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The World According to Narnia: Christian Meaning in C. S. Lewis's Beloved Chronicles

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A lively and engaging exploration of the many Christian themes in C.S. Lewis's widely-known and universally loved children's stories. A lively and engaging exploration of the many Christian themes in C.S. Lewis's widely-known and universally loved children's stories.


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A lively and engaging exploration of the many Christian themes in C.S. Lewis's widely-known and universally loved children's stories. A lively and engaging exploration of the many Christian themes in C.S. Lewis's widely-known and universally loved children's stories.

30 review for The World According to Narnia: Christian Meaning in C. S. Lewis's Beloved Chronicles

  1. 5 out of 5

    bethany

    "to put it in narnian terms, the created world is fraught with magic. behind the most mundane of earthly being, objects, and events is a meaning and a power no less awe inspiring than the Word of God who spoke the whole thing into existence." i'd recommend this book to every narnia-reader and Aslan-believer. "to put it in narnian terms, the created world is fraught with magic. behind the most mundane of earthly being, objects, and events is a meaning and a power no less awe inspiring than the Word of God who spoke the whole thing into existence." i'd recommend this book to every narnia-reader and Aslan-believer.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    "A redeemed view of things opens the self to receive such delights as the created world has to offer" It has been so sweet to have some of my very favorite stories refreshed in a new way. "A redeemed view of things opens the self to receive such delights as the created world has to offer" It has been so sweet to have some of my very favorite stories refreshed in a new way.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    I LOVED this book. It did for me with Narnia what John Granger's books did for me with Harry Potter. I knew there was Christian meaning in the series, but I knew there were things I was missing. I would go back and reread this book after another readthrough of the Chronicles. It definitely helped me appreciate CS Lewis's books even more. And because Rogers also references other books that Lewis has written, he's given me an appetite for some of the books by Lewis that I haven't read yet. I hones I LOVED this book. It did for me with Narnia what John Granger's books did for me with Harry Potter. I knew there was Christian meaning in the series, but I knew there were things I was missing. I would go back and reread this book after another readthrough of the Chronicles. It definitely helped me appreciate CS Lewis's books even more. And because Rogers also references other books that Lewis has written, he's given me an appetite for some of the books by Lewis that I haven't read yet. I honestly got more than I bargained for with this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    In some ways this treatment of the Narnia books contains no surprises. Thoughtful multi-readers of the Chronicals will have picked up on some of these themes already and may wonder if it's worth a read. It is. For two reasons. First, Rogers deftly assumes his readers thorough intimacy with the Narnia stories. He gives enough information to keep his reader moving through each book smoothly, but without bogging the reader down with too much reprising of the narrative. Kudos. That's a tough editing In some ways this treatment of the Narnia books contains no surprises. Thoughtful multi-readers of the Chronicals will have picked up on some of these themes already and may wonder if it's worth a read. It is. For two reasons. First, Rogers deftly assumes his readers thorough intimacy with the Narnia stories. He gives enough information to keep his reader moving through each book smoothly, but without bogging the reader down with too much reprising of the narrative. Kudos. That's a tough editing line to find. Secondly, he clearly delves into some deep Christian truths without becoming verbose or overwhelming. There's no oversimplification, just clean delivery, frequently punctuated by Lewis' own pithy commentary from his essays. The introduction was worth picking this book up. Rogers outlines why fantasy is the proper medium for deep Christian truths and how Lewis used this to exemplify important points of faith. The chapter on A Horse And His Boy is a strong essay about the nature of Christian freedom. There were gems in each chapter that the thoughtful Narnia fan can garner. It's a must for those seeking the deeper truths behind the stories, not just in their imagery, but in their construction and literary meta-narratives.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but it was such a pleasure and a delight! It's been about a year since I've read LW&W and maybe a decade since I've read any of the other Narnia books, so I was hoping I'd still be able to get something out of this commentary, and I definitely did. Jonathan Rogers takes each Narnia book and basically asks, "What does this book say about being a Christian?" His answers are clear and accessible to anyone — not just for English profs and ivory tower dwel I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but it was such a pleasure and a delight! It's been about a year since I've read LW&W and maybe a decade since I've read any of the other Narnia books, so I was hoping I'd still be able to get something out of this commentary, and I definitely did. Jonathan Rogers takes each Narnia book and basically asks, "What does this book say about being a Christian?" His answers are clear and accessible to anyone — not just for English profs and ivory tower dwellers. Each chapter of this book discusses one of the Narnia books. Rogers pulls out a big Christian theme from each of the Narnia books and discusses how that theme plays out through the characters and plot. For example, his theme for Dawn Treader is Forgetting Self, Finding Self. He also gives enough context of the original Narnia book to jog your memory, but he doesn't go too in depth to where it gets long-winded. You definitely have to have read the Narnia books to appreciate this one, though. Reading this was good for my soul. It was almost like being in a book club with Rogers discussing each text with a super-smart, super-prepared prof. Plus, um, I was an English major, so I love literary analysis. But this book didn't feel like analysis. It wasn't boring. I read it with a pencil in hand to underline the best bits. More than anything, it reminded me that Aslan is not a tame lion. He's good, but he's not safe. And he never makes mistakes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    At first, I did not like this book. It seemed like a synopsis of the Chronicles. I didn't want a synopsis. I wanted clear thinking and insight into books I have loved since I was nine years old. By the end of the book, I had received that. For me, this book was a slow starter, but so worth it by the end. At first, I did not like this book. It seemed like a synopsis of the Chronicles. I didn't want a synopsis. I wanted clear thinking and insight into books I have loved since I was nine years old. By the end of the book, I had received that. For me, this book was a slow starter, but so worth it by the end.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Randell Toews

