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Is the Narnia Series Christian?

is the narnia series christian

How Does Teaching a Perceptibly Christian Book Work in Public Settings?

Most of the seven books in the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis are taught at some time in the school years by public schools, private schools (religious as well as secular), homeschools, churches, and kids clubs in America.  The same is true for many other countries as well.  With such universal appeal, the question could be asked, “How can a book that is perceived as Christian be used in all sorts of schools besides Christian schools?”
Actually, not only Christian concepts are found in all of the Narnia books.  There is also Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology, English and Medieval folklore, and many other influences. Some examples of these influences are the myriad creatures that he highlights throughout the series.  There is the faun, centaurs, nymphs, Silenus and Bacchus, Dionysus, dwarfs, and dragons, to name a few.
Mr. Lewis himself answered this question when he said, “Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument, then collected information about child psychology and decided what age group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out ‘allegories’ to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I couldn’t write in that way. It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn’t anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord.”

The History that Brought Christianity into the Series

Mr. Lewis became a Christian as an adult. Consequently, his great dedication to Christianity caused this influence throughout most of his writing. In some of the books he authored, the Christian themes are very strong throughout the themes.  The same can be said of his great love for mythology and legend. Both of these also found their way into most of his work.
Bu he never wanted his work to be considered allegory. He said that the parallels were not close enough to Christianity to actually be allegorical.  In December of 1958, he said, “If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair [a character in The Pilgrim’s Progress] represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality, however, he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, ‘What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?’ This is not allegory at all.”

So Then, Is the Narnia Series Christian?

So, to answer the question, “Is the Narnia series Christian?”  In summary, Mr. Lewis did not set out to make this series a Christian series. However, he did openly admit that the influence of Christ in his life did seep into the books in way that he was happy to later acknowledge. Even with the influence of Christianity throughout the series, it is still very subtle.  So people who are unfamiliar with Christianity will most likely not make any connections to the symbolism that Mr. Lewis clearly wrote into the series. What they will be able to take away from the series is a great study on character, strength, greed, and evil in the midst of fantastical characters in an amazing land.
No wonder it is still one of the most popular and enduring classics to this day.

And the best part is that you can enjoy these books immensely regardless of your religious background.

Consequently, I have made the lesson plans and curriculum on this site friendly to any program that desires to use them–whether secular, Christian, or any other religion.

To learn more about C.S. Lewis, check out this great website by clicking here.  You will find interviews, biographical information, information about all of the books he wrote, and much more.

Feel free to check out a Sample Chapter by clicking here.

This Post Has 61 Comments

  1. Amber

    It doesn’t bother me if it is or isn’t. I am agnostic. I would always hope books would be available Christian or not so people can make their own decisions. Luckily my kids just go to a public school so they can read all sorts of books, thank goodness!

    1. Marie

      That is a perfect perspective! Thank you for sharing that. 🙂

  2. Explorethe6

    Classic series! Kids need to read all kinds of books

    1. Marie

      Yes, they do! Thank you for chiming in! And yes, this series is one of my all-time favorites.

  3. When I read the series I definitely felt some Christian overtones in the books, however I never felt that I was being preached at. Despite being spiritual I still love these books.

    1. Marie

      Exactly! I feel that most people who aren’t involved in Christianity would not necessarily see a connection, which kind of makes these books perfect. It allows the reader to pick up the things that they perceive as valuable in life. And there are so many other great aspects to the books that there is something for everyone.

  4. shelah moss

    I think that the Narnia series is classic literature and worth reading, just as I enjoy reading books that have a Jewish or Hindu or any other religious perspective. That’s one way to learn about each other.

    1. Marie

      It is a great way to learn, Shelah!

  5. lifero5

    I was not aware of this book. I will add to my list of books so I can read it in my free time. Thanks for your post.

  6. What an interesting topic. I love the series and have to agree that everyone can enjoy the books no matter what their religious backgrounds are.

    1. Marie

      Thank you, Ola!

  7. Nyxinked

    I always knew it wasn’t particularity a Christian series however CS himself was a devote Christian so obviously he’d put his own influences into that. In the city of Belfast, the capital of my wee country, we have an iron lion statue in his honour in the Upper Newtownards Road area. It’s gorgeous! Definitely worth seeing if you’re ever over.

    1. Marie

      That is awesome. I would love to see it. Actually, my daughter and her family are in Ireland this week visiting old friends from a trip she took waaaay back when she was 14. Maybe I’ll send her to go see it and take some pics for me. 🙂

  8. Joanna

    I am not religious and I didn’t think that any of the Narnia books had anything to do with religion. I thought it was a very nice and kind series.

    1. Marie

      Thank you for your thoughts, Joanna. I think that is one of the best parts of this series. It allows you to read it in almost any light or background and glean from it out of your own experience.

  9. Passion Piece

    I’ve heard of the Narnia series, but I’ve never had a chance to read it before. I’d love to get to know more about the series, especially because of the subtle Christianity aspect, which was included in the books! 🙂

    1. Marie

      They are awesome! I hope you get a chance to. They are really fast reading books, so if you get a spare minute here or there, you will be able to read a good amount. You just may not be able to put them down, though!

  10. Rupal Srivastava

    This series has been one of my favorite ones. I love reading them again and again 😊

    1. Marie

      I agree, Rupal. I have read and taught these books many times. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Mae

    I love Narnia and would definitely want my son to read it too! Whether religious or not, anyone can enjoy this classic!

