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Chronicles of Narnia, The: Prince Caspian (United Kingdom/United States, 2008)
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Two of these seem beyond any reasonable doubt to be allusions to things Turkic, others seem very likely to connect somehow, and still others feel to the present author like connections, but may not in fact be. I am a professor of New Testament who happens also to fluently speak and read modern Turkish.

These are my only qualifications. Readers who understand Lewis can research my suggestions further. It is striking that these two connections appear as major issues in the early parts of the very first book of the series. This, more than any other observation, should cause the careful reader to be on the lookout for other possible Turkic connections. Though no other Turkic-world connections are as striking as these two, there do exist other connections that seem to rise to the level of possibility.

The presence of two almost certain connections raises the likelihood in any other individual case that an alleged connection may be real, not just imagined. Of course, there appear to be numerous, general Middle Eastern cultural influences on the descriptions of the Calormen in The Horse and His Boy some of which would overlap with Turkic-world issues , but those constitute a separate subject from the one taken up here.

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The suggestions listed above are ones that seem more possibly to intersect specifically with Turkic words and things. It remains now for those who know Lewis well to evaluate if and how these could have made their way into The Chronicles of Narnia. One additional note: Michael Ward, whose theory that each Narnian tale evokes the imagery of one of the seven planetary models of medieval cosmology, has caught my imagination, though, as I wrote before, I am a non-specialist in Lewis and recognize my limitations in evaluating such a proposal.

Ward may be mistaken on this point, though I readily admit I may be missing something. But I have not been able to establish that modern Turks use the word at all. Ah, the plot thickens. First, I adjure all readers to read them in the order in which Lewis wrote and published them! This is the most compelling and satisfying way to begin and complete a journey to Narnia. When one says Lewis began to write these tales in the late s, we are telling a partial untruth, for as he tells us in a couple of rich essays about writing for children and the reasons he created Narnia, he had carried around images of them in his head as young as sixteen, when he first envisioned a faun walking in a snow woods carrying some parcels and an umbrella, the faun who was to become Mr.

His mind roamed from mythology to philosophy to his own creative worlds as he lived in his forced isolation from brother Warnie, his imaginative playmate and fellow dreamer, amidst the boarding schools to which he was sent by his despairing father. Much of what he would later create from inside a redeemed, Christian worldview, was in development even in this time of doubt. He never let go of the elusive pieces of Narnian mythology and landscape lodging in his heart and soul; he just had to wait for the right time to bring them to the forefront. Aslan was on the move, even then.

Throughout the mids to the end of the s, Lewis built a remarkable, multi-faceted career as a literary critic and historian at Oxford University, a religious broadcaster on the BBC during WWI, a formidable writer of science-fiction and fantasy as ground-breaking as Arthur C. Clarke or H. Wells, and as a revered and preferred lay theologian, educating Christians on both sides of the Atlantic on the nature of the Christian faith in the modern world, and why it was credible, exciting, and intellectually respectable to believe in God and trust the Bible as a source of insight, despite its ancient origins.

But that great imagination did not suddenly run dry when Lewis dreamed again, this time, not of roaring lions, but raging rodents, a band of mighty sword-wielding, chivalrous mice! The Gospels themselves have their own sequels, the history, the letters, the apocalypse, all with valuable, essential information and authoritative life counsel—but the stories they tell, the doctrines they teach, ultimately pale in comparison to The Story, the narrative of the incarnation, the sinless life, the death and descent into Hades, and the triumphant resurrection and ascension of the Son of God.

Only our dear physician and documentarian realist, Luke, knows the daunting task of writing a sequel to such momentous and monumental Good News!

Having said that, I will tell you that there remains a most important lesson to be emphasized from the very start of this underrated and undervalued Narnian tale, namely, that in imagining and creating Prince Caspian , Lewis has taught us the profound but overlooked truth that life does have sequels. Life is, in fact, filled with sequels, that emphasize our heretofores, once-agains, and ever-afters. How could anything that occurs after the death, resurrection, and triumph of Aslan to set things aright be anything but trivial.

