Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

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

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Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby greenbird37 » Nov 24, 2009 10:15 pm

I have been meaning to ask this for a while, but finally got up the nerve. I noticed that most of the members here are Christian, due to the Christian themes in the books, but is it possible for a person of another faith to love Narnia without being Christian? I am not putting down any particular faith or denomination, but I was just curious. I am of another faith and love Narnia and love the message it sends, but I'm not Christian. Would love your comments! :)
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby daughter of the King » Nov 25, 2009 9:21 am

I'm not sure I'm understanding your question correctly. Are you asking if it is possible to be a fan of Narnia without being a Christian? If so, the answer is yes, it most certainly is possible to love Narnia without being a Christian. I think that to fully appreciate Narnia the reader would have to know where C.S.Lewis is coming from and understand and know Christianity for himself/herself, but that doesn't mean only Christians enjoy Narnia. The mark of a good writer is being able to appeal to everyone without changing his own personal beliefs and convictions in the writing.
I think that's my main problem with the movies, in order to appeal to the nonChristian audience, some elements were taken out. However, I think it was unnecessary to do so. NonChristians and Christians both read Narnia. In the same way, I think both nonChristians and Christians watch the movies, and would watch the movies if the elements were not taken out.
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby greenbird37 » Nov 25, 2009 10:50 pm

I was just wondering because I am not christian, but most religious discussions are about Christanity and Narnia, but I guess to each is own. I love how C.S. Lewis made us see Narnia in all aspects and to love it in every way. :)
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 28, 2009 1:36 am

I agree. Although Christian themes do matter in Narnia, it is still a series of children's tales that are still considered enjoyable and relevant. I have seen online Muslim commentators saying how much they enjoyed the Narnia series. Much of the worry that happens about the Narnia series is because of atheistic critcs like Phillip Pullman who dislike the Narnia series intensely for various reasons, like the possibility they would offend Non-Christians.

On our old site we had a debate about this which involved Dr Devin Brown. If you can, please get a hold of this debate and read it through. If you have any difficulties with the series due to being of a Non-Christian faith please let us know what they are, as this would be a topic which really needs to be discussed.
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby Gandalfs Beard » Nov 28, 2009 4:01 pm

Not only can non-Christians (such as myself) be fans of Narnia; we can also find non-Christian (more broadly Universal, and Pagan) themes, characters, and imagery in Narnia as well as clearly Christian themes. When Lewis wrote his books, he intended them for a broader audience, and for people to simply see them as a "Fairy Story" if they wished.

Yet those who chose to look deeper will find layers of meaning applicable to Spiritual and Moral practice, and to deeper and older Literary and Mythic traditions. I'm always fond of pointing out that the Wiccan author Starhawk credits Lewis with awakening her to a "Magical" world-view. There really is something in Narnia for everyone. And Hardcore Atheists like Pullman are really missing the boat when they attack Lewis's Narnia books.

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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby coracle » Nov 28, 2009 7:25 pm

Lewis built in a lot of Christian themes, but he did not intend it to be a sort of Sunday School textbook for children from church families.

He intended them to be good stories, with lots of ideas and feelings that would inspire and encourage children - and perhaps also show them something about who Jesus is, and what it is like to be his follower. They are a bit like a first step towards knowing God through Jesus.

But they are also great stories that stand alone, give us a sense of adventure, personal growth, responsibility and transformation.

I am glad that people who aren't Christians enjoy them. (It wouldn't surprise me if people from other religious backgrounds saw some different things in the stories than those I see, although I hope these are positive ones.)
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby greenbird37 » Nov 28, 2009 10:15 pm

I must point out that I am of the Islamic faith, but was a little hesitant to say anything, just wanted to see the different comments that would be posted. I was a little scared to say anything(I know sounds crazy). I just love the stories and the way it is written and it is very enjoyable to me and different. I saw LWW first and decided to read the book and along came the others.

