Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Join us during the next several weeks as we examine seven points of discussion from 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' by Dr. Devin Brown.

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Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Postby Tirian » Nov 19, 2010 5:21 pm

Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name:
What Happens to Edmund and Lucy After They Are Back in England?


Just before his transformation into a lion, the lamb tells Lucy, “For you the door into Aslan’s country is from your own world.” Now in his lion form, Aslan further explains, “I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river.” The river Aslan refers to is physical death, a requirement for all creatures except Reepicheep and those who are present at the end of time.

Next, as he did with Peter and Susan previously, Aslan explains to Edmund and Lucy that they are too old to return to Narnia. In response to Lucy’s sobs, Aslan promises that they will meet him in their world though under a different name. He concludes, “This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

In The Last Battle, Edmund, Lucy, and the others will be killed in a railway accident without even knowing it and will pass over the river of death to Aslan’s Country where they will be allowed to remain for good. For them the waiting will not be too long, for according to Lewis’s notes, around seven years of English time will pass between this scene when Edmund and Lucy are sent back to England and the episode in The Last Battle when they return to Aslan’s Country to stay.

Lewis never tells us directly how or to what extent Edmund and Lucy get to know Aslan better in England during this time. In The Last Battle Eustace will explain to Tirian that during those seven years. the friends of Narnia—Professor Kirk, Polly, Peter, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, and Jill—get together to “have a good jaw about Narnia,” but Lewis chooses not to say anything explicitly about the Pevensies’ Christian faith. Perhaps Aslan would tell the curious reader who wants to know to what extent they got to know Aslan by his other name the same thing he tells Lucy when she wants to know if Eustace will return: “Child, do you really need to know that?”

Having said this, Lewis may have provided us with a hint. It will be seven years before we see Lucy again. When she and her siblings arrive at the stable in The Last Battle, Lucy’s very first words will be the only direct reference to Christianity found the Chronicles. She will point out, “In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.” In Lucy’s statement which alludes to the story of Christ’s birth, we can see her belief that in the Bethlehem stable the truly divine truly came to dwell among us.

Following Lucy’s words about the stable the Bethlehem, Lewis reveals a bit about what led to them. The narrator states: “It was the first time she had spoken, and from the thrill in her voice, Tirian now knew why. She was drinking everything in even more deeply than the others. She had been too happy to speak.” Exactly what realization Lucy has had is left unspoken except for her words about the stable. Readers are left to ponder what put this thrill in her voice and made Lucy too happy to speak.

Questions for Discussion:

1. What, if anything, do you think Lewis implies about what happens to Edmund’s and Lucy’s relationship to Aslan after they return to our world?

2. Beyond the what Lewis may be suggesting, what do you think happens in regards to Edmund’s and Lucy’s coming to know Aslan in our world?

3. Aslan tells the children that he is present in their world as well and then adds, “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name.” Given the story of Emeth, does Lewis suggest what name this might be?
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Re: Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Postby Elvenhelm » Nov 19, 2010 8:48 pm

I'm sure there are people here a lot more clever than me who will comment on this, but I'd just like to commend the board moderators for hosting such interesting discussions and keeping the topics very close to the spiritual meaning of the books.
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Re: Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Postby skilletfreak291 » Nov 20, 2010 1:23 pm

1.they remember aslan's words ' I'm with u until the end of the world'
2. aslan said that He would Never forsake them (heb.13:5). For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
3.Romans 10:14: "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" (TNIV). This is consistent with Paul's doctrine that though God is already with the pagans, they still need to see him revealed. Lewis, however, replied with 1 Corinthians 1:12-13: "One of you says, 'I follow Paul'; another, 'I follow Apollos'; another, 'I follow Cephas'; still another, 'I follow Christ.' -- Is Christ divided?", which he interpreted as indicating the sameness of God regardless of his context.sorry that's the third answer to this......so sorry! i tried!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Postby Pepper Darcy » Nov 20, 2010 3:06 pm

1. What, if anything, do you think Lewis implies about what happens to Edmund’s and Lucy’s relationship to Aslan after they return to our world?

