Sunday, December 05, 2010

CS Lewis and Narnia


This may be close to heresy in some quarters, but I've never regarded (pictured above) Belfast-born CS Lewis' Narnia Chronicles as the major Christian allegory that other folk talk about with such enthusiasm. Liam Neeson has kicked up a bit of a controversy about them, which you can read here. The broad similarities - a world of perpetual winter living under the curse of an evil force, and a lion King who gives his life, conquers death, and rises victorious - are fair enough, but Lewis' science fiction series The Cosmic Trilogy is far better and has a more obvious theology woven through the storylines. His other writings, like Mere Christianity, are masterful; The Screwtape Letters should be on your Christmas list if you've never read it.

Last night we had a family night in and camped out with duvets and piles of pillows on the front room floor, lit the wood burning stove, made a pile of toast and put on a dvd of the recent movie of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A nice simple way to spend a coul coul winter's night. I've been told that in one of his books he mentions that his inspiration for Narnia was the snowy view from Craigantlet down towards the Mourne Mountains and the Ards Peninsula. He describes the Ards drumlins as looking like a big basket of potatoes, sprinkled over with soil, on which grass grew and formed the landscape... and said that "Heaven would be like Oxford lifted and placed in the middle of County Down." So he can't be all that bad after all.

(ps - you can read about his Ulster-Scots influences on this previous post)