Christian Themes in The Last Battle

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

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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 18, 2009 12:58 pm

Yes, the Dwarves hurt both sides, having no allegiances except to themselves. But they hurt themselves as well. Being so determined not to be taken in, they cannot be taken out of their circumstances.

What puzzles me about the Dwarves is the little initial resistance they made to the Calormenes. Poggin had overheard Rishda Tarkaan talking to Shift and Ginger, so had a fair idea that it wasn't Aslan in the stable. But hadn't other dwarves also figured that out even before Tirian came along with Puzzle? Or did the dwarves see no difference between their lives in Narnia and captivity under the Calormenes?

There is another thing too. Why was Tirian, himself, so easily taken in at first by the Aslan deception? And why did he allow himself to be captured by the Calormenes?
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 18, 2009 6:06 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Or did the dwarves see no difference between their lives in Narnia and captivity under the Calormenes?
Interesting question. The Dwarfs' reaction to Tirian may reflect their captivity, their jadedness. But it may also show their initial dissatisfaction with their lives in Narnia. We don't really see what Narnia is like--politically, religiously [etc]--before Shift's deception and arrival of the Calormenes. Maybe internally Narnia was falling apart. That may have made Shift's deception easier. But I think Tirian's frequent escapes to the forest aren't good leadership either. :(

wagga wrote:Why was Tirian, himself, so easily taken in at first by the Aslan deception?
He'd never seen a lion, talking or dumb. He'd never seen Aslan. He should have known better than to believe drastic changes in Aslan's character since he was familiar with the stories, but I noted earlier that none of the Narnians at this point have ever seen Aslan for himself, like in PC. But in the other book many Narnians are still loyal to Aslan and willing to fight for him. They're not slaves either. In LB, however, the situation is totally different. It's the end. :(

wagga wrote:And why did he allow himself to be captured by the Calormenes?
Tirian's sense of duty [which seems misplaced here]. He didn't know what was going on, not really, and felt led to return to the Calormenes and give himself up for what he thought was basically murder. :(
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 19, 2009 2:35 pm

I'd agree that Tirian must have spent rather too much time away from his own people. Not only was Tirian spending too much time in forest retreats but also he tells Jill and Eustace that he has disguised himself and gone to Calormen to spy out their land, keeping armour and weapons for the purpose. Tirian has even visited Tashbaan on formal occasions as well, for he has seen a statue of Tash and can instantly recognise its foul many-armed birdlike form as it sweeps northward into Narnia.

Meanwhile, the Calormenes have been spying on Narnia somewhat more effectively. Even when Tirian does find out about the Calormene activities it looks like they have been going on for some time. Perhaps the Calormene presence in Narnia had been an insidious thing for some time, growing in strength. Didn't Tirian's father die somewhat prematurely, whilst fighting a war against the Giants of the North? Perhaps it is because of that earlier war that there had been some genuine shortages of food etc, causing discontent?
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 19, 2009 9:07 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Not only was Tirian spending too much time in forest retreats but also he tells Jill and Eustace that he has disguised himself and gone to Calormen to spy out their land, keeping armour and weapons for the purpose. Tirian has even visited Tashbaan on formal occasions as well, for he has seen a statue of Tash and can instantly recognise its foul many-armed birdlike form as it sweeps northward into Narnia.
How did I forget about this? :ymblushing: Thanks for the reminder. :) Of course, it just makes me wonder more about what Narnia was like before Shift's deception, before the opening chapter. To me it's like a missing puzzle piece. :-s And why does Tirian seem to know more about Calormen than the country where he was born and reared and which he now rules? /:) Of course, he needs to know the enemy and their culture in order to fight them and guard Narnia. And the knowledge he gains comes in handy more than once. But still, that doesn't mean Tirian should neglect the homeland. /:)

I'm beginning to see a parallel between LB Narnia and modern Britain. The Christian missionaries who left Britain for lands colonial and free in the 19th and early 20th centuries left a nation that was religiously falling apart. These missionaries successfully spread the gospel to other lands and planted the seeds of now-thriving indigenous churches. But in the process, the mission boards and/or home churches neglected the religious and cultural situation of their own country. The 21st-century result seems like a Narnia facing the end. :((
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 20, 2009 1:34 pm

I wouldn't have taken the same view of missionary activities of the late 19th century and 20th century, unfortunately. However well-meaning the original ideas were, the Aboriginal 'stolen children', the genocide of the Tasmanian Aborigines, the treatment of other native peoples, the racism involved in colonialism in general, the troubles of Northern Ireland, and the poor UK children sent out to 'the colonies' are still blots on how the church has conducted itself during that time. Maybe the church, itself, conducted itself then somewhat more like the ethos of Calormen than the ethos of Narnia. :(

Meanwhile, Londonistan is doing fine, I see. :p To ensure the place doesn't fall apart there are charities like the Red Cross, Trinity Hospice, and the Salahuddin Mosque, the last one leaving tins at shops to bring aid to people in the Middle East, whilst their co-religionists in UK beg for food in the middle of Ramadan.