    "They (the Chronicles of Narnia) are a gleam of divinity on the human imagination, pointing us toward our true country, our true selves, always calling us to go further up and further in to the life God offers" (p. 176). "They (the Chronicles of Narnia) are a gleam of divinity on the human imagination, pointing us toward our true country, our true selves, always calling us to go further up and further in to the life God offers" (p. 176).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Sturgis

    This book provides a helpful summary and brief analysis of key themes from each of the Narnian Chronicles. Jonathan Rogers addresses the significance of various types and analogies that exist in the plot and characters of Lewis' works, helpfully giving cross-references to similar concepts that Lewis addresses in his other works. Overall, it is worth a read/listen for anyone about to embark on their first journey through the Chronicles as well as for the veteran of Narnia who wants to strengthen This book provides a helpful summary and brief analysis of key themes from each of the Narnian Chronicles. Jonathan Rogers addresses the significance of various types and analogies that exist in the plot and characters of Lewis' works, helpfully giving cross-references to similar concepts that Lewis addresses in his other works. Overall, it is worth a read/listen for anyone about to embark on their first journey through the Chronicles as well as for the veteran of Narnia who wants to strengthen his or her grasp on the series and its author.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Leah Hickman

    I got this book mostly because it had “Narnia” in the title and also partly because I’ve been haphazardly collecting books about the Narnia series since I was young. I was expecting a scholarly analysis of the Narnia books, and, while it did analyze the books, it read more like an extended commentary. Instead of synthesizing different elements throughout the series, it went through the books in order of publication, rehashing the main events of the stories and pulling out the Christian meanings I got this book mostly because it had “Narnia” in the title and also partly because I’ve been haphazardly collecting books about the Narnia series since I was young. I was expecting a scholarly analysis of the Narnia books, and, while it did analyze the books, it read more like an extended commentary. Instead of synthesizing different elements throughout the series, it went through the books in order of publication, rehashing the main events of the stories and pulling out the Christian meanings behind them. At first I was a little frustrated with this arrangement (especially since I was reading the series while making my way through this book, so I didn’t really want a reminder of everything that had happened). I had already heard many of the points Rogers made in other analyses of the series, but he also offered insights that I hadn’t thought of previously. Those parts made the book a worthwhile read. Although his treatment of the series isn’t exactly “scholarly” in the sense of being thoroughly backed up by outside sources, Rogers does occasionally reference other Lewis works in his commentary. These parts help shed light on the ideas Lewis was trying to convey in the Narnia books, and they somewhat satisfied my desire for a scholarly perspective on the series. Overall, because if its short length and easy-to-read style, I’d recommend Rogers’ commentary to any adventurer who is new to the land of Narnia. It does a good job of introducing some of the elements that make the series such powerful Christian stories, although you can probably find similar discussions in a plethora of other Narnia-related books. But, if you’re a seasoned reader of Lewis, I’d suggest something a little more meaty and a lot more original, such as Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ashlee Willis

