Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Frequently Bought Together
"An Ember in the Ashes" When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.Learn more | More in Teen and Young Adult
"Buried within many of C.S. Lewis's children's books are timeless messages about the Christian faith. McColman reveals how Lewis's fascinating adventure can help us more fully understand spiritual insights from not only Jesus himself, but also some of the great saints and mystics. By turns playful, provocative and profound, McColman asks us to 'become like little children' in order to understand some very adult lessons." ---James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Gudie to (Almost) Everything
"The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader is an amazing, inspiring adventure. The Narnia stories are not just for children, but if you want help to assist children (or anyone) to understand their depth, read this book! You can touch the whole journey of the Christian search for God---and likely be spurred toward renewal in your own life---by getting on this Narnia ship." ---Trina Paulus, author of Hope for the Flowers
From the Back Cover
C.S. Lewis built his illuminating story of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader around the Christian journey: from resisting God's grace to discovering the reality of sin to finding relief in the waters of baptism. This voyage, for Christians of all ages, is full of adventures, temptation, discomforting silence, dealing with "Dufflepuds" (distractions), and a final terrifying journey to the "Island of Darkenss" (the dark night of the soul). As the Dawn Treader sails beyond where the stars sing, you will discover a world of wonders characterized by light and clarity, and encounter Alsan--Christ--himself.
Sad to say, I was more than prepared to not like this book. I'm still not real fond of the cover, and it struck me as some cheesy knockoff that was cranked out to take advantage of the release of the third Narnia film.
But for whatever reason, as I was looking at it, turning it over in my hands and trying to decide whether to put it in the thrift store pile, I saw the website address for the author. My computer was open, so I checked out the site. Unexpectedly, I was drawn in by its layout and a quick scan of some of the authors he quoted -- authors like Evelyn Underhill, Julian of Norwich, St. John of the Cross -- told me this book wasn't perhaps what I assumed.
It was Saturday night and I wanted to read anyway, so I sat down on the couch and opened up the book. Immediately I liked it. I read at least a quarter of it; the next night another half, and then finished it off a few nights later.
What drew me in? Perhaps this sentence in the opening chapter: "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is not directly related to any stories of the Bible. Even so, it may be the most useful of the seven Narnia books, for it is the one that most directly maps out the contours of the Christian spiritual life."
A good subtitle for this book would be Mysticism 101. McColman, whom I found out later has written a book titled, aptly enough, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, does a tremendous job breaking down, in manageable steps, the process of pursuing spiritual mysticism. This is something I find surprisingly difficult to explain concisely, and I was humbled by McColman's nimble approach.
The Lion, the Mouse, and the Dawn Treader: Spiritual Lessons from C.S. Lewis's Narnia by Carl McColman
My thanks to a friend for recommending this book. It was timely. Spirituality isn't the result of an event, but develops through a lifetime of struggles. Discipleship programs handicap young Christians if they are not introduced to the fact that they are entering a lifelong spiritual journey rather than graduating. This book underscores the maturation process through much tribulation.
The author, Carl McColman, is an excellent writer. I really don't know how to say that any better. Not only was I not disappointed in this book, I found just about every sentence insightful enough to stop to meditate on what was being said. I have occasionally read a book without finding anything quotable, but seldom have I read a book where I've underlined so much. McColman captures the depth of each chapters meaning and relates it in clear, succinct, and intellectually enjoyable words.
If you appreciate the writings of C. S. Lewis you will be doubly blessed by McColmans rendering of this story. If you haven't been able to get into the works of Lewis, here is a wonderful primer. If you are trying to understand your own spiritual trek through life, allow McColman to tag along as your guide and life interpreter.
Was this review helpful to you?
Carl McColman, a popular writer of topics such as mysticism, Celtic Wisdom, and spiritual disciplines has just written a book on spiritual lessons from C.S. Lewis's Narnia. In this book, McColman seeks to mine the riches of the The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one of Lewis's book in the Narnia series, for spiritual lessons for todays seekers of wisdom. He states early on in the book that, "By contrast, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is not directly related to any stories in the Bible. Even so, it may be the most useful of the seven Narnia books, for it is the one that most directly maps out the contours of the Christian spiritual life" (x). MCColman tries to bring out the succesive stage of the spiritual life which are found in the story of the Voyage. McColman signals in the first chapter that Eustace, the main character in the story is summoned to Narnia alongside Edmund and Lucy without his liking. Mr. McColman goes on to relate this to the journey of the spiritual life. We are not always excited to go along the path of fellowship with God, and yet it is not us who initiate that call. God is the one who takes the pleasure of calling us to a spiritual journey (5).
In chapter 3 McColman takes on a journey through the story of the Dawn Treader related to captivity to sin. He mentions that Lewis had three great metaphors for sin in the story: "being sold into slavery, being turned into a dragon, using magic to gain power over others" (14). McColman goes onto note that is not just "sinful" Eustace who gets enslaved by the slavers, but the whole bunch including Lucy, Edmund, and Caspian (15). Sin is not just about personal responsiblity, but in many cases affects all things in the wake of its path.Read more ›
Like so many readers, I have loved the Narnia books for years. Like other students of the spiritual life, I've found wonderful lessons in them, but this book has helped me get to a deeper reading. I guess in the past, I've tended to race through, enjoying the story and thinking, "Uh huh, uh huh, I get it," then moving on. What McColman has done looks like the product of using Narnia for lectio divina, slow and contemplative reading that ruminates prayerfully over the meaning. The result is something much richer than I'd ever arrived at on my own.
Perhaps the greatest lesson of the Narnia chronicles is pointed out by McColman at the end of this book: "[W]e need to approach the spiritual life as if it were a grand adventure, a quest worthy of embarking on -- a quest that will have its share of danger, but that will ultimately take us to a place filled with refreshing waters, nurturing silence, and dazzling light." This is what I've always loved about Lewis: how he could capture that sense of the adventure of the spiritual journey. Too often, when things get dark and scary, people assume they're on the wrong track when they should be expecting that the quest will be challenging at times. If we had a bit more of Lewis's romantic imagination, we would probably have more of Reepicheep's courage, and end up following him to the "utter east."
A delightful read. I'm looking forward now to McColman's "Big Book of Mysticism", next on my list.
Was this review helpful to you?
Carl McColman writes about the spiritual life. He explored many paths before taking refuge in the Catholic Church, which he joined in 2005. His newer books all reflect his love for contemplative, monastic and mystical Christianity. His older books covered a variety of topics including Celtic, Nature and Goddess spirituality.
Carl's work is characterized by an optimistic, expansive understanding of spirituality, rooted in Christianity while embracing the wisdom of the world's contemplative traditions. In his own words, "I am passionate about helping people to embody creative, joyful lives of love and service, formed by prayer, silence, and the wisdom of the saints and mystics."
Carl McColman learned the practice of contemplative prayer at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is a professed Lay Cistercian -- a layperson under the guidance of Trappist monks. He regularly speaks, teaches and conducts retreats on contemplative Christian practice, and blogs at www.carlmccolman.com.