Actually there is a certain logic to Shift selling out his fellow Narnians. Here we have an ape claiming to be a man, but in HHB, we had Ahoshta, a man whom Aravis described as looking more like an ape. I wonder how did Shift get into contact with Rishda Tarkaan? Was he in Narnia already? Or did Shift travel to Tashbaan and see there a picture of Ahoshta? That is another missing piece of the puzzle.
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 20, 2009 3:08 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:I wouldn't have taken the same view of missionary activities of the late 19th century and 20th century, unfortunately. However well-meaning the original ideas were, the Aboriginal 'stolen children', the genocide of the Tasmanian Aborigines, the treatment of other native peoples, the racism involved in colonialism in general, the troubles of Northern Ireland, and the poor UK children sent out to 'the colonies' are still blots on how the church has conducted itself during that time. Maybe the church, itself, conducted itself then somewhat more like the ethos of Calormen than the ethos of Narnia. :(
First, I just want to say that I also don't approve of the things you listed. Missionaries weren't perfect, far from it. However, what churches are you talking about? They didn't believe the same things or act the same ways during this time period. Denomination / organization is critical. ;) Those like the Salvation Army, the Baptists, and various non-denominational missionary groups were much more likely to show compassion for potential converts than not. Some missionaries were pro-colonial and some were not. Some respected the indigenous cultures they worked in and some did not. Missionary/church theologies also influenced who they were and what they did. ETC. Neither of us can make blanket statements about missionaries and their work in the 19th and 20th centuries. ;) But I would still not compare them to Calormen. /:) Missionary work on the whole was God's method of spreading the gospel to the far corners of the globe. :)

wagga wrote:Meanwhile, Londonistan is doing fine, I see. :p To ensure the place doesn't fall apart there are charities like the Red Cross, Trinity Hospice, and the Salahuddin Mosque, the last one leaving tins at shops to bring aid to people in the Middle East, whilst their co-religionists in UK beg for food in the middle of Ramadan.
Londonistan? This is my problem with modern Britain. They used to be the most Christian nation in Europe. They sent the most missionaries. But that isn't true anymore, is it? Formal Christianity in Britain is dying. :(( Although at one point the US passed them up in both areas, now look at the US! :(

wagga wrote:I wonder how did Shift get into contact with Rishda Tarkaan? Was he in Narnia already? Or did Shift travel to Tashbaan and see there a picture of Ahoshta? That is another missing piece of the puzzle.
Good questions but like you said a missing puzzle piece = no answer... :(
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby Shadowlander » Oct 20, 2009 5:02 pm

www wrote:I wonder how did Shift get into contact with Rishda Tarkaan? Was he in Narnia already? Or did Shift travel to Tashbaan and see there a picture of Ahoshta? That is another missing piece of the puzzle.


As I recall the book states that it wasn't uncommon for Calormene merchants to visit Narnia on a daily basis. Given the Calormene's ancient desire to conquer Narnia and Archenland it wouldn't surprise me if they'd slipped in a few spies on a regular basis to look things over and see if there were any weaknesses they could exploit. Really not that different from what happens today with the CIA or what not. I'm sure Rishda Tarkaan happened to either be on such a foray into Narnia (disguised as a merchant) or was summoned there later by spies who reported the Shift fiasco to him as a possible weakness within Narnia that could be exploited. This was the impression I got from the book and a few character's statements corroborate what I just wrote above.

I think you two might be looking into it a little bit deeply. ;)
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 20, 2009 6:04 pm

Thanks for the info and perspective, Shadow! :) So we're over-thinkin', eh? ;)
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby Shadowlander » Oct 20, 2009 6:54 pm

I think so. ;)
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby lostin1800 » Nov 01, 2009 5:55 am

I live in the UK and it is so true and so sad :((
It is actually harder to be a Christian here in some ways.
I can also see paralles in LB and the entire world.

There were alot of things wrong in the past, yet the past still had some values in thier societies which I feel has practically died in todays world so its somewhat worse but in a subtle way-some times.
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby littlgriz » Dec 30, 2009 4:33 am

i a gree with that iv bin in the uk 4 years nowe
hi thanks fore riting me
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby TheGeneral » Jan 01, 2010 9:20 pm

I think the best thing TLB does is show life after death in a positive way. Growing up I always dreaded dying. I was told all my life that heaven was a good place, but that didn't satisfy me. My views on heaven were all twisted. This book, along with other events in my life of course, helped me look forward to heaven. I firmly believe there are gonna be a lot of wild adventures. ;)
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Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby Shadowlander » Jan 04, 2010 3:40 am

lostin1800 wrote:There were alot of things wrong in the past, yet the past still had some values in thier societies which I feel has practically died in todays world so its somewhat worse but in a subtle way-some times.


I agree with you, but also bear in mind that Christianity tends to thrive in duress. As things are now many Christians (and I am fully guilty of this at times) sometimes forget to put Christ at the forefront on a daily basis. When persecution and even the threat of death loom over you for your beliefs that tends to strengthen your faith and ensures you keep your mind focused on Christ at all times. Perhaps this is why Western civilization is experiencing the current decline, so that God will test us and thereby strengthen our stand with Him. Off topic perhaps, and probably better suited to the CRaP thread over in the Spare Oom, but felt I should toss in a quick comment on it. :)
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