    What an amazing book! There are so many themes of Christianity in the Chronicles of Narnia, and this author explores them all in a simple and straightforward way. Though I have read the Chronicles over and over again through the years, this book opened up new ideas and points of view to me about aspects of Narnia I had either not thought about before, or had become so familiar with I simply didn't see what was staring me in the face. C. S. Lewis put so much thought and heart into his series, it' What an amazing book! There are so many themes of Christianity in the Chronicles of Narnia, and this author explores them all in a simple and straightforward way. Though I have read the Chronicles over and over again through the years, this book opened up new ideas and points of view to me about aspects of Narnia I had either not thought about before, or had become so familiar with I simply didn't see what was staring me in the face. C. S. Lewis put so much thought and heart into his series, it's great to see a book that takes that passion seriously and points out the themes we as Christians can relate to on many levels. If you aren't familiar with the meaning behind the Chronicles, this book is a great way to learn more. And even if you are familiar, this book gives a truly fresh and insightful perspective. Can't recommend enough to all Narnia fans!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    I really liked this book. I appreciated all the Christian meaning it pointed out throughout the Chronicles of Narnia series, book by book. Citing Lewis’s work and Bible verses to convey the different points gave me chills. I may still be tearing up. I especially appreciate the last passage about what the Chronicles ultimately remind us of because I’ve always felt that in my heart about them.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    I thought this was an excellent look C. S. Lewis’s land of Narnia. Rogers used other writings of Lewis to bring some insight into the stores and it made me look at the books differently then I had before. I am eager to go back and read them again.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    I thought I knew Narnia. I did but this gave it so much more depth. Nothing added just deepening what is already there.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Skye

    I finished The Last Battle at 2:30am this morning and looked around for a good companion novel to follow up with to help me better understand the overall messages. Listening to this audiobook over the course of a day was the perfect way to end my time with The Chronicles of Narnia. This book explores, obviously, the deeper Christian meaning behind the series and it's organized by publication order. I'd prefer if it were chronological like how I read it, but that's heresy to many fans though it do I finished The Last Battle at 2:30am this morning and looked around for a good companion novel to follow up with to help me better understand the overall messages. Listening to this audiobook over the course of a day was the perfect way to end my time with The Chronicles of Narnia. This book explores, obviously, the deeper Christian meaning behind the series and it's organized by publication order. I'd prefer if it were chronological like how I read it, but that's heresy to many fans though it does put Lewis in context with his thinking at the time of writing the series. The author draws on numerous other texts by Lewis to support his research and I enjoy that the book seems to have had some personal resonance with the author himself. I haven't read any of Lewis's other writings, but I feel that their inclusion here is sufficient to my deeper understanding of his most important work. I really like that each chapter is a retelling of the story and it's broken down in detail when it's appropriate. Because it took me a month or so to read through it all, I was thankful for these summaries and so that as I was busy about my day, I could enjoy hearing them and it was like a discussion, similar to a podcast, about historical and religious contexts. There isn't much to say about this book other than I highly recommend it for it's accessibility, great writing style, and the narrator especially really drew me in an kept me engaged for the five-hour duration. I'm thankful that this resource exists to help me apply the messages in some way to my own life. I have never been religious in any way, but I thoroughly enjoyed the series and I can still take positive things from it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cassia

    Like tasting the fruit that each likes best himself... I read this book after now being extremely well acquainted with the Narnia stories--having relatively memorized their many scenes through reading, and then listening the great story telling of the Focus on the Family audio performance (20-40 times each book). From this perspective, I found that Jonathan Rogers did a really wonderful job. It was a delight to see the stories, the characters, and the themes of each book inwoven through scriptur Like tasting the fruit that each likes best himself... I read this book after now being extremely well acquainted with the Narnia stories--having relatively memorized their many scenes through reading, and then listening the great story telling of the Focus on the Family audio performance (20-40 times each book). From this perspective, I found that Jonathan Rogers did a really wonderful job. It was a delight to see the stories, the characters, and the themes of each book inwoven through scripture, theology, and other of C.S. Lewis's writings. It was a truly masterful tapestry. I only wish I had set my eyes on the quote marks themselves rather than listening to them--but nonetheless, I believe I got a wide view of the whole tapestry while still appreciating the many colorful threads. The best thing this book did for me was to draw up themes of human feelings through characters I already so deeply love, and then link those themes with those of scripture that I already hardily and boldly hold to...yet somehow did not make the connection to the human experience from the stories. I believe these examples will help not only my own storytelling and writing, but my compassion and usefulness in the church.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Watermarked Pages

