The Christian Analogy to the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Narnia Series (Francesca De Leos, Feb 9th-14th Discussion))

Most have probably heard of C.S. Lewis, author of the famous Chronicles of Narnia, a book series, turned into a successful movie franchise. Many have enjoyed the film over the years, and most have noticed the huge similarities of the books/films to Christianity.

If you’ve watched the movie or read the books, you’ll know that Aslan, the great lion that ruled over Narnia, is a direct analogy to Jesus Christ. As C.S. wrote in a letter:
“The whole Narnian story is about Christ. That is to say, I asked myself ‘Supposing that there really was a world like Narnia and supposing it had (like our world) gone wrong and supposing Christ wanted to go into that world and save it (as He did ours), what might have happened?’ The stories are my answers.”

Although C.S. Lewis’ intention was to provide a story about Christ, many have found the Narnia chronicles to be a terrible and weak representation of Christianity. Many have found the Chronicles of Narnia to be misleading. Aslan is described as this majestic lion that reigns over the kingdom of Narnia. In addition, the book explains that Aslan’s sacrifice was due to the sacrifice of anyone who has a pure and good heart.

In contrast to the life of Jesus, He is described as the lamb, a great difference to a lion. In John 1:29, Jesus is described as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John, 1:29). Jesus is the world’s majestic and powerful savior, but he is the “Lamb of God,” because the lamb is a symbol of the pure and innocent sacrifice, and peace and purity.

Moreover, in the book of Matthew, it is described that the death of Jesus was the only sacrifice that could save all human beings from sin. This can also been seen in the Revelation 1:5, “Jesus Christ…who loves us and who has released us from our sins, by His blood” (Rev. 1:5). Unlike in the C.S. Lewis books, anyone who is good enough can be a sacrifice, which the Bible explains only one person, the son of God, Jesus Christ, can save us from sin.

There is also the problem of the whimsical and magical aspect of the stories. Children, even adults, are caught up with the magical aspect of Narnia, and are amazed with the wars and fighting of evil, that the big picture of Christianity is missed; Christ Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, so that we may live with God in Heaven.

As explained in Dei Verbum from Vatican II, “Through Christ…human beings can draw near to the father and become sharers in the divine nature” (Dei Verbum, 85). In addition “ [Jesus’] death and his resurrection from the dead… [is] His message that God is with us to deliver us from the darkness of sin and death” (Dei Verbum, 86). Christian religion focuses on the revelation that Jesus sent his one and only son to die for us so that all may live forever.

FOR DISCUSSION:

The magical aspect of Narnia is truly great and entertaining, but as the author states it’s relation to Jesus Christ, is it a good representation of Christianity? Should this book be advertised as a Christian text, or advertised for Christians to read? These series are a huge franchise around the world, should we be concerned with its associations to the Christian theology? Also, are there any other aspects in the books that are a terrible representation of the faith? Or do you think that there are no problems with the series?

Article Source:
Toynbee, Polly. “‘Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion'” The Guardian.
Guardian News and Media, 05 Dec. 2005. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

More Sources:
Benedict, James Carroll, and Edward P. Hahnenberg. Vatican II: the essential texts. New York:

Image, 2012. Print.

The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.

14 thoughts on “The Christian Analogy to the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Narnia Series (Francesca De Leos, Feb 9th-14th Discussion))”

  1. Thanks for your post. I found it interesting and entertaining. As a child I definitely enjoyed watching the movies. Although it does have its “flaws” I do think that the series does at least portray Christianity. Now I am not going to say that it’s going to convert any one or further anyone’s faith, but I do think that it does portray the Gospel message.
    Thanks

  2. I think the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis is an excellent example of Christian based fiction. I read all of the books in the series when I was young, and more recently watched the movies with my own family. I don’t think it’s exactly as the Bible portrays Jesus Christ, but the similarities are striking enough and fanciful enough to grab the attention of children interested in approaching their faith with a little more enthusiasm. Edmund’s betrayal and Aslan’s consequence sacrifice of his own life so that Edmund might live is representative of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross so that we all may live forever in spirit, at least that is the message that I received as a child. Aslan rising from the dead in the story is due to the deep magic and his taking Edmund’s place – which I always thought of as us all having a little bit of Edmund in us, therefore Aslan (Jesus Christ) was dying for all of us. I think those that don’t approve of it’s connection to Christianity theology should keep in mind that it’s fiction, meant to tell a story of faith, and not meant as a replacement for the Bible.

