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The Lion's World: A Journey into the…
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The Lion's World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia (2012)

by Rowan Williams

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
A very pleasant look at the theology behind Narnia. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Feb 13, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Intriguing and provocative, "The Lion's World" raises a myriad of suggestive material for further meditation.
One need not have read all of the work's related (although I have) to enjoy Williams' assessment and benefit from this read. ( )
  Ron_Gilbert | Jul 18, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a free copy of this book publishers through the Net-galley. However, I lost track of how to log into it. This loose end bothered me, so I got myself a copy of the book from Amazon as an e-book.

I am very glad to have read this book. I should out myself as a religious person, and a huge fan of CS Lewis. The author is actually the Archbishop of Canterbury, which makes him an interesting commentator on one of Britain's greatest theologians of the 20th century. I found his discussion of the Narnia books to be very insightful, and thought-provoking. I read the Chronicles of Narnia many years ago, and then revisited them as a parent. I had forgotten many of the subtle points that he brings up, and I appreciated his acknowledgment that Lewis is a writer had many flaws, and was a man of his time. (Who knew that Lewis thought vegetarianism was silly?)

So I recommend this book particularly for those who have read the Chronicles of Narnia and loved them. Those who are not familiar with the series, may want to reach for it as a companion to this book. ( )
  3wheeledlibrarian | Jan 17, 2014 |
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I'm not a very religious person, but I find it interesting how some authors can seamlessly weave metaphors and allusions to other narratives within their stories. Lewis was a master at this, and I thought that the best way to learn more about this religious undertones was to read literary criticism from someone who has a lot of knowledge about Christianity.

What I liked:
- Williams doesn't rely only on The Chronicles of Narnia for information; he talks about many other of Lewis's works, such as That Hideous Strength and The Screwtape Letters. This made for a full portrayal of Lewis's beliefs, which I really appreciated.

- The arguments are well thought out and Williams takes the reader through them step-by-step, providing a great deal of evidence from Lewis's works.

What I didn't like:
- I was looking more for background information on the religious ideas behind Narnia rather than a Christian literary analysis of the text. The title is a bit misleading on that front.

- It gets preachy at times, and I would have preferred it stay objective and informational. Similarly, the writing didn't flow as well as it could have.

Summary:
While not an example of fantastic writing, I think that this is an interesting book for those who are a fan of the Narnia books and want to learn about an expert's opinion on the religious meaning and lessons that provide the backbone of this series. ( )
  sedelia | Jul 29, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received The Lion's World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia from Library Thing Early Review program. This book contains the lectures the former Archbishop Rowan Williams gave about the Narnia series.

What I liked about it is that the author did use a lot of references to support his opinions; it mentions many books that he thought might have influenced C. S. Lewis's writing (some which I have not read, but that I will definitely check out); and about the criticism Lewis received about his views on foreigners and women. All these were carefully covered and provided me with a lot of info that I did not know.

However, at times the book did read as a series of essays that are carefully crafted for academia. I expected he would show a little more passion for the series. Still, I enjoyed this very quick read. It sure gave me same food for thought and interest in exploring more of C.S. Lewis books I haven't read yet. ( )
  edjane | Jul 23, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rowan Williamsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Capoferri, MonicaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must write children's books.

(Francis Spufford, The Child that Books Built)
Dedication
To Rhiannon and Pip, with all my love
First words
I came late to Narnia: despite an obsessively bookish childhood in a Christian household, Lewis's books somehow did not cross the radar until I had discovered his works of apologetic as a teenager.
Quotations
There is rather more than some readers have noticed of ordinary female intelligence; and the depiction of male jostling for position among both boys and men, and the lethal consequences of this male pride, is none too flattering. It will not do to see Lewis as a simple misogynist.
There is no other stream. The way to life or reconciliation or forgiveness or renewal is always a path through what is there.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199975736, Hardcover)

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams offers fascinating insight into The Chronicles of Narnia, the popular series of novels by one of the most influential Christian authors of the modern era, C. S. Lewis.

Lewis once referred to certain kinds of book as a "mouthwash for the imagination." This is what he attempted to provide in the Narnia stories, argues Williams: an unfamiliar world in which we could rinse out what is stale in our thinking about Christianity--"which is almost everything," says Williams--and rediscover what it might mean to meet the holy. Indeed, Lewis's great achievement in the Narnia books is just that-he enables readers to encounter the Christian story "as if for the first time." How does Lewis makes fresh and strange the familiar themes of Christian doctrine? Williams points out that, for one, Narnia itself is a strange place: a parallel universe, if you like. There is no "church" in Narnia, no religion even. The interaction between Aslan as a "divine" figure and the inhabitants of this world is something that is worked out in the routines of life itself. Moreover, we are made to see humanity in a fresh perspective, the pride or arrogance of the human spirit is chastened by the revelation that, in Narnia, you may be on precisely the same spiritual level as a badger or a mouse. It is through these imaginative dislocations that Lewis is able to communicate--to a world that thinks it knows what faith is--the character, the feel, of a real experience of surrender in the face of absolute incarnate love.

This lucid, learned, humane, and beautifully written book opens a new window onto Lewis's beloved stories, revealing the moral wisdom and passionate faith beneath their perennial appeal.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:46 -0400)

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams offers fascinating insight into The Chronicles of Narnia, the popular series of novels by one of the most influential Christian authors of the modern era, C. S. Lewis. Lewis once referred to certain kinds of book as a "mouthwash for the imagination." This is what he attempted to provide in the Narnia stories, argues Williams: an unfamiliar world in which we could rinse out what is stale in our thinking about Christianity--"which is almost everything," says Williams--and rediscover what it might mean to meet the holy. Indeed, Lewis's great achievement in the Narnia books is just that-he enables readers to encounter the Christian story "as if for the first time." How does Lewis makes fresh and strange the familiar themes of Christian doctrine? Williams points out that, for one, Narnia itself is a strange place: a parallel universe, if you like. There is no "church" in Narnia, no religion even. The interaction between Aslan as a "divine" figure and the inhabitants of this world is something that is worked out in the routines of life itself. Moreover, we are made to see humanity in a fresh perspective, the pride or arrogance of the human spirit is chastened by the revelation that, in Narnia, you may be on precisely the same spiritual level as a badger or a mouse. It is through these imaginative dislocations that Lewis is able to communicate--to a world that thinks it knows what faith is--the character, the feel, of a real experience of surrender in the face of absolute incarnate love.… (more)

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