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CS Lewis was also a Christian of deep faith. I read The Narnia Chronicles over and over as a kid, never realizing - complete as he made that world unto itself - that they were Christian parables. When I did realize, I felt (rather than taken in or offended or any number of other possible reactions people seem to have in this situation) that he'd given me a greater love and understanding of Jesus via Aslan (who, like Jesus, is hardly all sweetness and light, though he is all good) than thousands of more poorly written and ungenerously imagined works. But then again, that's my bias: I think if the story is vibrant and the writing good, there is only the possibility of more,not less.


Yes. Lewis is unpopular now among a lot of folk, but he did me so much good. I was never afraid of Aslan in the same way I was afraid of God as a child. Aslan was approachable and forgiving, but I thought of God as a hard, unyielding judge. So when I did come to a more living faith, Aslan became a way towards seeing God differently from my childhood image of God.


Yes. I remember the currents of Aslan's breath carrying the children - and the fact that it smelled like flowers - always connected to Zephyr carrying Psyche, for me; the idea of being held and wafted that way, in the smell of new kittens, was an image of enormous comfort. Still is. His passion on the stone table horrified me in a visceral way I could distance from LESS than I could from the idea of a human suffering in this way, too: it made it more real, not less.

Fiction is powerful stuff, as is love of subject: I think what Lewis did was transmute his own substantive faith into a new substance, and give his readers a new doorway to the same ethics, the same griefs, the same challenges.

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