Aslan as a Donkey rather than a Lion?

I have read critics of C.S. Lewis maintain that in portraying Aslan, a Christ-figure, as a Lion Lewis was being disingenuous. Rather, the critics claim, a better analogy for Christ would have been a donkey–a poor man’s beast, a humble, meek, unassuming creature. Aslan as a Lion, the king of Beasts, is not a true depiction of who Jesus, poor carpenter from the booneys, actually was, according to these secularists.


To trump those critics, why not add that a donkey was coerced into playing the part of Aslan in The Last Battle? By a prideful ape? And if these critics think that Aslan should’ve been a donkey, what does that make them?

I read that whole series when I was in 5th grade. I always thought the lion was the best way to put it.

Obviously these critics of C.S. Lewis don’t know their Bible, for Jesus is called a lion in the book of Revelations.

Revelation 5:5; “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (emphasis mine)

You can read more about the “Lion of Judah” reference here.

Actually, no that’s not a better analogy. After all what animal is Christ likened to in the Bible more than any other? The Lamb! :stuck_out_tongue: A lamb is a meek, and humble creature too.

And Lewis *did *in fact portray Jesus as a Lamb in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. :thumbsup:

I don’t think non-Christians have any business telling Christians what to believe! There are somewhat different Christologies at work here. Lewis is working from a more traditional Christology in which the “form of humiliation” is not the final truth about Jesus or about the God whom Jesus fully revealed (although it is certainly a true representation of that God). This is reflected in the apocalyptic language of the Book of Revelation, in which the Lamb is revealed as a being of terror and majesty. Many Christians today have some problems with this dichotomy, and I think they’ve made valid points. Stanley Hauerwas put it this way: an analogy for much traditional Christology is the story of the prince who puts on peasant clothes in order to woo a beautiful peasant girl. At some point in the story, once she agrees to marry him thinking him a peasant, he rips off his peasant clothes and shows the royal purple underneath. Hauerwas rejects this, saying that for Jesus, “It’s peasant clothes all the way down.” I think this is a valid point–if we speak of Jesus’ “form of humiliation” as a kind of disguise for his divine majesty we are falling into a form of Docetism. However, it’s surely also true that there is more to Jesus than simply a “poor carpenter from Galilee.” Jesus is the One who existed before all creation. If He revealed Himself in all his glory the world as we know it would melt away (which is what I take it will happen at the Second Coming). I think it’s important not to see the form of humiliation as a mere disguise (one of my students described the Transfiguration as Jesus “peeling back His skin,” and I think that’s probably a heretical formulation). It reflects the reality of who God is. But at the same time, Lewis’s
lion imagery also resonates with Scriptural depictions of Christ (indeed, I’d argue that even in his earthly life Jesus was not simply a poor, meek carpenter but was a rather formidable person to say the least!). The Book of Revelation pulls it together by the wonderful expression “the wrath of the Lamb.” Lewis gets the same paradox the other way round–in Narnia we see the grace and humility of the Lion. It’s the same truth being expressed, I think.


Can anyone guess what I think of these academics? :stuck_out_tongue:

I think that the person who made this charge, Adam Gopnik, is not an academic. But I could be wrong on either count (either that Gopnik was the person being referred to or that he is not an academic.)


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