Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Lion's World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Lion's World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia

Article excerpt

The Lion's World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia. By Rowan Williams. (London: SPCK, 2012, Pp.152. $16.95.)

Rowan Williams' book The Lion 's World expands on lectures he gave on C. S. Lewis' Narnia series during Holy Week, 2011. Williams suggests that Lewis' greatest achievement is creating an imaginative context which allows both the "jaded believer or the contented unbeliever" to discover anew the strange joy of the Christian story (7).

Aslan is central to this rediscovery. Williams notes Lewis' debt to Chesterton's theme of "orthodoxy as rebellion" when the name is first whispered by Mr. Beaver-"They say Aslan is on the move" (51). Yet, as the story progresses, Williams shows how Aslan's rebellion often manifests itself as a release from self-deception. One example is in Dawn Treader, when Eustace (whose desire for a dragon's gold rewarded him with a dragon's hide) needed Aslan's claws to tear away the scales. Williams pauses on Lewis' narrative insight that human restoration is not self-attained (85).

There is risk in approaching Aslan-a narrative tactic Williams says Lewis employs to represent transcendence not in terms of distance but difference (139). …

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