more clear than ever in LWW than most of the other books (VDT being the exception). It's a very overt nod to Christ dying on the cross, the very center of the Christian religion.

And it's not as if the elements of mythology are battling against the Christian themes. I don't see anything that indicates it was the pagan elements vs. the Christian ones inside his head, heart, or works. They're not really contradictory. Lewis never viewed them as contradictory either, and placed one just as freely as the other in almost all of his works throughout the different years of his life.


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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby Aravis Narnia » Oct 04, 2011 6:46 pm

To me, it does not become super apparent till the second book. There are many creation stories out there- so to me, a creation story does not automatically equal Christian allegory.

But in LWW, you bet it is definitely apparent. I was crying my eyes out once I made the connection. Seems familiar? You bet it is.
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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby Dernhelm_of_Rohan » Oct 10, 2011 12:04 pm

In reading the books over and over, I think Lewis wove three layers to the Chronicles.
The first is of course that they are fairy tales, written for beauty, an interesting way of imparting morals, and of course, the sheer longing we all have for a story where good triumphs over evil.
The second layer is that Lewis wrote the seven books in a "tip-of-the-hat" sort of nod to his study of the seven medieval planets, and the gods they represented. (In Lewis' poem The Planets, he describes one planet, Jupiter, as the one who makes "Winter past and guilt forgiven" - the best possible summary of LWW :) )
But the third, and the most important, driving layer, is to showcase what the Christian apologetist's life was already dedicated to: the Gospel of Jesus. Is it hidden? No, not really... After all, Aslan is in our world, too. By another name, of course.
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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby Louloudi the Centaur » Oct 10, 2011 2:20 pm

In response to those saying that Lewis made it obvious of the Christian parallels: I know somebody at my church my age who has read the books and when I asked if they had noticed any biblical similarities, they got a little surprised. I think, in my humble opinion, that it takes more than one read of the books to see the Christian parallels. :)

I remember watching LWW in theaters when I was eight years old with no knowledge of the book whatsoever. Even when Aslan was sacrificed, no thoughts of Jesus dying for our sins came to my mind. I never noticed this until I read the books my mom had many markings of biblical similarities in.

To me Narnia has so much more depth the more you read the books, and you find yourself enjoying the stories so much you don't even think of Christianity the first time you read them. I certainly wouldn't have if I had read my mom's old copies of the series.

This is just my opinion of course. :)
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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby D-T » Oct 13, 2011 5:58 pm

I know what you mean Lou, I have read the LB about 5 times now and everytime I read it I pick up on something new, of course that goes for all the books
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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby scrapbooksoul » Oct 19, 2011 7:57 pm

I think to say the Lewis had a pagan soul goes a bit too far. I think he chose the fairy tale pattern to stay in the traditional fairy tale frame in order to teach morals and then to use these morals to drive kids to Jesus. I think to believe he literally meant kids should get involved with pagan things is a bit too far out there.
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Re: So many people mistake it for another fantasy series

Postby hansgeorg » Mar 28, 2012 7:51 am

D-T wrote:I wonder if any of the cast or crew of the films know that this is all about God and Jesus.


If BBC crew (well, hopefully not the composer, but some of them) and part of cast felt a need to shamefully ridicule the puppet they made for Aslan (as with all talking animals), it pretty obviously is because they were atheists and they knew what Narnia was really about.

Now, the newest production has Douglas Gresham along, CSL's stepson, and somehow they would not know?

JohnBrownsage wrote:Of course Lewis always intended him for a Christ figure, but that was subtle in the earlier books and his personal inclination ruled things more. Later, especially in The Last Battle, it became overt and IMO ruined a lot of the writing.


CSL is doing pretty much what he wants in both MN and LB.

In LB we have Emeth, in spite of at least one Church saying outside it there is no salvation (Council of Florence). Also Heaven - Aslan's Country - including the Platonic archetype for every country there ever was to be happy in, whether Narnia or England, not just Jerusalem.

In MN we have talking animals created in such a way as to individually have been before non-talking animals. Why? Because CSL had been trying to fit in Adam's special creation with Darwinism (see further The Problem of Pain), which as such is no Christian doctrine at all. Also on conditions indicating creatures rational could be bereft of rationality (which happened to Ginger in LB), which is not a Christian doctrine either.

And as for Aslan's being a Christ figure being more subtle in the earlier books? What about the Stone Table, how subtle is that?

Dernhelm_of_Rohan wrote:The second layer is that Lewis wrote the seven books in a "tip-of-the-hat" sort of nod to his study of the seven medieval planets, and the gods they represented. (In Lewis' poem The Planets, he describes one planet, Jupiter, as the one who makes "Winter past and guilt forgiven" - the best possible summary of LWW :) )


Been reading "Planet Narnia" have you?

I am not quite convinced. At least not about the systematic take on it.

scrapbooksoul wrote:I think to say the Lewis had a pagan soul goes a bit too far. I think he chose the fairy tale pattern to stay in the traditional fairy tale frame in order to teach morals and then to use these morals to drive kids to Jesus. I think to believe he literally meant kids should get involved with pagan things is a bit too far out there.


Not if the pagan things are sufficiently Christianised. And in CSL they are not pagan as pagan-as-such. The way you say he wrote the books as what you think he did, he specifically denied himself. He said himself he could not write for a calculated effect.

More on theme of pagan things sufficiently Christianised:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=801
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