Christian spirituality is a kind of belief that underlines the fact that the Holy Spirit is allowed to control and lead a believer’s life. This belief draws attention to one of the non-contemporary aspects of human reality. This reality is life with God and eternal future. One of the writers who pay lots of attention to the idea of Christian spirituality and its importance in our every day life was Clive Staples Lewis. C. S. Lewis was a well-known writer, literary critic, and Christian apologist. His best works were The Space Trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia.
This writer preferred the world of Christianity writing, and did not want to limit his works with concrete genres and experimented a lot. (Edwards) The number of messages he want to present in his works is really considerable. One of the messages, which C. S. Lewis wanted to convey in The Chronicles of Narnia, was the idea of Christian spirituality and its impact on the life of every character.
There were two leading figures in the English literature at the beginning of the 20th century: J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. They were very close friends, and such deep friendship had a significant impact on both writers. Tolkien’s ideas about myths and imagination, which may be so close to reality, helped Lewis to find the real truth of Christianity. Being a desperate Roman Catholic, Tolkien truly believed in his Christianity faith.
Lewis was an atheist and always tried to find concrete material explanations to the sense of life, his destiny, and origins. With time, Tolkien convinced his friend about the truth of Christian spirituality, and those changes were reflected in lots of Lewis’s works. The Chronicles of Narnia presents lots of allusions to Christian principles in the ways, which are comprehensible either to young or adult readers. Lewis’s books may be interesting both to Christian and non-Christian people.
One of the first books about Narnia was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was a kind of apologize of the author because of his lack of faith. It is a story about four kinds, who find a wonderful country, Narnia, on the other side of the wardrobe. It was the country, which was ruled by a fair king Aslan, a magic lion. However, the White Witch raised the rebellion and dethroned Aslan. Lots of magical creatures had to hide in order not to become another victim of a new queen. The whole country was waiting for their emancipators. They were those kinds, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. The time to save Narnia and help Aslan to kill the witch has come, and children should be ready to fight.
This story is a brilliant example of allegory for Christianity. Maybe, not every reader can understand from the very beginning that all the characters of The Chronicles of Narnia have something in common with the biblical characters. Aslan represents Jesus Christ, the White Witch is considered to be Satan who tempted Judas (in the story this is Edmund). In order to save Edmund, Aslan sacrificed himself and resuscitated. It is necessary to admit the appearance of Father Christmas in the story, who inspired the major characters. It was an allegory to the Holy Spirit, who brought gifts to those people who believed in Christian spirituality. Such an idea is great indeed. Not every reader knows about Lewis’s Christian faith and his late coming to believe. In this story, Lewis underlines that it is never too late to believe and be forgiven. People always have time to analyze their actions and find the necessary way to follow.
There will be always people who may help to realize where the truth is. For Lewis, it was Tolkien, and for Edmund, it was Aslan, his brother, and sisters. The main message that Lewis wanted to represent in his works is the fact that people have to believe in something. When a person has nothing to believe in, someone else can use him/her and make something evil. “Quite often people are drawn to Christian spirituality due to their questions about life, God, and the search for meaning in life.” (Perrin 7) This is what Lewis intended to write about. Writing such fantastic works about Narnia, its habitants, and the troubles they face is a good way to show that “true spirituality consists in the pursuit of God, and not allowing our desire to become attached to anything or anyone else.” (McGrath 90) It does not matter what form God prefers to choose this time, the major point is not to miss a chance and be saved.
“Closely linked to Lewis’s zest for ordinary nature was his attention to the details of life and experience. This remarkable power of observation, and sensitivity to tone and mood, added detail after detail of exuberant creation to his imaginative writings.” (Duriez 73) This attention to the details should also help the reader find out the main idea that Lewis discussed in his works. The idea of good and evil, Jesus and Satan is present in many forms. It is crucially important to define it as soon as possible in order not to be tempted by the evil side and follow the right way in the life.
Duriez, Colin. A Field Guide to Narnia. InterVarsity Press, 2004.
Edwards, Bruce L. C. S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007.
McGrath, Alister E. Christianity Spirituality: an Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell, 1999.
Perrin, David B. Studying Christian Spirituality. Routledge, 2007.