The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy
The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview
Edited by Gregory Bassham and Jerry L. Walls
Volume 15 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series
Pushing through some mothballed fur coats in a wardrobe in a disused room of an old London house, Lucy and the other Pevensie children found themselves in a strange and wonderful country, populated by creatures unknown in our world. Philosophy, too, can take us into a magical new place with its own peculiar delights and dangers.
Here twenty-four philosophers and Narnia fans relate some of the things they have witnessed in the weird world of Narnia and the even weirder world of philosophy. Philosophy, it turns out, can be as addictive as the White Witch’s turkish delight, though hopefully not always so frustrating.
Under what conditions should we believe a story that runs counter to all our experience? Does might make right or are there objective moral rules? Would Albert Einstein have made any sense of the claim that time can flow at different rates in different worlds? If a boy is turned into a dragon, is the dragon still the same person as the boy? Can salvation be found in many religions or only in one? Do animals—even the ones that don’t talk—have souls?
These puzzles and more are bravely attacked in The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy.
"The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy opens doors not only to the shimmering realms beyond the lamp-post, but also to the great questions of philosophy. The authors are eminent contemporary philosophers who find in Narnia rich subject for meditation. One may read this book both as an introduction to philosophy and as a fresh outlook on Narnia."
—Carol Zaleski, author of The Life of the World to Come: Near-Death Experience and Christian Hope
"The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy offers expert and insightful guides through the Narnian philosophical forests. It is must reading for those wishing to go deeply into Narnia."
—Kelly James Clark, author of When Faith Is Not Enough
"The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy covers a wide range of topics, digging deep into the world that C.S. Lewis created. Each chapter gives you a fresh perspective and a renewed interest in these timeless classics written a half-century ago."
—Paul Martin, Editor-in-Chief, NarniaFans.com
"This rich collection of fascinating chapters demonstrates clearly what careful readers of C.S. Lewis’s fiction have known for many years: The Chronicles of Narnia is full of probing philosophical speculation and insight concerning what it is to be a human being living in our world."
—Scott A. Davison, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Morehead State University
Gregory Bassham, Chair of the philosophy department at King’s College, Pennsylvania, is co-author of Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction (second edition, 2005) and co-editor of The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy (2003). Jerry L. Walls is Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Asbury Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of Hell: The Logic of Damnation (1992) and Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy (2002).
This book has not been prepared, authorized, or endorsed by the publishers or distributors of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books, or the creators, producers, or distributors of the Narnia movies.