Just how magical is Narnia?

Disney is still planning to target its adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to the same Christians who flocked to see The Passion of the Christ. (Via Bookish.)

I remain skeptical that Left-Behind-loving, antiwitchcraft fundamentalists will see a distinction between Narnia and Harry Potter once Lewis’ quasi-allegorical world (in which there is, inconveniently, no Christ to writhe on a cross in a loincloth) comes to the big screen.

But many more traditional Christians love Lewis. And my personal window into the Charismatic/Pentecostal mind is more opaque now, so who knows? Maybe they’re all too busy declaiming the Illuminati or something to get bent out of shape about Aslan and the White Witch.

One thing’s for sure. Florida Governor Jeb Bush is looking forward to the movie. He’s banking — literally — on its success in my (evangelicalful) home state.

Update: A reader named Laura writes:

Uh, ASLAN is the Christ you’re looking for — the resurrection scene in LWW, for example, is one of many correlations!

As for the fanatics not liking Narnia, you’re right: they don’t (even without the movie). But the rest do, and that’s enough for me and other Mere Christians.

In case my post was unclear: yes, some Christians — although not the ever-growing number of fundamentalists like my mother — do see Aslan as a stand-in for Christ. It’s worth noting, however, that Lewis himself cautions against reading the books as a prepackaged Christ allegory. In Of Other Worlds, he says:

Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument; then collected information about child-psychology and decided what age-group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out ‘allegories’ to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I couldn’t write in that way at all. Everything began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn’t even anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord. It was part of the bubbling.


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