If anything, it only deepens, which Aslan obviously indended for it to do.

2. Beyond the what Lewis may be suggesting, what do you think happens in regards to Edmund’s and Lucy’s coming to know Aslan in our world?

They must find out 'who' he really is in our world and they become Believers.

3. Aslan tells the children that he is present in their world as well and then adds, “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name.” Given the story of Emeth, does Lewis suggest what name this might be?

I'm actually not sure what Emeth's story has to do with this, but I think everyone always (and I do as well) assume that it's Christ/the Father. Lewis was possibly, probably pointing the readers who Aslan was representing that way readers would see and understand (if by chance they didn't get it before) that Aslan is representing God in the stories, his role is the same. But that would be really hard to miss if you've read LWW =D
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Re: Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Postby Under_the_Palmtree » Nov 20, 2010 3:23 pm

1. I think Ed, and especially Lucy, seek out Aslan in his earthly form, which Lucy hinted at finding, which is Jesus. They love Aslan and want to be with him. “… by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” Lucy has always believed in Aslan and has always been the one to trust in him, even when others did not. This would lead me to believe that Lucy would take Aslan at his word and seek him out here, in his earthly form of Jesus, God Incarnate. When it talks about the “friends of Narnia” talking about Narnia in the Last Battle, they probably had discussions about Aslan and his form both there and here.

2. I do think that they found Him. They enter into Aslan’s country, the equivalent of Heaven, and get to see all the faithful, such as Mr. Tumnus, and get to see their parents. These two characters are both from separate worlds (Narnia and Earth, respectively) which would show that the Heaven God made for Christians would be the equivalent of Aslan’s country. I believe they entered not only because of their faithfulness towards Aslan/Jesus in Narnia but also in this world. :)


3. I think Emeth’s story is similar to the criminal on the cross that accepted Jesus and joined him that day in paradise (Luke 23:43 NIV).
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Re: Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Postby Ithilwen » Nov 23, 2010 3:07 am

1. What, if anything, do you think Lewis implies about what happens to Edmund’s and Lucy’s relationship to Aslan after they return to our world?
Well, the fact that they get to Aslan's Country (Heaven) when they die shows they became Christians.

2. Beyond the what Lewis may be suggesting, what do you think happens in regards to Edmund’s and Lucy’s coming to know Aslan in our world?
I'm sure their love for Aslan was a drive to find them in our world, and they searched until they found Christianity.

3. Aslan tells the children that he is present in their world as well and then adds, “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name.” Given the story of Emeth, does Lewis suggest what name this might be?
Aslan is supposed to be Jesus Christ. I think the issue with Emeth can be resolved if we consider the possibility that Emeth may have actually been worshipping Aslan in his heart, and just got the name confused with Tash's. Aslan probably revealed himself to Emeth, and Emeth accepted (perhaps as a child or when he was younger). Then asking his parents about it, his parents, being Calormenes, would have convinced him it was Tash.


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Re: Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Postby DOECOG » Nov 25, 2010 8:36 pm

1. The fact that they’re in the Real Narnia at the end of LB and they still meet to discuss Narnia says a lot. I think they’re relationship with Aslan only gets stronger while they are in our world.

2. Aslan already told Lucy what would happen.
Every year you grow you will find me bigger (Prince Caspian: Chapter 10).

Edmund’s and Lucy’s relationship with Aslan began when they were children and as time when by they learned his other name and their relationship grew as they gained a better understanding of who he is.

3. I think Lewis tries show his readers we are all searching for thing and we all have this spiritual need that only one person can fill. Given what we know about Aslan and how he sacrificed himself to save a sinner, how he came at Christmas time, how he was present at creation, and how he is the son of the Emperor it quite clear who he is in our world.
In the case of Emeth I think he was always searching for the person the Narnians knew as Aslan, but he was told Tash was that person. Emeth was searching for someone good, honorable, true, etc. and he thought Tash was that person, but later learned Tash was only an imposter and Aslan was who he was searching for. What Emeth had wrong was the name not the characteristics of that person.
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Re: Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Postby Galadrielle » Nov 27, 2010 12:27 pm

1. What, if anything, do you think Lewis implies about what happens to Edmund’s and Lucy’s relationship to Aslan after they return to our world?