Its good to see that people from different faiths share their own views of these beautiful stories. :)
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Nov 29, 2009 6:39 pm

I think the great part about the Chronicles is that they can appeal to people of different faiths. If the reader wants to see the Christian elements and search for ties to Christianity, the reader can. However, one does not have to be Christian to appreciate the Chronicles. There are plenty of lessons / themes that apply to everyone.
waggawerewolf27 wrote:On our old site we had a debate about this which involved Dr Devin Brown. If you can, please get a hold of this debate and read it through. If you have any difficulties with the series due to being of a Non-Christian faith please let us know what they are, as this would be a topic which really needs to be discussed.
I agree with this. I’ve put the links for the article by Dr. Brown below as well as the links for our discussion. I’d be really interested, greenbird37, (or anyone else of the Islamic faith), in hearing your opinions about the Chronicles and whether or not they are racist / unfair to people of other faiths. Please do not feel that you have to state your opinion. I don’t want to put you on the spot.
http://www.narniaweb.com/resources-link ... nd-racist/
http://209.210.60.109/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=39
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby greenbird37 » Nov 29, 2009 9:57 pm

I will read it through and let you know...looks interesting. :)
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby KenDhe » Dec 02, 2009 7:55 pm

greenbird37 wrote:I must point out that I am of the Islamic faith, but was a little hesitant to say anything, just wanted to see the different comments that would be posted. I was a little scared to say anything(I know sounds crazy). I just love the stories and the way it is written and it is very enjoyable to me and different. I saw LWW first and decided to read the book and along came the others.

Its good to see that people from different faiths share their own views of these beautiful stories. :)


There is significantly more depth to the Chronicles than its Christian themes. C.S. Lewis was a devout Christian, but he drew from myriad sources. The Christian themes are actually not the most significant, just the most easily recognizable. If you want to understand the Narnia universe better I would suggest an excellent book by Michael Ward called "Planet Narnia". The book peels back the layers and exposes you to more of what Lewis was thinking when he wrote the books.
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby greenbird37 » Dec 02, 2009 9:15 pm

Thank you so much, I will check it out. :)
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby Gandalfs Beard » Dec 02, 2009 9:26 pm

I have to agree with KenDhe :D . Dr Michael Ward's Planet Narnia is a great book that explores some of the themes and imagery of Classical (Greek/Roman) Pagan thought that form a lot of the basis for Narnia.

It should be noted though, that these concepts were part of a Medieval Syncretism of Christian and Pagan ideas and images, something CS Lewis explores himself in his own excellent book The Discarded Image. Dr Ward is himself an Anglican Minister as well as an Oxford professor.

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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby Larien » Jan 15, 2010 3:50 pm

daughter of the King wrote:It most certainly is possible to love Narnia without being a Christian. I think that to fully appreciate Narnia the reader would have to know where C.S.Lewis is coming from and understand and know Christianity for himself/herself, but that doesn't mean only Christians enjoy Narnia. The mark of a good writer is being able to appeal to everyone without changing his own personal beliefs and convictions in the writing.


I really agree here. Although CS Lewis was a Christian and wrote the books from a Christian point of view, that doesn't mean that non-Christians can't enjoy them. Aside from the Christian themes in the books, there are a lot of elements that are simply good moral principles - good vs. evil, right vs, wrong, courage, loyalty, and faith. As a Christian, I understand these concepts in the light of my faith; but others of different beliefs can still enjoy the stories and recognize these values. Although a large percentage of Narnia fans are Christian, that does not by any means exclude people from other faiths from enjoying the books and movies.
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby Aravis Narnia » Jan 15, 2010 4:34 pm

I think it is possible. I do not think it is offensive to people of other faiths. It does imply (if not downright state) that there IS a higher power and an afterlife- so if you do not believe in either, there will be cognitive dissonance. However, Aslan does state that good things done in the name of another deity do count. Regardless of your specific beliefs, this seems to be very welcoming of people of all kinds of faiths.

Personally, I think that people who do not like fantasy and who stick to the more realistic genres will have a harder time enjoying Narnia than people who do not practice Christianity.

I will agree that Narnia does make Christianity sound very appealing.
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby HighQueenofNarnia » Feb 07, 2010 10:07 pm

I would be disappointed if C.S. Lewis had been so narrow-minded as to write his books only for Christians. Although there is an overall allegorical allusion to Christianity (Aslan, Edmund, the White Witch, Eustace, Aslan's Country, etc.) the books can be read as just an adventure. So yes, greenbird37, you can rest (at least with my assurance) assured that you can read the books and not feel like you have to read for Christian themes.
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Re: Loving Narnia of another faith...besides Christianity

Postby Varnafinde » Feb 11, 2010 1:11 pm

A friend of mine says that he hadn't even noticed the Christian themes in Narnia before he became a Christian. He had loved the books just as stories.

After he became a Christian, though, he recognized a lot of things he hadn't noticed before. (He hadn't had NarniaWeb to point them out to him ;) )
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