Religion and fantasy

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Wed Jul 25 12:58:00 EDT 2001

Ros, on Lewis:

> Even in Lewis's time, not all British people were even nominally Christian,
> let alone believing Christians. When you're not Christian, books that assume

Yes, I agree with that.  I don't think Lewis's preachiness can be explained by
looking at the historical/social context.

> that Christianity is the most "real" religion feel preachy. As a Jew (albeit

Well, I don't think so.  Lives of Christopher Chant carries just that
assumption, for me, and doesn't feel preachy at all.  To some extent this is
helped by the world XIIa DWJ that creates being one in which the Christian
assumption is prevalent, though.

> not wholly practising), I find the Christian belief that Lewis would have
> shared (though I am aware not all Christians feel this way), that
> Christianity is the most "true" religion, patronising. I have to say that I
> feel that the Narnian stories *are* "preachy", even though I love them.

It seems to me that Lewis _really was_ trying to preach with the Narnia books.
Although I'm a Christian, and I agree with Lewis on a lot of things, I don't
actually get on with all the versions of Christian doctrine that underlie the
Narnia books.

What Lewis did was to put his preaching into fantasy stories that were so good
as fantasy stories that it didn't matter that he was preaching.  It's when an
author's preaching damages his/her fantasy writing that I object.

Philip (gradually working my way back up my un-replied-to messages)

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