Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Absolutely last Narnia...

LWW the Movie: It’s not the epic I hoped for, but I do think it’s an excellent effort and a worthwhile watch (my two-cents worth here). Criticisms over nuances and significant plot points abound, and you can read what my favourite reviewers say (Peter Chattaway, Jeffrey Overstreet, Steven Greydanus, Brian Godawa).

C.S. Lewis denies that the Chronicles of Narnia present an allegorical world; it is an alternative world, a 'supposal' or imaginative construct that is built on the question, “Supposing there was another world, how would the equivalent of our fall and moral dilemma play out under the eye of an all-present, transcendent deity?”

Some quick observations drawn out from the reading of LWW (and the rest of the Narnia series):

  • Narnia is not a closed material universe but a created world open to magic and supernatural intervention, ruled by the Emperor-Beyond-The-Sea.
  • The Narnian universe is not dualistic and the fight between Aslan and the Witch is not between equals.
  • Right and wrong are real choices that have moral consequences defined by a powerful ‘Deep Magic’ that has been irrevocably etched into the psyche of all living things since the dawn of time.
  • Redemption and atonement are possible within the boundaries of justice and grace as characterized by an overarching Deep Magic, but they come at a price.
  • Values and virtues of the ‘old west’ underpin creature conduct and are highly prized.
  • Rebellion against the Emperor’s order has universal impact overturning harmony between creature and nature, emasculating joy, that only Aslan the Emperor’s son can restore or heal.
  • Adventure, leisure, conversation, beauty, art, and learning – have meaning in Narnia and they flourish only under the kindly rule of Aslan.
  • Back in our world, Aslan has another name and we can learn to know him by that name.

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