The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe functions as a spiritual allegory...and not, as the inclusion of fauns would suggest, an allegory of Greek mythology. (Come on: Aslan is way too nice to be modeled on a member of the Greek Pantheon.)
The major characters parallel the central figures of the Christian religion, including Christ and Judas. Although religion itself isn't explicitly mentioned, there are clear references and allusions to Biblical history and principles. Religious truth is explored in a general, feeling-based manner, rather than expounded didactically. Truth and beauty are the most important ways to experience spiritual truth in this book. The ability to recognize spiritual good is transferable from one world to another.
Questions About Spirituality
- Compare and contrast Aslan, as he is depicted in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, with Christ, as he is depicted in the New Testament. How are they similar? How are they different?
- If The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a Christian allegory (and pretty much everyone agrees that it is), then why isn't Christ or the Bible ever mentioned? What kind of power does the story gain from alluding to Christian doctrine instead of stating it outright?
- How does Aslan make people feel? Based on your answer, can you infer what the book suggests about spiritual experience?
- One of the only religious references in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is to humans as "sons of Adam and daughters of Eve," a reference that the Pevensie children don't understand at first. Why is this reference so important that it bears repeating? Why do you think the children fail to recognize it right away?
Chew on This
In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, great spiritual good is terrifying and awe-inspiring.
By approaching spiritual truth through allegory, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe makes the basic principles of Christian doctrine accessible to non-Christian readers.