C.S. Lewis & Narnia For Dummies

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John Wiley & Sons, May 4, 2011 - Religion - 384 pages
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Explore C.S. Lewis's life, works, and the world of Narnia the fun and easy way.

Curious about C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia? This plain-English guide provides a friendly introduction to the master storyteller and Christian apologist, revealing the meanings behind The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters as well as his other works. You'll also discover why Lewis went from being a confirmed atheist to a committed Christian and how he addressed his beliefs in his writings.

* How his life influenced his writings
* His friendship with Tolkien and the Inklings
* The parallels between Narnia and Christianity
* His use of allegory and symbolism
* Resources for further exploration

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - danaenicole - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this one. I even learned a few things. :) It's a good reference for C.S. Lewis' writings. I like that Wagner acknowledges that his readers will not all be Christians, but doesn't attempt to ... Read full review

C. S. Lewis & Narnia for dummies

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Just what would Lewis have thought about being the subject of a book in the "For Dummies" series? Perhaps he would have been pleased to discover that, despite its title, this volume contains a wealth ... Read full review


About This Book
Foolish Assumptions
All Things Narnia Voyaging to the World of Aslan
Icons Used in This Book
Part I
Chapter 1
Understanding the Crafty Art of Temptation
Satan holds out the world as the prize
Satan distracts with fashion
Satan uses monotony as a weapon
Chapter 11
Getting Familiar with The Great Divorce
Divorcing Heaven and Hell
Attempting to Jibe Universalism with Christian Beliefs

