December 07, 2005

This post was inevitable (version II)

I wrote a rather nasty piece about CS Lewis on the pretense of providing a link to this piece in Salon on how Christian (or not) the Chronicles of Narnia may be. But I decided, in all fairness, I should wait to blast Lewis here until I bother to read Mere Christianity; when I picked it up back in college, I laughed at the ridiculously bad reasoning in the first chapter and tossed it, but I like to think I'm a little more judicious these days. If I have any interest, I might read through it over my upcoming break; and if anyone has any interest in that actually being done, they would do well to drop me a line and remind me.


Anonymous said...

I'd be curious to see what the original post said.

It's always interesting to me when someone describes a work as being Christian. 1) there are a lot of them out there and 2) stories older than the one that features Jesus Christ follow the same basic storyline.

my two cents, for what they're worth (decidedly less than two cents, I would imagine.)


Unknown said...

Of course, there are loads of stories that have fairly evident Christian themes. Popular recent movies like The Matrix and The Green Mile have pretty clear Christian subtexts at work. But the Chronicles of Narnia aren't just stories that have some Christian themes, they are specifically Christian stories. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, necessarily, but it's important to remember that the Chronicles of Narnia are a lot closer to the Left Behind books than they are to most other works of fiction with general Christian themes.

Noumena said...

The Chronicles were deliberately written as a proseylization (I'm not a well clown, please excuse terrible spelling) tool, presenting Christian themes in a non-Sunday School context. The Salon article either documents this or suggests it heavily.

They are somewhat different from the Left Behind books, though. Those are fundamentalist porn, portraying the suffering and torment of the non-believing masses for the Saved to cackle over righteously. The Christian themes in Narnia are, apparently, more like dei ex machina (Aslan comes back to life! Why? Because then he can defeat the Witch!) than fire-and-brimstone. It might be accurate to say Narnia is more a way to 'soften up' the young and non-Christian, while Left Behind is clearly written for the believer.

Unknown said...

good point, that's a real distinction between them. But they are similar insofar as they are intentionally and specifically Christian, as opposed to be basically non-religious stories with vague religious themes, such as the movies I mentioned.