After our most momentous human experiences, our births, our graduations, our athletic competitions, our marriages, our deaths: life does go on. Prince Caspian lays before us not only an engrossing tale of betrayal and seduction, but spiritual wisdom about, and practical strategies for, handling the mundane, the obvious, the monotonous, and the ordinary—all the while pointing to the extraordinary adventures that lay still ahead on both sides of eternity.

Mentoring in valor, justice, and righteous rule is thematically the center of Prince Caspian. On our second look, a return excursion, the place we thought we knew well has dramatically changed; some things may look differently, but remain just as we left them—or do they? What will be our landmarks and anchors in the midst of confusion and turmoil if the Narnia we left is not the Narnia we now encounter? While only a year of earthly time has passed for the Pevensies since their last visit to their kingdom, in their absence, Narnia has aged more than a thousand years; the memories of High Kings and Queens, and Aslan himself, have faded, and the native Narnians once again find themselves in need of redemption and a rightful ruler to be restored to the throne.

A dark age has set in. How could this be? What has gone wrong? Painful and debilitating questions have arisen and arrested development has beset their world: What should one believe? Does Aslan even exist? Like the many young kings depicted in the Bible and in many other world cultural narratives, he is in some ways wise beyond his years, yet his greatest trait is his humility.

To find and embrace his true heritage, he must hold fast to the truths that his loyal counselor and guide, Doctor Cornelius, has preserved and faithfully relayed to him. It is not the land of Men. Though these sound like fairy tales, Dr. Cornelius assures Caspian they are true. We learn in Prince Caspian that vantage point is crucial—and one is responsible for both what and how one sees. Their new quest—to restore the rightful King to his throne and his subjects to faith in Aslan—is one that requires new resolve and not least a good memory for what Aslan had already taught them.

They must piece together the facts of their predicament and must help Caspian convince and lead his subjects in recovering their national identity and corporate faith as Narnians. It is contemporary Narnians who exhibit a diffidence and befuddlement that inhibits their ability to distinguish fact from falsehood. Does this not sound familiar in our world? To accomplish this —bravery alone does not suffice.

Without a compass of faith, without a community of believers it is a daunting, maybe impossible task. New Narnia needs the Old Narnia. Timing is everything. And Prince Caspian teaches us the time is always now.

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The most poignant lesson in this Narnian tale once again occurs off-stage, and in the interchange between Aslan and the ever-faithful and spiritually perceptive Lucy, who proved herself again to be the more watchful and discerning among her clan—sensing the presence of the invisible Aslan but unable to convince the others.

Finally, the lion returns and she must leave camp at some risk to embrace him:. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger. Aslan must disabuse her of her pacificism. And disavow her complaints about the failing vision of her siblings. For a time she was so happy that she did not want to speak. But Aslan spoke. You have work in hand, and much time has been lost today.

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But how? Please Aslan! Am I not to know? Nobody is ever told that.

Knowing Aslan by Thomas Williams | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble®

There is only one way of finding out. Lucy and her kin rely on the lessons taught and character built during their earlier encounters with Aslan, carrying on the work of Aslan in his seeming absence. Their valor shows them and us that we can trust Aslan to be Who he is, yesterday, today, and forever; this really is the supreme fact of Prince Caspian.

The Chronicles of Narnia ★ Then And Now

In Prince Caspian we frankly confront the consequences of lost perspective, and worse, lost faith and trust among friends. Leadership is taking to heart and acting upon the lessons Caspian received at the feet of Doctor Cornelius, and these are essential to his kingly ascension.

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The stories of Old Narnia must be handed down, faithfully, generation to generation. Without them, Narnia ceases to exist—perhaps a lesson for our world as well? Caspian progresses throughout the tale in his understanding of how his father has been murdered and the personal risk required of him to confront evil head-on.