Friday, October 07, 2005

On Narnia

In this Wolfish Musings post about the Lakewood internet ban a commenter called Queeniesmom mentioned C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series.
i was severely chastised for letting my 7yr. old read the narnia chronilces. silly me, i was happy she was reading and that she wanted to read. we read many of the books together and i still don't see how this would warp her. to her it was a fun story - any symbolism it might have had (i'm not sure i buy it but that's another whole story) was lost on her.
Now I happen to think that the Chronicles of Narnia is good reading for children and that any Christian symbolism is completely lost on Jewish children--certainly at seven years old. However, despite Queeniesmom's skepticism, the Chronicles is certainly a Christian allegory. Apart from the obvious parallels (and less obvious ones, including the name of Aslan, which means 'lion' as in 'Lion of Judah') C.S. Lewis, as a Christian theologian, openly regarded them as a Christian tale--a fantasy rendering of much of the Greek Testament in fact. The books are as full of Christian Biblical symbolism and interpretation as pomegranates are full of seeds.

Since we're on the topic, I wonder what a Jewish Chronicles of Narnia might look like. Any Jewish writers want to give it a go?

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