Tag Archives: Narnia

Free podcasts: ‘Narnia & C.S. Lewis: Imagination, Reason, and You’

Signature of CS Lewis.

Image via Wikipedia

I just stumbled upon this. The C.S. Lewis Institute offers four podcasts by Dr. Art Lindsley and Dr. Christopher W. Mitchell in a series entitled Narnia & C.S. Lewis: Imagination, Reason, and You. Significantly, the first lecture is entitled “The Importance of Imagination for C.S. Lewis.”

Read another post on C.S. Lewis and imagination here. Read a post on Flannery O’Connor and imagination here.


The appeal of Narnia and Middle Earth

“The consolation of the imaginary is not imaginary consolation.” — Roger Scruton, contemporary English philosopher

‘If Christianity is a fantasy religion, Judaism is a science fiction religion’

Or, why there is no Jewish Narnia.

Read a fascintating Jewish analysis of why Christianity is behind The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia in this article from the Jewish Review of Books.

The Nation: Laura Miller investigates C.S. Lewis’s magic

The below excerpt is from Jordan Davis’s new article in The Nation. The article covers biographical and critical elements of Lewis’s life and work, focusing especially on a recent book:

In The Magician’s Book, Laura Miller has written an account of returning as an adult to the Narnia books, trying to understand what in them stunned her 9-year-old self into a life of wanting nothing more than to read. It is a strange, often dispiriting book, announcing itself as both memoir and literary criticism; in fact, Miller submerges her own story and never quite focuses completely on the work at hand or, for that matter, on what in Lewis’s reading helped lead him to create an imaginary place she once longed to visit. Miller’s declared goal is to illuminate the Narnia books’ “other, unsung dimensions, especially the deep roots of the Chronicles in the universal experiences of childhood and in English literature.” What Miller ends up doing is revisiting for a while the pleasure of identifying wholeheartedly with a character in a story.

Read the rest of Into the Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis’s Narnia.


Disney opts out of 3rd ‘Narnia’ film

From an article in the Orlando Business Journal:

The Walt Disney Co. won’t help produce and finance the next “The Chronicles of Narnia” movie being made by Denver entrepreneur Phil Anschutz’s Walden Media LLC movie company, Disney said Dec. 24.

Disney blamed “budgetary and logistical reasons” for opting out of a third “Narnia” film, to be called “The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The loss of Disney as Walden’s partner puts talent attached to the project “in doubt,” according to the movie-industry trade publication.

“Dawn Trader” has been in preproduction, and was scheduled to start production in spring 2009 with a $200 million budget and English director Michael Apted (“Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Gorillas in the Mist”) at the helm. Stars from the second “Narnia” movie, “Prince Caspian,” were signed to reprise their parts, including Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley and William Moseley.

The movie was slated for a 2010 release.

Family-friendly Walden reportedly is looking for a new backer, possibly 20th Century Fox. Walden and Fox already have worked together on movies such as “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “Bridge to Terabithia.”

Walden also has worked with Paramount Pictures, which co-produced its 2004 version of “Around the World in 80 Days” with martial arts star Jackie Chan.

Read the rest of the article here.

Revivals, healings, and the theology of suffering

I hear about revivals and “verified healings” and “confirmed healings” quite a bit.

I hope the healings are for real, but —

I worry about the consumer-demand attitude within the revival and healing movements, a consumer-demand attitude toward God, and wonder if the leaders in those movements couldn’t contribute just as much by exploring the theology of suffering.

When Saint Paul begged God to remove the unexplained “thorn in my side,” Jesus spoke and said, “My grace is sufficient.” Certainly a hearty belief in God’s activity today would not have to involve a complete avoidance of that passage.

Years ago, back when a friend and I were both fifth graders, we stood shaking with upset stomachs in the school hallway as we lined up to use the restrooms before class.

It was an abusive school, operated by a small nondenominational church with similarities to the Pentecostal churches. A teacher had strapped my rear with belt so hard, I felt the leather against my bones, and I bruised black and purple.

My only fellow fifth grader had been spanked for misplacing a decimal point.

That kind of school.

In the hallways, lining up at the restrooms before class, my friend and I whispered to each other, “Pray for grace.” As fifth-graders, we used the word “grace” to mean “no punishment,” or “teachers who aren’t scrutinizing us.” For us, “grace” meant “relief.”

At the time, we didn’t experience the relief we prayed for. We continued in constant fear that we would be fully punished, again, for the smallest errors.

We didn’t realize the Bible was full of examples of similar situations.

For a long time, Job didn’t experience relief.

For a long time, Joseph didn’t experience relief.

For a long time, Paul didn’t experience relief.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakeness, or peril, or sword?…For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 8, Revised Standard Version)

Saint Paul doesn’t say anything about tribulation, famine, peril, or death going away, just that they won’t separate us from the love of Christ.

But as Aslan says in The Horse and his Boy, “The only story you are allowed to know is your own,” and the Proverbs say, “Each heart knows its own sorrow, and no one can share its joy;” so maybe some people are experiencing instantaneous healing just by going to a certain place or making a certain demand. I certainly don’t want my suspicions to be proven correct by anyone’s prolonged suffering.

But I think the miracles are rarer than reported, and that they are exceptions, not the rule.

To echo David B. Hart’s words, given in another context, The Fall turned creation over to terrestrial and spiritual powers hostile to God, and as Saint Paul wrote, creation longs for liberty from its bondage to decay. God has not decided to change the basic human lot. As long as trees fall in the forests and rot, so will human beings be subject to decay and disease, because trees and people are both part of that creation longing for liberty from decay.

The miracles are the exceptions, and never something that we can command at will, as if God were some malleable power we could use if we got the details of place or prayer just right.

Wasn’t the point of the cross that we were incapable of getting the details right? Weren’t we redeemed so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting the details right? God will act as He chooses, but how does He choose?

These things have me thinking about the way C.S. Lewis portrayed God through the character of Aslan. I’ve been reading The Chronicles of Narnia to my daughters; we saw the film version of Prince Caspian today, and we recently began reading The Silver Chair, the sixth of the seven-book series. Aslan has a definite way about him. He’s a personality with intentions. The characters he knows, even the characters he loves, don’t always get their way. There’s a hint throughout the tales that something else is a-foot, that there’s some purpose behind the suffering and the separation the characters often feel. Yet even when Aslan clearly has the power to make profound changes, he sometimes chooses not to, and the characters are not given the reasons why.

-Colin Foote Burch

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Prince Caspian: Exciting, well-done, definitely for 8-year-olds, maybe not for 6-year-olds

Maggie, age 8, thoroughly enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Audrey, age 6, asked to leave the theater two, if not three, times — despite our review of the ultimate outcome of the story, based on our reading of the book, on our way to the theater.

Prince Caspian holds as much intense fighting as a PG movie can.

It’s also a well-done film, more consistently entertaining, with a more engaging storyline, than the recent film version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. But it also departs from the novel in ways that I won’t spoil.

I thought Peter Dinklage, who plays the dwarf Trumpkin, might have been the best actor in the film, although Sergio Castellitto’s King Miraz is unquenchable and deeply wicked.

-Colin Foote Burch

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