Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Although not allegory, the Chronicles of Narnia do convey Christian themes systematically. The most dramatic of these is the death of Aslan as a substitute for Edmund, and Aslan’s resurrection. While not a “one for all” death (as was Jesus’ crucifixion in the Bible), it does show the substitutionary aspect of Christian atonement and the inability of evil to overcome a sinless individual by death. Aslan is a type of Christ, who is seen as “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah” in biblical symbolism (Revelation 5:5).

Aslan reveals himself from time to time. He is not a hidden god, and his self-disclosures are real and life-changing. Eustace Scrubb, although turned into a dragon in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has a revelation of Aslan that transforms him, as happened to Edmund in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Although Aslan is divine, the “Emperor over Sea” is clearly the ruling divinity. Hence, there is a partial depiction of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

Lewis presents a possible mode of Creation and “Last Day” Judgment, as well as a glimpse into what “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1) could be like. While Lewis states at the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader that Narnian theology is different from earth theology, at an imaginative level Lewis is showing how such divine acts are conceivable.

In Lewis’s use of parallel time, there is a biblical...

(The entire section is 570 words.)