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The World According to Narnia: Christian Meaning in C. S. Lewis's Beloved Chronicles Paperback – November 17, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Christian reflection on C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series has become a cottage industry, but Rogers distinguishes himself as a fellow fantasy writer (theWilderking Trilogy) presenting a narrative analysis and exegesis of the Chronicles. This is no introduction to the series. Rogers's reflections—like many other books about Lewis's fantasy writing—assume the reader already knows and loves the stories of Aslan (the great lion—a trope for Christ), the adventurous Pevensie children who travel to the land of Narnia and the many magicians, dark figures and supernatural creatures who roam there. Of primary importance to Rogers is that readers perceive Aslan's transformative nature, pointing out that "to come face to face with Aslan is to realize that you aren't who you thought you were." Several times Rogers tells us Aslan is "not a tame lion," which he interprets as another way of saying "God's ways are not our ways," a reference to Isaiah 55:8–9. Readers who feel they need a guide to the Christian symbols and metaphors in Lewis's Chronicles will appreciate the scriptural and theological connections in this earnest and accessible book. (Nov. 17)
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From Booklist

Rogers, the author of the Wilderking fantasy series, takes a serious look at C. S. Lewis' Narnia novels, teasing out the Christian theology through close textual analysis of each book in turn. In an engaging style, Rogers simply and swiftly retells each story and highlights where the novels speak to the message of the Gospels. He argues convincingly that imagination combined with faith drives the Narnia chronicles, giving substance to our "yearning for something beyond ourselves." He also notes that it is a delicious irony that Lewis "so carefully constructs a world of metaphor in order to insist that the God of the Bibles is not mere metaphor." With a live-action film version of the novels soon to debut, the land of Narnia will once again be in the spotlight; those needing a travel guide to Lewis' world could do no better than this eminently readable combination of literary criticism and religious scholarship. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords; annotated edition edition (November 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446696498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446696494
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,514,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Heather Ivester on January 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
While there are dozens of new books out there that explore the Chronicles of Narnia, what differentiates this one is the author's personal background. A former English professor himself, Rogers has written his own fantasy-adventure series, the Wilderking Trilogy.

Rogers says, "Lewis uses fantasy to talk about the real world because it takes imagination to see what's true and real in this world too...From where we sit, the things of earth look so real and solid that it's hard to believe there's something more real and more solid...It takes a certain amount of imagination to see that God imbues every blade of grass, every conversation, every relationship with eternal meaning."

Each chapter focuses on one of the seven Chronicles of Narnia, and Rogers leads you into a deeper awareness and appreciation of the symbolism. Here are some non-fiction books written by C.S. Lewis that you'll see cited in THE WORLD ACCORDING TO NARNIA:

-Mere Christianity

-Miracles

-A Preface to Paradise Lost

-The Screwtape Letters

-Of Other Worlds

-God in the Dock

-Surprised by Joy

-The Abolition of Man

-Pilgrim's Regress

-The Four Loves

-They Asked for a Paper

-The Great Divorce

-The Weight of Glory

This is not a book to be read through once, then put on your shelf. It's a reference guide that you'll appreciate every time you need a fresh reminder of what lies beyond the wardrobe door. (Which will come in handy, as another film, Prince Caspian, is already in the works.)

What I take away most of all from reading this book is a deepening of my faith, an awareness of things that are real that I can't see.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. B. Doehring on January 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Rogers has hit a home run with his exposition of the Chronicles of Narnia. My 6 year-old son and I have been reading through the Chronicles since mid-summer in anticipation of the movie's December release and have both been thoroughly captivated. Knowing little about them prior to this, I have cherished sharing these adventures with my son, both of us for the first time, and have also greatly appreciated Rogers' thoughtful reviews of each book.

As mentioned by others, his writing style is eminently readable and his insights refreshing. While this book may not be the "go to" resource for the Lewis scholar, it's perfect for those wanting a deeper appreciation of the Chronicles of Narnia and helps put them in the context of Lewis' other Christian-themed writings. Well done, Dr. Rogers!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Scott on November 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. Reading The World According to Narnia, I was able to relive all the best parts of the Narnia books - quickly! I feel like I now better understand the Christian truths C.S. Lewis was conveying. This book is scholarly, but very readable, moving, and inspiring. I am more ready to enjoy the movie!!
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Jonathan Rogers does a wonderful job in showing us how Christ is eminent in Narnia. He goes into detail for every book in the series explaining the symbolism and hyperbole in the make believe world of the Pevensie children describing and proving how the Christian faith is the root of the stories. From the obvious, Aslan's death and resurrection for Edmond's sin, to the less obvious, Jonathan walks us through our own faith as he describes faith in Narnia.
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