Better Conversations


Open books

Powered by TypePad

« Cloud and Theotokos | Main | Thoughts of the Fourth Wise Man »


Oh, absolutely. Contend away against all that with my heartiest amens, dear Father!

I like 'Iconic identity,' it's a good expression.

Well put, AR. I used the admittedly weak term "reminder" mainly as a contrast with allegory. Lewis certainly invested Aslan with the signs of Christ Himself. Lewis also committed the unpardonable sin (in the PC grimoire) of identifying his character with Christ in The Last Battle, as you pointed out.

Narnia is not allegory, even with Aslan nearing "iconic" identity with Christ. My main contention was against the contemporary allegorization of Narnia as a Freudian dissection of the author, or as a Derridean whine against Christendom.


Fr. Jonathan

Magnificent. Tom Bombadil an Adam...of course. I've been chasing that one down for years, thank you, Father.

It seems to me that Aslan is more than a reminder of Christ. I think Lewis all but wrote Christ into Narnia, in the character of Aslan. In the conversations that Aslan has with the children, especially at the end of Dawn Treader, he tells them that he is in their world, but he has a different name there, and that the reason they have been brought to Narnia is so that they can learn to recognize him in their own world when they see him. If that is why the children were brought to Narnia in the story, surely that is why we, as readers, have been brought to Narnia as well. After encountering Aslan in the stories we are meant to recognize the real Jesus when we are confronted by him - in other words, not to be misled by false representations of Christ.

No, Joshua, the "theory" about which I complain frequently is not at all rooted in theoria. Theoria is "vision" -- and for the Church, it is the vision beheld by the Prophets and the Apostles that fills the content of doctrine and designs the consistent proclamation of the Church throughout the ages.

"Theory," on the other hand, is a secular and probably scientized myth that usually seeks to negate the authority of "theoria." With special regard to the current postmodern climate, "theory" as a literary doctrine holds that authorial intent is secondary to the meta-narratives (such as colonialism, imperialism, patriarchalism) that inform the meaning of the text. Hence, there is "feminist theory," where stories are boiled to see if there is any hint of chauvinism lurking in the flesh. There is also "queer theory" that finds exactly that in every subtext.

So the answer to your last question is an enthusiastic yes.


Fr. Jonathan

Father Tobias:

Father, bless.

I was interested in your comment about freeing myth from theory. I was under the impression that theory was rooted in theoria, a way of seeing, and was the thing that saved the Gospel from propositionalism. Do you mean to speak of theory in the sense of deconstructing a story and applying a worldview that the story cannot maintain?

Thank you for your clarification.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

August 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31