  12. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    I don’t really care if it is or isn’t. What matters is that it teaches good values to the kids.

  13. Ben

    I definitely saw a lot of Chrisitan influence in the books when I read them, but I don’t think that should make a difference to anyone who enjoys a good, high fantasy book. If you look at many books, these themes are there.
    One of my favorite book series is The Wheel of Time. Throughout the books you can see various religious and cultural influences woven into the various mythologies and peoples of the world.

  14. Kileen

    I didn’t feel these book were christian and it wouldn’t matter to me if they were or weren’t. I enjoyed the books so much! I just think people find similarities in many different things and read into things that aren’t actually there. But that’s the beauty of literature is that it’s up to the reader to interpret or relate to it in different ways than others.

    cute & little

    1. Marie

      You are right, Kileen. We like to draw from our own experience and life to relate to the books we read.

  15. Surekha

    I see a lot of links to Christianity, but it’s only natural. He was a Christian. It only makes sense that that fact would come through during the writing.

    1. Marie

      You are exactly right, Surekha. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  16. Pearl

    I didn’t really had that point of view when I was watching the movie but it was definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen.

    1. Marie

      I remember watching it in the theater and being so taken by the cinematography that I didn’t want it to end. They did an amazing job.

  17. Matt Taylor

    I completely agree, although I am pretty sure I read some of the books in grade school, I can’t remember, I did see the movies. While I can see some Christian undertones, it doesn’t make the books less appealing to Non-Christians. They are great feel-good stories that teach good lessons.

    1. Marie

      You are absolutely right, Matt. The Christian undertones are actually so subtle that without a background in Christianity, most people would entirely miss them.

  18. the joyous living

    it is an interesting question you pose about how to teach seemingly christian fiction in a secular environment. when you think about it — so many books have christian themes and elements. think – the robe, ben hur, pilgrim’s progress, paradise lost, and the list goes on.

    1. Marie

      You are right, especially when you think about the fact that until about 50 years ago, religious thought was universal, so it really affected the vast majority of print and art. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  19. TheHappyMommie

    According to me books are books and they donot need to be catagorised in amy ways, everyone should have access to books and education

  20. Lucy Clarke

    I agree that this is a great series and an enjoyable read regardless of religious background. What’s essential is that readers get to learn about building traits of good character.

    1. Marie

      I completely agree, Lucy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  21. Emman Damian

    I have read and watched Narnia before. I knew it’s a bit Christian influenced and this article validates it. I miss this series!

    1. Marie

      I love the books and have enjoyed teaching them. I wish there was a corresponding movie to the whole set!

  22. Pati Robins

    wow ! i honeslty did not know that – its even better that mr Lewi did infuence his books , i am a massive fan ( since childhood) of the lion , the witch and the wardrobe

    1. Marie

      I agree, Pati. It is one of my all time favorites.

  23. tweenselmom

    I think I’ve read the Narnia series way back in the past, so I guess that’s why I can relate to this post a bit. Thanks for sharing this with us! Looking forward to rereading the series again.

    1. Marie

      I hope you enjoy it even more now! I loved it way more as an adult than when I was a kid. I understood the undertones so much better.

  24. Emily Fata

    While I found out as an adult that C. S. Lewis was a Christian writer, as a child, I never realized then Christian undertones in the Narnia series. In fact, I would argue that they just offer life lessons applicable to any religion (or lack thereof). 🙂

    1. Marie

      I would agree with you on this, Emily. While it was definitely not meant to be a religious text, it definitely had the influence of his Christian life as well as the influence of his pre-Christian life and lifelong interest in mythology among other things.

  25. World in Eyes

    haven’t read them ever but heard once about one..glad you shared this helpful and useful blog post with us…

  26. Julie Escuyos

    I never got a change to start this series but that’s interesting information!

  27. Lyosha

    I loved Narnia and never saw religious pattern in there ( I read in my late teenage so I could tell). But I am not Christian so I might have missed it as it is not as straightforward as for example in ‘His Dark Materials’

    1. Marie

      You are right, Lyosha. I think it was really meant to be obscure enough that it wouldn’t come across as religious to those who are not, but it would to those who are. Pretty genius actually!

    1. Marie

      I am glad I could help you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  28. Nkem

    Not that the Narnia books are so discernibly religious, especially to kids, but it is possible that religious matter be taught historically rather than as a doctrine.

    1. Marie

      That is true, Nkem. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  29. Natalie

    I enjoyed these books but honestly never gave much thought about if they are Christian or not. Interesting read.

    1. Marie

      Most people will have the same experience you did, Natalie! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  30. Monidipa

    I am agnostic as well. As a reader, for me only the content of the book matters.

  31. Ambuj Saxena

    I dont know of any schools in India that teach Narnia books but the movie on Narnia gained popularity in Indian cinema halls. I am a non fiction reader so it didn’t intrigue me too much but i could see my friends buying one Narnia series book after watching the movie! So, thanks for a detailed description of the Narnia Series!

  32. Sushmita

    I have not looked at this childhood favourite of mine from this outlook! Nice post. Would love to discuss this even more

    1. Marie

      It is a fascinating subject! The more I learned, the more I wanted to keep on learning.

  33. Renata Feyen

    I think if you want to read something it should not matter if it is religious or not 🙂

    1. Marie

      I agree Renata!

  34. Bindu Thomas

    Looks great series. Will surely include in my list

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