    I’ve read the Narnia series countless times, and find new depth in it every time. We’re about to read them aloud with our kids for the first time, so I picked this up for myself. It does what all good books about books should do: made me want to go read the original (again). I really enjoyed exploring the spiritual truths that are in Narnia’s allegory, and thought the Bible verses the author includes were well chosen. I have some doctrinal differences with Lewis that are most clearly seen in The I’ve read the Narnia series countless times, and find new depth in it every time. We’re about to read them aloud with our kids for the first time, so I picked this up for myself. It does what all good books about books should do: made me want to go read the original (again). I really enjoyed exploring the spiritual truths that are in Narnia’s allegory, and thought the Bible verses the author includes were well chosen. I have some doctrinal differences with Lewis that are most clearly seen in The Last Battle (not my favorite book of the series), so it follows that I disagreed with some of what the author says in this book. Narnia helps us ponder Biblical truths, and this book helps you understand how Lewis does that and what biblical doctrines he used to do so. I think this book is helpful for anyone who wants to mine Narnia a little deeper, and enjoyable for anyone who just wants to linger in the world of Aslan.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carol Bakker

    Commentaries on the Chronicles of Narnia abound; they almost constitute a subgenre of their own. Jonathan Rogers' book is a wonderful contribution. I appreciated how he connected Narnia to C.S. Lewis's nonfictional works, e.g. Miracles, Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and The Abolition of Man. Here is a sampling of Rogers' thoughts.One of Aslan's first acts after coming back to life is a game of chase with Susan and Lucy. [The fairy tale] allows truth to hide plain sight. Now that [Eustace] Commentaries on the Chronicles of Narnia abound; they almost constitute a subgenre of their own. Jonathan Rogers' book is a wonderful contribution. I appreciated how he connected Narnia to C.S. Lewis's nonfictional works, e.g. Miracles, Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and The Abolition of Man. Here is a sampling of Rogers' thoughts.One of Aslan's first acts after coming back to life is a game of chase with Susan and Lucy. [The fairy tale] allows truth to hide plain sight. Now that [Eustace] has lost his human form, he begins to exhibit the first humance thoughts and feelings. Puddleglum is steadiness personified.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Johnston

    Rogers writes with a solid grasp of three very important things: he deeply understands the Narnia texts, he effectively draws from the body of Lewis's other writing and thinking, and he interweaves orthodox biblical teachings throughout his discussion of each Narnia novel. The World According to Narnia is a helpful and spiritually rewarding read. As a longtime fan of the Chronicles and of Lewis himself, I found this book to be extremely enjoyable, informative, and valuable. I highly recommend it Rogers writes with a solid grasp of three very important things: he deeply understands the Narnia texts, he effectively draws from the body of Lewis's other writing and thinking, and he interweaves orthodox biblical teachings throughout his discussion of each Narnia novel. The World According to Narnia is a helpful and spiritually rewarding read. As a longtime fan of the Chronicles and of Lewis himself, I found this book to be extremely enjoyable, informative, and valuable. I highly recommend it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Brignola-van calster

    Quite insightful and a great companion to Narnia, to think about the meaning of the story in a different and more intentional way. Quick read, somewhat boring in some places if you have read The Chronicles of Narnia enough times to know exactly what happens but worth the time it takes to read, for sure.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    I loved this book. It gave me a better understanding of Lewis as an author and as a Christian, a further understanding of the Narnia series and an even better understanding of who God is and the Bible. If you love the Narnia series I highly recommend reading this book. Whether you’re a believer or not this book goes into much detail about the stories and you’d be surprised at what you learn!

  21. 5 out of 5

    CathyMW

    You definitely need to be familiar with The Chronicles of Narnia to understand this book. I enjoyed his insights into the 7 books. I also liked how he brought in quotes from other books written by Lewis.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This book was a deep dive into the heart of Narnia, taking me back to those well-loved stories and characters, opening up them up, and inviting me deeper and further in. I came away loving Narnia more than ever and truly in awe of the wealth of rich meaning that these stories hold.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robert Thacker

    Insightful. Helped me see the books in a new way.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    An explanation of the spiritual parallel to the entire Narnia series. I'm sure I will read this or listen to it again. An explanation of the spiritual parallel to the entire Narnia series. I'm sure I will read this or listen to it again.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily Garland homeschool mama of 7 kiddos ages 9 - 10 months

    Wow. That was impressive! I knew there was Christian meaning behind the books but I didn’t realize there was That much!!! Thank you for an eye opening experience!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Easy-to-read, short reflections on the major themes of each of the 7 books in The Chronicles of Narnia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Pfeiffenberger Reinholz

    I was so afraid that this book was going to hurt my view of the Narnia books, but it brought such a great depth to them that has caused me to fall more in love with them. Definitely a great read!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gregg R.

    Makes me want to read Narnia again.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Scott Kennedy

    The more I read on the Narnia Chronicles, the more I realise the genius of Lewis.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Good discussion of deeper meanings through a Christian lens, including other thoughts and quotes of CS Lewis.

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