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Christianity And The Chronicles Of Narnia

2411 words - 10 pages

Christianity and The Chronicles of Narnia

    C. S. Lewis, a well-known author and apologist, is best known by people of all

ages for his seven volume series entitled The Chronicles of Narnia. As Lewis

wrote about the land of Narnia, an imaginary world visited by children of this

world, he had two obvious purposes: to entertain the readers and to suggest

analogies of the Christian faith. Although some feel that his stories are

violent, Lewis is successful at using fiction to open peoples' hearts to

accepting Christ as their Savior because he first entertains the audience with a

wonderful story.


Lewis talked about how he came to write the books of Narnia, saying that they

"all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy

wood" (Lewis 79). The Chronicles tell of the different adventures of English

children as they visit the kingdom of Narnia and fall in love with the lion

Aslan. Aslan, "the son of the Emperor over Sea," can be compared to this world's

Jesus Christ (Schakel 133). As a child, Lewis always favored fairy tales and

fantasies; as an adult, he decided to write one (Lewis 60). And so began The

Chronicles of Narnia. Rather than planning to write a fictional book that

succeeded in using apologetics, Lewis admits that the "element" of Christianity,

"as with Aslan," entered "of its own accord" (Hooper 31). Walter Hooper, C. S.

Lewis' biographer, describes Lewis as being the most religious man he ever met

(Schakel 132). For this reason, no matter what Lewis wrote, his religion would

greatly impact all of his works.


Although Christian symbolism can be found in The Chronicles, Lewis recognized

the importance of getting "past those watchful dragons" which are people who are

not open to the beliefs of Christianity because they were told they should

believe it (Hooper ix). But how should Lewis go about getting past those who are

not open to the idea of Christianity? He believed that the best way to do this

was to present it in a fictional world, a world in which it would be easier to

accept. The audience grows to love Aslan and everything that he symbolizes; they

begin to wish for someone like Aslan in this world. After finding this love for

Aslan, they will ideally transfer that love to Christ when presented with the

Gospel later in life. It is important to remember that The Chronicles of Narnia

are successful because many readers do not realize the resemblance of Aslan to

Jesus Christ. Even though Christian themes are present, the Chronicles are not

dependent on them (Schakel 132). Peter J. Schakel, a professor of English at

Hope College in Holland, Michigan, states that a non-Christian reader can

approach the book as a fictional story and "be moved by the exciting adventures

and the...

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