The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is in theaters today, but I don’t know when I’ll see it. After I’m finished with school stuff, most likely. I still haven’t seen the new Harry Potter movie, although I guess that’s a little less urgent. They’re going to make a final Potter film no matter what, but I hear that this could easily be the last of the new Narnia movies. Then again, if it changes as much as Prince Caspian, that might not be a bad thing. I’m going to give it the benefit of a doubt until I actually watch it, though.
Speaking of Narnia, I understand there was some controversy when Liam Neeson claimed that Aslan could represent Buddha or Muhammad. This just seems to be another example of the trend I’ve seen recently for some Christians to get really possessive of the fantasy series. I’m not saying they’re necessarily wrong, since to ignore that C.S. Lewis wrote the books with Christianity in mind would just be stupid. That said, you don’t necessarily have to agree with the author’s point of view to enjoy his or her works. Hey, I’m an atheist, but I’m willing to accept Aslan as a Christ figure as part of my willing suspension of disbelief. I get the impression that all Neeson was doing was trying to widen the audience for the films somewhat (which really needs to be done, for reasons I mentioned in the first paragraph) by making clear that you don’t have to go to church to appreciate Narnia’s bad-ass lion god. I can’t say I totally agree with Neeson’s two examples, as Aslan isn’t really a prophet or a sage, but rather a provider of supernatural assistance in times of need. If anything, he might be more similar to Krishna, but I’ll admit I haven’t really thought that through. Also, it’s not hard to see Lewis’ Calormenes (who, in terms of when he wrote the books, first appear in Dawn Treader) as caricatures of Muslims. To be more accurate, however, they’re definitely Middle Eastern, but their religion isn’t at all like Islam, as it’s polytheistic. I believe Lewis has said he was influenced by the Canaanite and Phoenician religions that were the main competitors for early Judaism, with their Baals and Asherahs.
Tash, head of the Calormene pantheon
I’d say the more controversial issue should be that Carrie Underwood is performing a song for the movie. The Chronicles of Narnia might be even more British than they are Christian, so why the music from the American heartland? Aren’t there any British musicians who would be willing to contribute music? Oh, and someone already made a joke about “Aslan, Take the Wheel,” so I guess I don’t need to.