C. S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia

C. S. Lewis (1898–1963), a professor of medieval and Renaissance literature, taught at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He was a prolific writer in various genres, but he is perhaps best known for his series of children's stories about four orphaned children who discover a mysterious world through the doors of an old wardrobe. Central to The Chronicles of Narnia is the lion Aslan, an allegorical Jesus, who encounters the children during their various adventures in magical Narnia. “I wrote the books I should have liked to read,” Lewis once said. “That's always been my reason for writing.”

Lewis also wrote the popular Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, a science fiction series known as the Space Trilogy, and several other works. He once called himself a most reluctant Christian, but said his intellectual honesty wouldn't allow him not to believe in Jesus. In his view accepting Jesus solely as a great moral teacher just wasn't possible. Because of the claims Jesus made, Lewis insisted only three possibilities existed: Jesus was a lunatic who believed he was God, a liar who claimed to be God, or who he said he was, the Son of God.

Look in the Book

The characters and events in an allegory represent specific ideas and themes. The Chronicles of Narnia is often classified as an allegory because of its spiritual parallels to Christianity and church history. For example, the wardrobe is the entryway into a spiritual kingdom and the queen-witch is evil. The siblings battle the wicked queen and Aslan sacrifices himself for one of the brothers.

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