Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Michael Ward: Narnian Books Allegory for Seven Medieval Planets

Scholar Claims Secret Link Between 'Narnia' Books Lies in Astrology
The Rev. Dr. Michael Ward, chaplain of Peterhouse, the oldest college in the University of Cambridge, contends in his new book Planet Narnia that C.S. Lewis secretly constructed the seven Narnia books to reflect the temperaments and qualities of the seven medieval planets – Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn.
Reverend Ward was actually a guest speaker for a Narnia event at Wheaton College in Illinois a couple of years ago, and I was able to ask him in an open forum how much of this idea he derived from the strong planetary/astrological symbolism found in Lewis's space trilogy, to which he replied "entirely."

Lewis was known for "redeeming" concepts that were stereotyped as evil (IE, the land of Bism in The Silver Chair resembling stereotypical images of hell, or the appearance of Mr. Tumnus resembling classic conceptions of the devil, other "pagan" mythology, etc.) but I tend to agree with Lewis's stepson, Douglas Gresham, who said in an interview that:
"We seem to be a species that loves conspiracy theories: "There has to be a hidden meaning, there has to be a hidden structure." A very nice man and a friend of mine, Michael Ward, has recently written and published a book all about how Narnian Chronicles are all based on the seven planets of the medieval astronomical system. I like Michael enormously, but I think his book is nonsense."

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