I think Lucy’s relationship to Aslan is constantly deepening. We see this in The Horse and his Boy, in which she is in her twenties, and we see this in Prince Caspian in which Aslan calls her a Lioness. The only thing that Lucy can do is to completely give herself over to Him by becoming His consort: that is, as I have mentioned before, by becoming a nun. I can imagine Sister Lucy bringing joy where there is sorrow, and intense joy where there is joy. I can imagine her presence to be a very healing and cheering presence, and she would be the very sort of friend I would like to have near me should an emergency befall me.

The reason why I don’t think Lucy would make a good pastor is because I don’t think she would be happy with the unpleasant behind-the-scenes office work in which she would be dealing with paper, rather than people. I also think that a leadership position would be too nasty for Lucy because she might have to be forced into a position in which she may have to reprimand unkind people.

On the other hand, I think Edmund would make an excellent pastor because, like St. Paul and St. Mary Magdalene, he knows what it is like to be bad before Aslan has transformed his life. As a child, he used to bully Lucy and the kids at school and the neighborhood kids. The first girl to whom he had taken a fancy was Jadis, to whom he betrayed his family just so he could impress her. Yet once he gave himself over to Aslan completely, he became King Edmund the Just. He disarms Jadis in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by breaking her wand, thus indicating that Aslan has given him the gift of wisdom. I could see Father Edmund counseling or leading a Bible Study with compassion and extreme skill. With the qualities Lewis has given him, I think he could make an excellent bishop, and possibly a Pope or Archbishop of Canterbury.




2. Beyond the what Lewis may be suggesting, what do you think happens in regards to Edmund’s and Lucy’s coming to know Aslan in our world?

As I mentioned before, I think Aslan has cut out Edmund’s and Lucy’s work. If Lucy is to become a nun, then she must start in Cambridge by helping her aunt, uncle, cousin, and neighbors and any person and any animal who needs her loving attention. Edmund is sharp already, and very wise, but he must temper his wisdom with compassion, especially towards Eustace, Harold, Alberta, and others with whom he may not always agree. I think he might succumb to the sin of pride, for which he must constantly come running back to Jesus/Aslan for forgiveness.



3. Aslan tells the children that he is present in their world as well and then adds, “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name.” Given the story of Emeth, does Lewis suggest what name this might be?

When I was a damsel reading the Chronicles for the very first time, I suspected right away that Aslan’s other name by which He expects Lucy to know Him is Jesus.

However, I did have some difficulty with comparing Aslan/Jesus to Emeth’s story. Emeth did not worship Aslan before going to Aslan’s Country because Aslan was presented to him as evil, whereas Tash was presented as good. Yet all the good Emeth did in Tash’s name was really in that of Aslan, which was really in that of Jesus. Emeth worshipped Tash because he did not know any better. Both Lucy and Edmund knew of Jesus before going to Narnia and meeting Aslan. I assume Lucy, even at her young age at the beginning of Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe, worshipped Jesus.
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Re: Week 5: Knowing Aslan by Another Name

Postby StarAsterisk » Jan 11, 2011 8:10 am

1. I Think he implies that they need not be sad because the relationship will continue to grow. Even though they may not be able to actually SEE him doesn't mean that the relationship can't grow.

2. I think that they do exactly as I said previously, wich is aparent from what we read about in LB, all but Susan have not forgot Aslan, but only longed for him more. I Think they continue to grow thourggh other experiances in their world, experiances given to them by Aslan to help them grow.

3. I Think Lewis clearly sudgests thorugh numerous things the Alsan's other name, his name in our world, is Aslan.
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