Narnia, the beloved childhood classic, has become an iconic literary figure yet still remains an object of great controversy and debate. Many of us have argued about its spiritual symbolism and symbolism with the bible – Is Narnia based in the bible? The tale of Narnia can be found in C.S. Lewis’s classic novel ‘The Chronicles of Narnia.’ It is where the magical and mysterious kingdom of Narnia can be found, located deep in the woods and way beyond our world. It is covered in snow and constantly under a wintery climate – but is it based on the Bible?
In the Christian church, allegory has been used since the fourth century as a means to communicate spiritual truths. In Narnia, C.S. Lewis takes traditional Christian themes and creates a powerful allegory of the gospel message. He casts creatures such as the lion Aslan, a representation of Jesus, alongside other characters, who represent both positive and negative spiritual forces found within religion. The ultimate theme of Narnia is sin and redemption.
The Bible has influenced Narnia in many ways. The most obvious is Aslan, the high king of Narnia and the main protagonist within the story. He’s a lion, a symbol of strength and power, much like the lion found in the Bible. Like Jesus, Aslan puts his own pride aside and makes a selfless sacrifice in order to save his people.
In Narnia, there is an inherent morality that is based on the Bible. Goodness is seen as a virtue and badness and sin are punished. Lewis even claims to have taken lines directly from the bible and placed them in Narnia. For example, in chapter 8, a character called Loony is referred to as “The Lamb of God”, a direct reference to Jesus.
The Christian author and former apologist of Christianity, Robert Kiely, believes that the books represent a “sort of childhood religion; they contain the essential messages of love and redemption which stop short of full-blown theology”. He believes that due to Lewis’s personal faith and influence, it is no coincidence that Bible themes and imagery are explored in Narnia. Here, he shows how Lewis conveys the theme of forgiveness and grace without resorting to presenting particular church doctrines or dogma.
Parallel of Narnia and Bible
The parallels between Narnia and the Bible are numerous and clear. Aslan can be seen as a ‘Christ figure’ – a messianic leader who brings about the salvation of the kingdom. He offers self-sacrifice in order to save his people and restore peace to the land. Likewise, in the bible, Jesus is a messianic figure; his own self-sacrifice is made clear in his death on the cross. The evil figures in Narnia, such as the White Witch, can be seen as a representation of Satan. And finally, the themes of good and evil are present throughout both Narnia and the Bible – with the evil characters always coming to just deserts and evil schemes being thwarted.
The Evocation Of Biblical Symbolism
The impact of religion upon the development of literature cannot be underestimated. Lewis captures the sense of wonder that is held within the pages of the Bible and uses it to his advantage in creating Narnia. He imbues his narrative with a clear and powerful biblical imagery, as it is a reflection of his own faith and belief. He uses vivid descriptions of scenery and characters to evoke the sense of mystery and awe held by the biblical text, thus capturing the imagination of readers.
The story of Narnia begins with a magical wardrobe, which, when opened, leads to an entirely different world. The symbolism of a door to a new reality is, in itself, an allusion to the stories of creation found in the Bible. The notion of a hidden world is further explored, with references made to a secret kingdom, a deep forest, and a mysterious tent. All of these elements combined make a powerful statement about faith and its acceptance of the unknown.
Narnia vs Reality
As magical and fantastical as Narnia may be, Lewis’s intricate weave of religious themes serves to bring a sense of familiarity to a place and characters that have no basis in reality. This proves to be both a strength and a weakness of the story, drawing readers in and yet causing confusion amongst those not familiar with religious themes.
The Christian claims of spiritual truth and morality strike a powerful chord with readers, but ultimately, it is up to the individual to interpret and decide upon the judgement of Narnia as moralistic or not. While some readers may accept and appreciate the underlying messages of faith, others may be put off and turned away.
Christianity in Narnia
It is no secret that C.S. Lewis was a devout Christian, and his faith certainly plays a heavy role in Narnia. Lewis himself has said he chose to use religious symbols and Christian morals in order to subconsciously instill certain values in readers. The themes of redemption, love and sacrifice are threaded throughout the stories and serve to reinforce these values and give readers an insight into the Christian faith.
It is therefore safe to say that the biblical ties of Narnia are undeniable. While some may be hesitant in accepting this religious alignment, it is clear that C.S. Lewis was deeply embedded in the faith and used its power to create a powerful and timeless narrative.
Moral Messages Taught in Narnia
The moral messages present in Narnia may be found in both Christianity and other major religions. These values, such as forgiveness, loyalty, and courage, are essential to the story, and serve to remind readers of their importance and place in the wider world. Each character in Narnia is taught a valuable lesson in line with the Christian faith, as they must put aside their own pride and embrace the power of love in order to succeed.
Additionally, Lewis’ Narnia stories also emphasize the importance of acts of charity and the power of faith. Aslan’s own selfless sacrifice is a testament to the lengths one should go to in order to save somebody from evil. These values are present in the biblical text and serve as a reminder to readers of the power of love and kindness.
Relational Messages in Narnia
Another way in which Narnia reflects biblical themes is through its messages about relational dynamics. One of the main themes of the Narnia books is that of family and friendship. Each story reinforces the idea that individuals are responsible for looking out for each other, and that the family dynamic should be respected and honored. This is in line with biblical teachings of respecting one’s parents, siblings, and relatives, as well as Jesus’ own teachings regarding caring for and loving one’s neighbor.
Overall, it is clear that Narnia is heavily rooted in the Christian faith and reflects many of its teachings. While some readers may take issue with the blatant religious imagery present in the book, it should be remembered that Lewis had a deep connection to his faith and its teachings. He used this understanding to create a magical world filled with powerful messages of love, redemption, and hope.
Religious Symbolism in Narnia
Religious symbolism has been a feature of Narnia since its first publication, with much of the imagery taken from the Bible. The lion Aslan is a representation of Jesus Christ, and other characters such as the White Witch reflect themes of evil and sin. Other symbols such as the wardrobe and the forest of Narnia represent moments of magical and spiritual opportunity, with Lewis using these to explore ideas of faith and adventure in his stories.
By tying Christian themes and imagery to his narrative, Lewis imbues Narnia with a sense of familiarity and helps to orient the reader. Through this, he is able to convey Christian ideas in a way that is entertaining and engaging. This helps to explain the success of the Narnia series, as readers are able to connect with a story they are already familiar with.
Christian Allegory in Narnia
Christian allegory has been an effective way of conveying religious messages since the fourth century. Lewis takes this traditional form and uses it to explore the themes of sin and redemption. Aslan, a figure of strength, represents Jesus and his ultimate will to sacrifice himself for others. The story of Narnia follows the same framework of Jesus dying for his people and rising from the grave and offers a deep level of understanding and emotion not found in other stories.
Lewis masterfully imbues the stories of Narnia with Christian themes, all the while avoiding strict adherence to one religious doctrine. He instead chooses to take the moral aspects of faith and explore them in a more digestible and accessible manner. The stories of Narnia certainly do reflect some of the themes found in the Bible, but readers have to determine for themselves what these mean and how they apply to the wider world.
The relationship between Narnia and the Bible is clear, with Lewis’s stories reflecting his own faith. By using Christian symbolism and exploring the themes of sin and redemption, Lewis has crafted a timeless tale of good and evil that once again has all the hallmarks of the bible. It is safe to say that Narnia is indeed based on the Bible, although readers must decide for themselves how to interpret it and apply it to their own life.