  3. C.S. Lewis intended from Narnia to be a Christian novel, to reflect the sacrifice of Jesus; in this case the novel and the movie are justifiable ways to portray Christ’s sacrifice. I understand why critics claim it isn’t because of the magical nature, but I also believe that this mystical setting helps bring the message of Jesus to people when they least expect it. Additionally, I think that the setting of Narnia parallels the “real” world (with the war), so it just makes sense that there would be this religious connection.

  4. Wonderful post! I was excited to read this because it definitely caught my attention. Sadly, I watched this movie many, many years ago. I even found it so boring that I never got to finish it. On top of that, I didn’t even know it was a book first! Anyways, I know the jest of the story/plot.
    Growing up in a Catholic home, it was pretty easy for me to pick out when things were referencing Jesus. But Narnia has a lot of magical aspects that I think draw people away from what the actual point was.
    I think the book should be advertise to anyone, really. This would be wonderful for youth groups at churches to pick up and analyze! In all honesty, since Naria has grown its fan and his contributed revenue, it’s also safe to say that we shouldn’t be concerned with its associations to Christian theology. Theology is the study of God and religious beliefs and since Naria doesn’t really teach directly about God, it should be left as what it is, a movie.
    While I never have read the book, or still to this day finished the movie, I have no problems whatsoever. I think as long as it was written with the right intention and doesn’t mock Christianity, it’s totally fine.

    1. I am on the same boat as you Paula, I started watching the movie many times and could never finish it. I really like your point on advertising it as not Christian. When I first attempted to watch it I had no idea the relation to Jesus Christ it had. I definitely think its one of those books people should take and analysis to find the Christian relation too. (I might just force myself to watch it now to find that relation)

      1. I am also in agreement with Paula and Mary. I do not feel that the Narnia movie depicts any form of Christianity. In order for an individual to see any form of Christianity in this movie they would have to evaluate and dig deeper for biblical similarities. Personally, I do not feel that Narnia should be advertised as a Christian book. In addition, I do not feel as though Narnia should be evaluated through Christian theology because it can be misleading, confusing and interpreted in many different ways.

    2. Paula-
      Funny that you should mention that about youth groups using the book for discussion. When I was a teen my church did that exact thing. It was during Lent, and while there was adult Christian education on Wednesday evenings the teen youth group met and did a book club type discussion of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I loved it, and since it was led by our youth minister he pointed out many Christian references that I am sure went over my head when I was reading it on my own the first time. It was a great discussion and we covered how it was similar AND how it was different than the Bible. I agree that intent is key. Who is to say that C.S. Lewis wasn’t inspired to tell the story by God, and like the many of the books of the Old Testament, it is told in his own word, his genre, etc. – not claiming to be literal, but giving the message he was inspired to share.

  5. I think this is very interesting. I loved this series growing up and never thought that it could be about Christ. I don’t think it should be advertised as Christian readings because, in reality, it isn’t. It is a story as the bible is a story but saying this is a religious text is the same as saying video game religion is real.

  6. Shane, I agree that Narnia and the bible are both stories but I think this is probably the only relation between these two. I believe people are trying to make too many connections to religious context.

  7. I don’t think this should be advertised as Christian like many other been saying. The story is more about magical things and fighting for something important to them.

  8. I’ve only seen the first movie and I loved how it represented God in a way. Yes, I like how the lion represented Jesus and how he sacrificed his life. I think that people think too deeply into the text. I wouldn’t say this is a “Christian” movie, but there’s nothing wrong with Christians seeing the movie.

  9. I am in complete agreement with Paula. When I was younger I remember starting it but never finishing the movie. Although I never finished it I do remember it being more magical than having religion aspects in it. But that might just be because I was a little girl and wasn’t too focused on religious aspects of a movie.

  10. I agree with others based on the fact that I also watched this movie and I managed to finish it but I did not get the true concept of the movie. The movie confused me and I truly did not understand its purpose for what it stood for. Now that people are older, they have a better sense for interpretations such as this one and how they managed to relate the movie back to Christianity.

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