The hidden foundations of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia

Planet NarniaI wasn't able to see The Narnia Code on BBC One yesterday, but I watched and enjoyed it this evening. Directed by Norman Stone, it profiles the discovery of Michael Ward who, while working on his PhD on Lewis, stumbled onto a secret no one had ever seen before. He was reading Lewis's poem about the planets (expressing a Medieval cosmology, of course, because he was a Medievalist and because it's full of symbolism, not because he thought it was scientifically true) when he spotted a line which had an unmistakable connection to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It talked about Jupiter bringing an end to winter and forgiveness for guilt - central themes in LWW. He began to wonder whether the other books might also be connected with the one of the seven planets in the Medieval view (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter) and in a very short space of time realised that he had discovered what is probably the most important interpretive key to the series. His work was finally published as Planet Narnia, though I seem to remember hearing a more accessible version of the ideas is coming out this year under the title The Narnia Code.. If you're at all interested in The Chronicles of Narnia, it's well worth watching, and it includes some great observations from Brian Sibley, Eric Metaxas, Alan Jacobs, Jerry Root (not enough of him) and others. It loses focus a little when discussing the compatibility of modern science and faith, but there are some good comments from John Polkinghorne and Owen Gingrich so it's not wasted.

The Narnia Code is available on BBC iPlayer until 11:34pm (UK time) Thursday 23rd April 2009. Buy Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis from (and help support my work!).

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The Tony and Jane Watkins Trust oversees and supports the ministries of Tony and Jane Watkins in Christian training, education, and communication. It is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 1062254.
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