Catching a Glimpse of CS Lewis
Discovering real Christianity
Leaving behind a legacy
Lewis as childrens author
Lewis as fiction author
Lewis as scholar
Lewis as bachelor turned hubby
Chapter 2
Growing Up in Belfast 18981908
Like peas and carrots
Tragedy strikes Little Lea
School Daze 19081916
Quick camping at Campbell
Malvern bound
A Great War and a Great College 19161925
Studying at Oxford
Oxford and Mrs Moore 19251940
New friends new outlook
Popular Christian Spokesman 19401951
Debate central
Square peg in a round hole
Out with the Old and In with the New 19511960
Final Years 19601963
Exploring Lewiss Lifelong Journey Toward Joy
Chapter 3
A loss of faith
The first reluctant step
Friendship through the Eyes of Lewis
The more friends the better
Friends are an endangered species
Warnie Lewis
JRR Tolkien
Owen Barfield
Charles Williams
Dabbling with books and ideas
Reason for the Inklings
Members only
Call it a wrap
Part II
Chapter 4
Starting with a Faun Or How Narnia Began
Full steam ahead
Early criticism good and bad
Narnia goes public
Surveying Literary Influences on Narnia
Edmund Spenser
Roger Green
Uncovering Narnias Christian Elements
In What Order Should the Books Be Read?
Narnia Goes Hollywood
Chapter 5
Exploring the Major Themes from The Chronicles of Narnia
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Horse and His Boy
The Magicians Nephew
The Last Battle
Presuppositions of Narnia
A natural hierarchy
Monarchy as the preferred form of government
Tackling Characterization by Design
Uninvolved parents
Uncovering Colloquialisms
Chapter 6
Is Narnia an Allegory?
Supposedly theres a supposal
Comparing Narnia and Middleearth
Both worlds are subcreations
Allegory versus supposal versus applicability
Fairy tale versus mythical history
Chapter 7
Adventurous children
Good rulers of Narnia
Enemies of Narnia
Making Repeat Appearances in Narnia
To Narnia and Beyond
Other areas
Chapter 8
The Heart of Christianity
Victory on the Stone Table
Finding Jesus Christ in a Roaring Lion
More than just a man
Not a tame savior
Ever compassionate
Literally exists
Aslan as a Pointer to Jesus Christ
Largely works through his followers
Engineers circumstances
Isnt at our beck and call
Always serves as the initiator
Dealing with Sin Evil and All Things Yucky
Facing the consequences of sin
The faces of evil
Three Ways We Do It
Belief versus Unbelief in Narnia
Looking Through a Heavenly Spyglass
Submitting to final judgment
Surprised by Emeth
Chapter 9
The Power of a Transformed Life
Selfabsorbed twit turned faithful servant
Recognizing that Aslan does the work
Revealing new spiritual genetics
Living by faith not by sight
Trusting God and doing the next thing
Becoming humble and selfforgetful
Receiving help in times of need
Following common sense
Forgetting the big picture
God Uses the Little Guys
Well Done the Best Phrase Imaginable
Part III
Chapter 10
As One Devil to Another
Discovering the Real Satan through a Fictional Screwtape
Viewing Satan as a liar and pitiful creature
Enemies but not equals
Revealing the motives of Satan and his demons
The Nature of Hell According to Screwtape
Hell is Darwinian
The Nature of Heaven and Hell
Peering down at Hell and its inhabitants
Gazing up to Heaven and its creatures
Hells Most Common Trait
The unappreciated youth
The speculative theologian
The glassishalfempty guy
The selfconscious woman
The adventurer
The domineering spouse
The slave to sin
The man in a Tragedian mask
Why Some People Choose Hell
Chapter 12
A Christian Look at Science and Space Travel
Notable Characters and Creatures
Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
Exploring Sin Temptation and Alternative Realities
Coming to a pristine planet near you
Exploring Language in the Space Trilogy
Language as a tool for evil
Taking on heavenly speech
Chapter 13
Lewiss TwoWeek Brain Dump
The publics reaction
Does the Pilgrim Backslide?
Swallowing a heavy dose of allegory
Getting travel fatigue
Making Sense of the People and Places
Chapter 14
Rewriting an Old Myth
An unreliable but sympathetic narrator
A loving but destructive heroine
Unmasking the Novels Title
Changing the Original Folktale
A Truthful Myth?
Part IV
Chapter 15
Exploring The Problem of Pain
Why Life Is Pain
God is allpowerful but he cant mess with free will
God is always loving but not always kind
Pain is inevitable when you understand reality
Pain is Gods megaphone
Pain is also Gods tool
Pain is the cleanest mopup operation
When RealLife Pain Confronted the Master Apologist
Finding increased faith
Making peace with God
Chapter 16
Starting with Fireside Chats
Mere Christianity as the Hub of Lewiss Literary Wheel
Stepping through an Argument for Christianity
Right or Wrong Youll Find God
Peeking behind the moral law
Whats It Mean to Be a Christian?
Becoming little Christs
Surrendering to Jesus Christ
Examining Three Major Virtues of the Christian Life
Being hopeful
Chapter 17
Lewiss Desire to Debunk the Debunkers
Understanding the Tao
Comparing Relativism and the Tao
Right and wrong are objective
How Society Produces the People We Most Despise
Dealing with Rebellious Branches of the Tao
Examining how relativists explain the rebellion
Arguing the need for an arbitrator
Welcome to the Fallout
Chapter 18
Affectionately yours
Forever friends
Far more than just sex
Far More than a Love Parade
Intended for Good Pleasure
Sex as a harbinger of things to come
Why illicit sex is bad but isnt the supreme vice
Rebirth for the believer
Why Pacifism Doesnt Work
Certainly Gray Territory
Necessary But Nothing to Get Too Excited About
More than Mere Literature
Gods Transformative Tool
Naturalisms Nasty Problem
Part V
Chapter 19
CS Lewis Foundation
CS Lewis Conferences Seminars and Festivals
The Definitive Lewis Launching Pad on the Web
CS Lewis Tours
Chapter 20
On Comparing Aslan to Jesus Christ
On Human Behavior When Everything is Relative
On True Love
On Life in Heaven
Chapter 21
Influential Authors
Edmund Spenser
GK Chesterton
Enjoyable Authors
Jane Austen
Charles Williams
Chapter 22
Acknowledge Lewiss Real Deal Idealism
Keep Lewiss Audience in Mind
Intimidated? Try the Tour de Lewis Road Map
Seeking Truth? Try the Conversion Road Map
Read Em Again
Remember that Lewiss Works Are Great But Theyre Not Scripture
Out of the Silent Planet 1938
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe 1950
The Magicians Nephew 1955
The Abolition of Man 1943
The Worlds Last Night and Other Essays 1960
A Grief Observed 1961
The Allegory of Love 1936
An Experiment in Criticism 1961
And Other Essays on Literature 1966
The Letters of CS Lewis to Arthur Greeves 19141963 1979
Collected Letters of CS Lewis 2000

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About the author (2011)

Richard Wagner is author of The Gospel Unplugged and several books in the For Dummies series, including Christianity For Dummies and Christian Prayer For Dummies. He is also publisher of Digitalwalk.com, a Web site for challenging and encouraging Christians living in a digital, postmodern age. Richard has been an avid student of C.S. Lewis’s works for over 20 years.

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