Literary Apologetics and C.S. Lewis: Exploring the Chronicles of Narnia with Michael Ward
C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia are literary apologetics at its best: these are Christ-centered books that nonetheless invite the skeptical reader to step into their world, to breathe their air, to touch and taste and see that the Lord is good. Such an experience can be transformative. How did Lewis accomplish this? It’s an important question to ask. We will be more effective apologists and evangelists if we can make use of literature and the imagination to share the Gospel.
The podcast series
Each episode in this thirteen-part series is focused on one chapter in Michael’s book The Narnia Code, which is the popular version of his acclaimed scholarlly book Planet Narnia. (Podcast links are below.) Thus this podcast serves as excellent introduction to Michael’s ideas about Lewis’ use of the medieval imagery of the ‘seven heavens’ as a deep, underlying structure of meaning for the Chronicles of Narnia.
However, Michael’s explanations in this podcast range beyond what’s in the book, including topics such as what it means to ‘baptize’ pagan mythology; the difference between ‘Enjoyment’ and ‘Contemplation’ and what that means in literature; how Lewis draws extensively and deeply on Scripture and theology in the Chronicles; why it matters that we consider these questions; why Christians should not avoid talking about death; how Lewis made Christ central to all aspects of the Narnia Chronicles (more than just a ‘Jesus-figure’); and a lot more.
- Episode 1: The Mystery
- Episode 2: The Beam of Light
- Episode 3: The Seven Heavens
- Episode 4: Jupiter’s Kingly Crown
- Episode 5: The Wooden Shield of Mars
- Episode 6: Sunlight’s Golden Treasury
- Episode 7: Mirror or Moonshine?
- Episode 8: Mercury’s Winged Cap
- Episode 9: Apples Are from Venus
- Episode 10: Saturn’s Sands of Time
- Episode 11: The Candlestick
- Episode 12: The Telescope
- Episode 13: Final Q&A
I hope you enjoy these podcasts!
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Potential graduate students in apologetics, take note: Dr. Michael Ward will be joining us on the faculty of Houston Baptist University as an Annual Visiting Professor in the MA in Apologetics program – beginning in Spring 2013, he will teach a core course on C.S. Lewis and Imaginative Apologetics. The MA in Apologetics is accepting applicants now!
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Further work by Dr Michael Ward:
The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (Michael Ward & Robert MacSwain, editors).
“The Tragedy is in the Pity: C.S. Lewis and the Song of the Goat”: in Christian Theology and Tragedy (Ashgate Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts)
Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe (Ben Quash & Michael Ward, editors)
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